QuoteWizard Goes from Homegrown to Modern, Launching an Azure-Based Data Warehouse

  • QuoteWizard featured image
    February 13, 2019

    QuoteWizard Goes from Homegrown to Modern, Launching an Azure-Based Data Warehouse

    QuoteWizard logo

    Project Overview

    • Products and Services: Advanced Analytics

    • Technologies: Azure Data Factory | Azure SQL Data Warehouse | Azure Data Lake Storage | Power BI

    • Industry: Insurance

    • Organization Size: Large

    • Headquarters: United Sates, Washington

    Now capable of updating more than 4 billion rows of data, refreshing every 15 minutes, QuoteWizard uses near real-time analytics to better connect consumers to the most affordable insurance plans.

    Building a successful business requires up-to-date, accurate, and complete data. Data makes the biggest impact to businesses when it’s readily assessible and comprehensible. QuoteWizard’s insurance comparison shopping and research tool enables consumers to compare agent and carrier quotes—and depends on robust and reliable data. So, when its SQL servers in a colocation (colo) rack space started to atrophy and its homespun reporting solution was tipping over daily, QuoteWizard knew a new enterprise data warehouse (EDW) would be essential to business growth and innovation.

    “We recognized that we couldn’t fix our old business solution,” says Brad Smith, vice president of technology at QuoteWizard. “The system just wasn’t built to scale.”

    Preexisting solution not up to scale

    Developed when QuoteWizard sold only one product, the preexisting solution didn’t have the capability or scalability to support QuoteWizard’s now diverse line of products. That said, QuoteWizard’s business greatly depended on the old solution, so support for launching a new Azure-based system was hard to come by.

    “Our SQL servers in the colo space had become a single source of truth even though the data was incomplete and wrong,” says Smith.  “So, there wasn’t a lot of support for a new solution—people just wanted the old system to work and work faster.”

    “But there was so much business logic in the preexisting platform that nobody on our team could go in and create a report without breaking something—we had to figure out a better solution.”

    Modernizing with Azure-based technologies

    Brokered through Microsoft, QuoteWizard worked with the Attunix team to scope out a more effective EDW. Utilizing a Microsoft technology stack, Attunix completed QuoteWizard’s migration to an Azure SQL Data Warehouse—incorporating Azure Data Lakes, Azure Data Factory, and Power BI into a Platform as a Service (PaaS) solution.

    “The amount of data running in the new EDW is significant,” says Attunix’s Enterprise Architect of BI and Advance Analytics, Renju Mathew. “There are more than 4 billion records of data in the new solution, and we’re able to update and load this data every fifteen minutes—it’s pretty incredible.

    Deploying an EDW of this magnitude is quite complex and requires a deep knowledge of Microsoft technologies and DevOps. “It required a ton of work on behalf of both teams (Attunix and QuoteWizard) to figure out what data we had, clean it up, normalize it, and put into a Star Schema, so that we could slice the data the way we want to,” says QuoteWizard’s Brad Smith.

    At present, the Attunix team loads the past twenty days of data overnight, and any changes to the data are updated and loaded every 15 minutes. “The frequency—how fast you can load and read the data—is important,” says Attunix’s Renju Mathew. “This new solution has higher dynamic ability, allowing QuoteWizard to run its business much more swiftly.”

    Leveling up with Power BI reporting

    “Everyone wants real-time data,” says Brad Smith of QuoteWizard. “Our new system is fast, leveraging more data than ever before, allowing us to create more accurate charts and be more visually appealing.”

    Attunix deployed Power BI as QuoteWizard’s analytics tool, building a series of customized reports as well as giving the QuoteWizard staff the ability to build their own reports and publish them.

    “We’ve built new executive reports to match our old reports, and now we’re building tailored reports for individuals and individual groups,” says Smith. “Power BI has made it way simpler to create our reports. The Attunix team did Power BI training for our staff so now they can easily go in and create their own reports.” 

    Innovating with brilliant and trusted expertise

    From data migration to visualization, the completed EDW and modernized reporting tool brings QuoteWizard all the way through the Microsoft technology stack. This solution gives QuoteWizard the agility it needs to make bigger impacts to its market.

    “The Attunix team is brilliant,” says Smith, “they never dropped the ball and always delivered what was promised. All of the technical resources were beyond our expectations. 

    “Our senior leadership and partners are super comfortable continuing to engage with Attunix. We rely heavily on the Attunix team to keep us running, and we plan on doing more with the team. We’re happy with the results of this project. We’re happy with the Attunix team, and we have no reservations about recommending Attunix at all.”

    Want to know more? 

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