How AWS helped Altron Group speed up their imaginative and prescient for optimized buyer engagement

It is a visitor put up co-authored by Jacques Steyn, Senior Supervisor Skilled Companies at Altron Group.

Altron is a pioneer of offering data-driven options for his or her clients by combining technical experience with in-depth buyer understanding to offer extremely differentiated expertise options. Alongside their companion AWS, they participated in AWS Information-Pushed Every little thing (D2E) workshops and a bespoke AWS Immersion Day workshop that catered to their wants to enhance their engagement with their clients.

This put up discusses the journey that took Altron from their preliminary targets, to technical implementation, to the enterprise worth created from understanding their clients and their distinctive alternatives higher. They had been capable of assume large however begin small with a working answer involving wealthy enterprise intelligence (BI) and insights offered to their key enterprise areas.

Information-Pushed Every little thing engagement

Altron has offered data expertise providers since 1965 throughout South Africa, the Center East, and Australia. Though the group noticed robust outcomes at 2022-year finish, the area continues to expertise difficult working situations with world provide chains disrupted, digital element shortages, and shortage of IT expertise.

To replicate the wants of their clients unfold throughout totally different geographies and industries, Altron has organized their working mannequin throughout particular person Working Corporations (OpCos). These are run autonomously with totally different gross sales groups, creating siloed operations and engagement with clients and making it tough to have a holistic and unified gross sales movement.

To succeed additional, their imaginative and prescient of knowledge requires it to be accessible and actionable to all, with key roles and tasks outlined by those that produce and eat knowledge, as proven within the following determine. This permits for transparency, velocity to motion, and collaboration throughout the group whereas enabling the platform group to evangelize the usage of knowledge:

Altron engaged with AWS to hunt recommendation on their knowledge technique and cloud modernization to convey their imaginative and prescient to fruition. The D2E program was chosen to assist determine one of the best ways to assume large however begin small by working collaboratively to ideate on the alternatives to construct knowledge as a product, significantly centered on federating buyer profile knowledge in an agile and scalable strategy.

Amazon mechanisms akin to Working Backwards had been employed to plot probably the most pleasant and significant answer and put clients on the coronary heart of the expertise. The workshop helped devise the assume large answer that beginning with the Techniques Integration (SI) OpCo as the primary flywheel flip can be one of the best ways to start out small and prototype the preliminary knowledge basis collaboratively with AWS Options Architects.

Making ready for an AWS Immersion Day workshop

The everyday preparation of an AWS Immersion Day includes figuring out examples of frequent use case patterns and using demonstration knowledge. To maximise its success, the Immersion Day was stretched throughout a number of days as a hands-on workshop to allow Altron to convey their very own knowledge, construct a strong knowledge pipeline, and scale their long-term structure. As well as, AWS and Altron recognized and resolved any exterior dependencies, akin to community connectivity to knowledge sources and targets, the place Altron was capable of put the connectivity to the sources in place.

Figuring out key use instances

After plenty of preparation conferences to debate enterprise and technical facets of the use case, AWS and Altron recognized two makes use of instances to resolve their two enterprise challenges:

  • Enterprise intelligence for business-to-business accounts – Altron wished to concentrate on their business-to-business (B2B) accounts and buyer knowledge. Specifically, they wished to allow their account managers, gross sales executives, and analysts to make use of precise knowledge and information to get a 360 view of their accounts.
    • Objectives – Develop income, enhance the conversion ratio of alternatives, cut back the typical gross sales cycle, enhance the shopper renewal charge.
    • Goal – Dashboards to be refreshed each day that would supply insights on gross sales, gross revenue, gross sales pipelines, and clients.
  • Information high quality for account and buyer knowledge – Altron wished to allow knowledge high quality and knowledge governance greatest practices.
    • Objectives – Lay the muse for a knowledge platform that can be utilized sooner or later by inside and exterior stakeholders.

Conducting the Immersion Day workshop

Altron put aside 4 days for his or her Immersion Day, throughout which period AWS had assigned a devoted Options Architect to work alongside them to construct the next prototype structure:

This answer consists of the next elements:

