Cloud-first airport data platform

Challenge

Building the foundations for a future-proof digital business model while delivering value fast.

Our client, a major transportation hub on a global level, refocused its strategy to be data-driven. Without an established data platform, the organization had been focusing on financial reporting in the past, initiatives growing from the digital and innovation departments had shown that capability gaps existed in the organization and infrastructure dedicated to data analytics.

As such, a full rehaul of infrastructure was needed to cover all of the current and future data analytics use-cases. A new data platform was to be designed within the organization’s strict legal, regulatory, and operational boundaries.

The data analytics department engaged us to explore possible ways forward.

Assignment details

18 months.

Approach

A roadmap, architecture, proof-of-concept and migration program.

To address the wide needs of the assignment, we started small and identified different phases. As the organization was about to take a material step forward; we decided to divide the assignment in multiple steps.

Seek stakeholder alignment through a roadmap based on common ground.

During the roadmap phase, the client engaged us to analyze the current needs and identify gaps in the as-is capabilities. Working closely with internal stakeholders, we were able to identify and isolate various domains in order to prioritize. This roadmap phase took the then-current on-prem situation into account, and offered various scenario’s to deploy the data platform, depending on positions of regulatory-, board-, data privacy and operational stakeholders.  

Showcase value through a proof-of-concept.

During the proof-of-concept (POC) phase, several seemingly similar analytics technologies have been set up to identify opportunity and value, as well as socialize the upcoming change to other business units.

We typically run POC’s not just to illustrate that technology “works”, but more importantly to assess the impact of change on current teams, processes, and infrastructure.

As a use-case, we chose to work with a common business intelligence use-case, as team members typically know how to define and interpret success or failure for such cases.

Out of a number of experiments, market-leading technologies such as Amazon Web Services and Snowflake have been elected

Realize business value using a pilot project.

During the pilot phase, one use case had been elected for full development on the cloud. The case, the deployment of a financial planning and budgeting platform, sourced the entirety of its data from a data vault deployed in Snowflake. 

Results

One platform for all managerial and operational analytics use cases.

In close collaboration with the organization, we have been able to:

  • Help procurement negotiate the contracts involved;
  • Establish the foundations of a new data platform;
  • Introduce new ways of working;
  • Successfully deliver new types of use cases, such as the operationalization of machine learning models;

After deploying the initial data analytics use cases, the data platform has been extended to host a number of additional applications sourcing or providing data to the platform.

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