Building a data capability from the ground up

Client: Serko

The problem

Serko was making do with tactical spreadsheets and reactive ad-hoc reporting. This was time consuming and error prone with multiple sources of truth (transactional, behavioural data) and conflicting results, creating confusion and waste. On top of that, the existing Data team was working in isolation with little to no interaction with the business. They were pushing reports and metrics of possible interest out, rather than pulling in meaningful and business metrics that align to company goals. At the same time, Serko was building a partnership with to launch for Business that would drive scale that the current situation simply would not support.

The brief

Phase 1: Evaluate and establish a world-class, scalable data platform

X is Y were tasked to gather the long-term needs of their business and partnership with With this information we could formulate a set of criteria with which to evaluate options for a world-class, scalable data platform that would go the distance. We set a goal to gather requirements, evaluate options and select a best-fit solution in one two-week sprint, and then following that, implement a pilot environment ready for development in one two-week sprint. 

Phase 2: Build capability and bootstrap the delivery

Having established the data platform, it was then time for X is Y to turn our attention towards helping Serko build capability. This was alongside bootstrapping delivery to get runs on the board and develop key metrics that matter for their for Business offering. We set the goal to get key metrics that matter built, set up all the processes and governance frameworks needed and enable Serko’s Data team to own and continue to build out data visualisation products into the future.

What we did

Phase 1: Evaluate and establish a world-class, scalable data platform

X is Y was able to go from no formal data platform to a validated and working platform in just four weeks. Serko wanted maximum efficiency from their platform, enabling the Data team to focus as much time as possible on value-add to the business versus administrating the platform. We drew up the evaluation criteria in collaboration with the Serko team and then evaluated and presented options and a recommendation. X is Y then worked with the chosen vendors who deployed the platform to a state where the team could get started in just two weeks.

Phase 2: Build capability and bootstrap the delivery

This phase of the project was multifaceted across four areas.

1. Create and agree the metrics roadmap

X is Y worked with stakeholders to create, size, agree and prioritise fourteen "golden metrics" that best represented the goals Serko had set out for the for Business product. 

2. Setup the Agile BI practice and bootstrap it

X is Y setup its proven AgileBI delivery framework and deployed a seasoned squad to manage and execute the agreed roadmap.

3. Set up governance and data policies

Led by actual business need, X is Y worked with Serko to set up the necessary governance and data management practices to ensure customer data was protected and the data visualisation products were accurate and safe to use both at time of release and going forward. Examples include PII policies, governance committee decision framework, product ownership and roles.

4. Help populate and enable Serko’s own AgileBI squad

X is Y worked with Serko stakeholders to identify the roles required, get the business case approved to appoint and then worked alongside the new team using its enablement framework to quickly bring the new team up to speed with X is Y’s proven AgileBI delivery methodology.

The Benefits

As a result of Serko’s engagement with X is Y, the business:

  • No longer has confusion caused by conflicting reports and metrics.

  • Can rely on user-centred data visualisation products to get right to the heart of what they need to know, where and when they need to know it. 

  • Can feel assured that they will continue to gain more and more clarity of the performance of their business.

As a result of Serko’s engagement with X is Y, the data team:

  • Can continue to improve and grow their capability from a solid base and focus almost all their time on delivering value to the business.

  • Can rely on a world-class platform to meet their needs and the needs of the business and the best price point possible.

  • Can work towards becoming a strategic and valuable asset to Serko.

Client Quotes

“I’m both pleased and proud about where we got to, and wanted to say a big thank you. We couldn't have delivered for ourselves and our partners without you” - Duanne O’Brien; CTO

“I now have the visibility and the clarity to know what I’m looking at” - Shane Sampson; CFO

"I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude for the exceptional collaboration and teamwork we've experienced with you. Over the last year, working together to create metrics has been a truly rewarding journey" - Vinty Huang; Engineering Manager

"I am so grateful I got to work with you all and to say I have learnt a lot - would be an understatement.  Your patience with my many questions/requests was truly remarkable and has made our journey one I will remember fondly.  I am so proud of what we have achieved and it is such a credit to you all." - Tracey Shorter; Senior Data Analyst

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