  1. AWS Glue is a serverless knowledge integration service that makes it easy to find, put together, transfer, and combine knowledge from a number of sources for analytics, machine studying, and software improvement. The Altron group created an AWS Glue crawler and configured it to run towards Azure SQL to find its tables. The AWS Glue crawler populates the desk definition with its schema in AWS Glue Information Catalog.
  2. This step consists of two elements:
    1. A set of AWS Glue PySpark jobs reads the supply tables from Azure SQL and outputs the ensuing knowledge within the Amazon Easy Storage Service “Uncooked Zone”. Fundamental formatting and readability of the info is standardized right here. The roles run on a scheduled foundation, based on the upstream knowledge availability (which at the moment is each day).
    2. Customers are capable of manually add reference information (CSV and Excel format) through the Amazon Internet Companies console on to the Amazon S3 buckets. Relying on the frequency of add, the Altron group will contemplate automated mechanisms and take away guide add.
  3. The reporting zone relies on a set of Amazon Athena views, that are consumed for BI functions. The Altron group used Athena to discover the supply tables and create the views in SQL language. Relying on the wants, the Altron group will materialize these views or create corresponding AWS Glue jobs.
  4. Athena exposes the content material of the reporting zone for consumption.
  5. The content material of the reporting zone is ingested through SPICE in Amazon QuickSight. BI customers create dashboards and stories in QuickSight. Enterprise customers can entry QuickSight dashboards from their cell, due to the QuickSight native software, configured to make use of single sign-on (SSO).
  6. An AWS Step Capabilities state machine orchestrates the run of the AWS Glue jobs. The Altron group will increase the state machine to incorporate automated refresh of QuickSight SPICE datasets.
  7. To confirm the info high quality of the sources by statistically-relevant metrics, AWS Glue Information High quality runs knowledge high quality duties on related AWS Glue tables. This may be run manually or scheduled through Amazon Eventbridge (Optionally available).

Producing enterprise outcomes

In 4 days, the Altron SI group left the Immersion Day workshop with the next:

  • An information pipeline ingesting knowledge from 21 sources (SQL tables and information) and mixing them into three mastered and harmonized views which can be cataloged for Altron’s B2B accounts.
  • A set of QuickSight dashboards to be consumed through browser and cell.
  • Foundations for a knowledge lake with knowledge governance controls and knowledge high quality checks. The datasets used for the workshop originate from totally different programs; by integrating the datasets through the workshop implementation, the Altron group can have a complete overview of their clients.

Altron’s gross sales groups are actually capable of shortly refresh dashboards encompassing beforehand disparate datasets that are actually centralized to get insights about gross sales pipelines and forecasts on their desktop or cell. The technical groups are equally adept at adjusting to enterprise wants by autonomously onboarding new knowledge sources and additional enriching the consumer expertise and belief within the knowledge.


On this put up, we walked you thru the journey the Altron group took with AWS. The outcomes to determine the alternatives that had been most urgent to Altron, making use of a working backward strategy and arising with a best-fit structure, led to the following AWS Immersion Day to implement a working prototype that helped them turn out to be extra data-driven.

With their new concentrate on AWS expertise and mechanisms, growing belief of their inside knowledge, and understanding the significance of driving change in knowledge literacy and mindset, Altron is best arrange for fulfillment to greatest serve their clients within the area.

To seek out out extra about how Altron and AWS might help work backward in your knowledge technique and make use of the agile methodologies mentioned on this put up, try Information Administration. To be taught extra about how might help you flip your concepts into options, go to the D2E web site and the sequence of AWS Immersion Days which you can select from. For extra hands-on bespoke choices, contact your AWS Account Supervisor, who can present extra particulars.

Particular due to everybody at Altron Group who helped contribute to the success of the D2E and Construct Lab workshops:

  • The Analysts (Liesl Kok, Carmen Kotze)
  • Information Engineers (Banele Ngemntu, James Owen, Andrew Corry, Thembelani Mdlankomo)
  • QuickSight BI Builders (Ricardo De Gavino Dias, Simei Antoniades)
  • Cloud Administrator (Shamiel Galant)

In regards to the authors

Jacques Steyn runs the Altron Information Analytics Skilled Companies. He has been main the constructing of knowledge warehouses and analytic options for the previous 20 years. In his free time, he spends time together with his household, whether or not or not it’s on the golf , strolling within the mountains, or tenting in South Africa, Botswana, and Namibia.

Jason Yung is a Principal Analytics Specialist with Amazon Internet Companies. Working with Senior Executives throughout the Europe and Asia-Pacific Areas, he helps clients turn out to be data-driven by understanding their use instances and articulating enterprise worth by Amazon mechanisms. In his free time, he spends time taking care of a really lively 1-year-old daughter, alongside juggling geeky actions with respectable hobbies akin to cooking sub-par meals.

Michele Lamarca is a Senior Options Architect with Amazon Internet Companies. He helps architect and run Options Accelerators in Europe to allow clients to turn out to be hands-on with AWS providers and construct prototypes shortly to launch the worth of knowledge within the group. In his free time, he reads books and tries (hopelessly) to enhance his jazz piano expertise.

Hamza is a Specialist Options Architect with Amazon Internet Companies. He runs Options Accelerators in EMEA areas to assist clients speed up their journey to maneuver from an thought into an answer in manufacturing. In his free time, he spends time together with his household, meets with associates, swims within the municipal swimming pool, and learns new expertise.

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