MySQL databases, homegrown applications, spreadsheets
Home Partners of America is one of the fastest growing rent-to-own companies, operating in 30 metropolitan areas across 12 states, including California, Florida, and Texas. With their Lease with a Right to Purchase program, Home Partners provides a flexible solution for individuals and families looking to buy homes.
Analytics Plus is a simple, user-friendly, and flexible BI solution that helped us increase our productivity by 30 percent.
Home Partners of America has a diverse departmental setup with many stakeholders who need to access live data, statistics, insights, and reports to run everyday operations as well as make strategic decisions. Their operations, marketing, finance, sales, applications, legal, and data teams all need to access business-critical data from multiple applications around-the-clock, and from multiple geographies. For instance, the finance team needs data to analyze spending patterns and maintenance costs, as well as calculate taxes, revenue, and profits from all local offices. Likewise, the sales team needs data to track individual finances and prospects' credit scores.
Leo Escobar, database administrator for Home Partners of America, explains, "Basically there are two parties interested in data. First, we have process teams, closing teams, and application teams that need to work with live data for process-level reporting. Then we have the 'data teams' that need to look at the history and patterns of data, for strategic reporting such as exploring new marketing avenues, analyzing where to buy new houses below market rates, and estimating costs to get the houses rent-ready."
The challenge was that all of this data was scattered in multiple SQL databases. Home Partners even had a home-grown application called "Operation Platform" to store operations data. So if a user wanted to run a report, they had to manually compile data from SQL servers into spreadsheets, create reports using Excel, and finally share the reports via email.
Leo quips, "With a manual reporting system, there was a lot of scope for errors. Data was wrongly entered or put in the wrong location, and as a result, different people using the same data to create the same reports would come up with different results."
Home Partners wanted a business intelligence solution that could give them the freedom to pull in data from MySQL databases, Excel spreadsheets, and a few other applications like Google Analytics and GoToMeeting. On top of all that, they needed a tool that could store all this information in a single data repository so users could log in and create error-free reports on their own. After evaluating a few potential solutions, they decided on ManageEngine's Analytics Plus. "We were looking at a couple of BI solutions like Domo, Microsoft BI, Information Builders," mentions Leo. "And the reason why Analytics Plus came on top is that it is really easy-to-use, and customizable."
With Analytics Plus, Home Partners was able to set up streamlined, single-point access to collect data, run reports, and share insights with stakeholders across the organization.
Analytics Plus helped Leo and his database team streamline data collection from different applications, and maintain a single repository that users can access at any time. Plus, they were able to schedule data imports at regular intervals so that their teams had access to the latest data.
Analytics Plus made it possible for the Home Partners team to generate and share reports faster, eliminating the possibility of human error.
Analytics Plus' KPI reporting feature helped the team review their application process and identify areas where customers spent the most time. Using this information, they were able to modify their application structure and speed up both the customer sign-up process and their internal team's application review tasks.
On top of streamlining customer enrollment, Analytics Plus also helped Home Partners manage their day-to-day operations and track the status of various tasks.
"Before using Analytics Plus, all the reports were done in spreadsheets. Users would have to go through the whole process create queries, manually pull the data out of a SQL database, export it to Excel, and then use pivots and charts in Excel to create reports. But with Analytics Plus, all our data was organized and streamlined, and over 100 of our users can now generate their own reports in no time, error-free," said Escobar.
"Now we can easily track the number of tasks completed in real time as well as the number of approved applications, and also determine an increase or decrease in our application numbers. In fact, we were able to scale our processes by 30 percent," adds Leo.
When asked about support from the Analytics Plus team, Leo replies, "I like the customer support. I get a response as soon as possible." He adds, "I'm in IT as well, so I understand how important it is to give a timely response and I appreciate the support from the Analytics Plus team."
Analytics Plus is a business intelligence tool that lets you visualize your data as colorful charts, reports, and dashboards. Source data from multiple databases (local and cloud), spreadsheets, and HTML content from websites; run reports instantly; and securely share your findings with your team to reach consensus about major decisions and everyday operations. Featuring a simple drag-and-drop report builder, Analytics Plus is user-friendly and aims to cut down the hassle involved in analyzing organizational data.