Leveraging Looker for a Lifesaving Mission

Be The Match® partnered with us to help guide and implement their Business Intelligence modernization initiative to make meaningful decisions from their data to fulfill their lifesaving mission.

The Challenge

Be The Match® is a nonprofit organization that’s dedicated to saving lives through cellular therapy. As trusted leaders in advancing treatments for those facing life-threatening blood cancers, diseases, and disorders, Be The Match connects volunteer donors with patients in need to facilitate transplants. Be The Match delivers ground-breaking research, innovative technologies, patient support, and education that save lives.

Effectively being able to leverage data to make meaningful decisions is vital to their lifesaving mission – the ability to match patients to donors, examine barriers to transplant, analyze operational processes, and evaluate clinical trial performance are a few examples.  However, Be The Match faced issues common to a lot of enterprises that have experienced rapid growth. Their data and analytics initiatives suffered from siloed datasets, disjointed insights, and a slow moving and bottlenecked reporting process. Their legacy systems had grown overly customized and rigid; data inconsistencies caused confusion across different departments; and ultimately, it was too time-consuming for any individual—from frontline workers to the executive suite—to use their data in day-to-day decision making.

Be The Match needed to modernize their technology stack and create a more data-driven culture, giving various lines of business across the enterprise faster time to insight, a more holistic view of their business, and comprehensive self-serve data access.

The Solution

Be The Match partnered with DAS42 to help guide and implement their Business Intelligence (BI) modernization initiative. Together we created simpler, scalable, and significantly less resource-intensive processes.

Our team partnered with Be the Match to deprecate over 2,000 legacy reports; brought multiple new enterprise data sources – including CRM and custom applications – into a data lake; built dimensional models in a centralized data warehouse; and created a single source of truth with the power of Looker. We built scripts to automate quality assurance processes, designed intuitive Explores, and developed dashboards that are both eye-catching and insightful for business end-users.

Our work for Be The Match was guided by three strategic objectives:

1) Reimagine their legacy BI reporting

2) Deliver robust self-service reporting

3) Advance the use of data within their verticals 

Reimagining legacy BI reporting involved shifting from the old, outdated legacy BI platform to a new, modern BI platform powered by Looker. The new platform delivers a robust and flexible backend – enabling efficiencies and increased speed to insight. It also improves Be The Match’s ability to connect enterprise datasets to create more holistic insights, provides improved visualizations for more comprehension/readability, enables more frequent data load and refresh times, and Improves system performance (e.g. page/report load times).

Delivering robust self-service reporting involved developing an enhanced capability for users to self-serve with BI capabilities. Self-service empowers business users to more quickly get the insights they need, increases transparency and awareness around organizational metrics, and enables personalization for the user to get only what is needed.

In addition, the new modern self-service platform has notably reduced the reliance Data & Analytics team members to provide standard reporting – creating more capacity for team members to focus on deeper, more value-add insights and analytics.

Advancing the use of data within their organization’s verticals involved building a new platform to leverage data and insights to propel the business forward, which increases usage and competency around data to drive performance for business groups. The result is a more data-driven culture, with people across the organization able to understand which levers to move to take appropriate action and positively impact their businesses.

How Did It Turn Out?

The new platform helped significantly improve the ease of maintenance, flexibility, and self-service capability of Be The Match’s data processes. To ensure the success of the initiative, we provided training, resources, and communications—both specific to the technology team and to end-users throughout the entire organization.

We worked with Be The Match to expand data governance processes, including improved security practices (especially important for an organization that needs to share data but also protect the privacy of medical information), formalized code development guidelines to support centralized KPI definitions, and collaborated on a dashboard certification process that reinforces the reliability of the data. New training and onboarding processes included self-serve modules and videos for quick reference on Looker ‘how to’s,” a Data Ambassador program, office hours, and “train the trainer” sessions.

Our work has aided Be the Match in their efforts to democratize data across the organization and enhance a data-driven culture – with a strong analytics foundation built, Be The Match is well-positioned to continue their data journey.  To date, usage of their BI self-service platform has more than tripled. 

“The deployment and adoption of our modern analytics platform has transformed the way our stakeholders utilize and interact with data to advance the performance of our business. These enhanced capabilities and processes deliver relevant and timely insights equipping our teams to activate on informed decisions. In addition, we are experiencing significant improvements in our Business Intelligence delivery model, including providing new capabilities and features at increased speeds. It’s been incredible to witness how this project is enabling Be The Match’s life-saving mission.”

Senior Director Data & Business Analytics at Be The Match
Tracy Smith

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