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Case Study
TheSmithFamily-Arinco (2)

Children’s Charity supporting children’s education with Enhanced Data Capability

The Smith Family relies on donations, sponsorships, supporters, and volunteers to fund its life-changing work. Arinco’s project with The Smith Family enabled the transition to modern infrastructure that will enhance existing reporting capability towards AI and predictive analysis in the future, help unlock automation, and expedite The Smith Family’s purpose.

Customer Scenario

The Smith Family is an independent charity helping children, and young people overcome educational inequality caused by poverty. Through learning support and mentoring programs in 91 Australian communities, The Smith Family is contributing to a better future for young Australians in need.

Serving children, young people, and families for more than 100 years, The Smith Family relies on donations, sponsorships, supporters, and volunteers to fund its life-changing work.

With the deprecation of its Data Export Service to be replaced by Azure Synapse Link, The Smith Family was faced with the prospect of a disruptive replacement program or the risk of losing business critical reporting capabilities.

As the existing solution was scheduled to stop working in November 2022, connecting a new secure Azure interface to The Smith Family’s CRM, housing all their donor, supporters and volunteer data was a critical activity.

Without this new replacement Azure platform, The Smith Family could not run analytics or reporting on their database which is important for making pivotal organisational decisions, recognising problems and opportunities, and gathering insights on stakeholder satisfaction.

Arinco's Approach and Solution

The Smith Family engaged Arinco to help design, build and operationalise a new data Lakehouse platform that leveraged Azure Synapse Link for Dataverse and enabled the cutover of existing operational reporting to be maintained, providing a secure and scalable cloud-native platform for future use cases.

Our bespoke approach featured the following:

  • A landing zone for data platform
  • Design, deployment, and integration of the Azure Synapse Link into that landing zone behind private endpoints
  • Design, building and operationalising reusable patterns for ingesting and curating Dynamics Data in the Data Lake.

Arinco and The Smith Family went through a rigorous and iterative development cycle that enabled data to be available for consumption whilst also minimising Azure cloud consumption costs.

A further hurdle that Arinco was able to solve for The Smith Family included building an incremental parquet processing framework. With the data flowing from the CRM being too large for the data platform to handle, this allowed for more streamlined and efficient data management by reading only relevant data.

Customer Outcomes and Benefits

Now with the new Delta Lake House in place, The Smith Family can continue to make informed, near real-time decisions on the effectiveness of programs run for the students and increase engagement with the supporters and volunteers who make The Smith Family’s mission a success.

Here is what has been achieved for The Smith Family:

  • A 10x performance boost – by transitioning from default CSV files created by Synapse Link to compressed Parquet file formats, query execution time has been reduced from 22 seconds to 2 seconds
  • A 100x cost reduction per data query – switching from default CSV files to Parquet has allowed The Smith Family to optimise query efficiency and maximise their return on investment.

This project has also enabled The Smith Family to continue working towards implementing more advanced predictive analytics and machine learning capabilities. This includes creating machine learning models to target families at risk of dropping out, as well as building models for outreach and support.

 “Arinco embraced our values and requirements and helped us onboard our CRM data into Data Lake using a seamless Azure Synapse Analytics solution. We can now efficiently collect, process, and analyse data in batches and near real-time, enabling us to make informed decisions and improve our business processes. Arinco provided a robust data platform, encompassing data ingestion to security.

“Overall, this project has given us a launch pad for our data modernisation project. It has strengthened the foundation of our data by building a Data Lake to store and use CRM data and has greatly improved our ability to make data-driven decisions. I highly recommend Arinco to any organisation looking to expand its analytical footprint.

– Neeraj Dubey, Enterprise Information Architect, The Smith Family

Arinco is proud to be assisting such an impactful organisation, The Smith Family.

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