How we turn data into insights with partner GoDataDriven

How we turn data into insights with partner GoDataDriven

One of the primary goals at Clay Solutions – A SALTO Group Company is to meet our customers’ continuously changing needs through our cloud-based access control solution, SALTO Keys as a Service (SALTO KS). Every day, we provide 40 million people with secured yet keyless access to offices, schools, commercial buildings, (holiday) homes, and other units worldwide. With over 28 subsidiaries worldwide, we are fortunate to have a global presence, supported by an extensive international sales, installation, and support network.

For these reasons, it was important for us to find a way to convert the enormous amount of data produced into actionable insights and well-founded predictions to meet the level of our impact and reach.

As a result, we defined the following mission together with GoDataDriven, an organization that empowers enterprises to turn technological disruption into growth by becoming data-driven, leading with smarter products, clever services, and intelligent processes.

The challenge

Transform the massive amount of data produced but not used into actionable insights in no time.

The solution

Consolidate data and make it readily available for all stakeholders.

The outcome

An accessible data platform to improve predictive maintenance, support incident analyses, increase customer satisfaction and reduce costs through data-driven decision-making.

About SALTO KS

Clay is the company behind SALTO KS: an entirely cloud-based access control platform. Its hardware components, manufactured by our parent company SALTO Systems, are all wireless, which means installation does not require cables or wiring. By combining this hardware with an annual subscription to the SALTO KS platform, innovative features guarantee business users maximum stability, security, and availability. For instance, a coworking space can automate access management, analyze data, and gain valuable insights regarding member behaviour, such as when most members arrive or leave or when it’s rush hour. Up until now, SALTO KS was more focused on small and medium-sized companies. However, by adding new products and innovative features, we aim to increase the number of large customers we provide solutions for.

Using data for continuous innovation

At Clay Solutions, we recognized the need to use the data produced by our platform to reduce costs, improve customer satisfaction and remain a market leader.

More specifically, we decided to use the data mainly for:

  1. Predictive maintenance
  2. To understand which features are popular, which are not, and why
  3. To inform SALTO KS’ installers of malfunctions proactively

“Extracting information will allow us to predict our customers’ needs more accurately, develop a predictive support platform, and evaluate the direction in which to take our product in the future, especially when our focus lies on enterprise companies” Michele Spighi, Technical Project Manager at Clay Solutions.

Taking a deep dive into data together

Knowing the direction in which we could use assistance, our team issued a Request for Proposal with GoDataDriven, and that’s how the partnership started. A more concrete question (‘New site installation anomaly detection’) was formulated from the initial request to do more with data. GoDataDriven analyzed data and tested definitions before presenting the outcome to stakeholders.

“After Clay Solutions approved of our definition of an anomaly, we built a job that ran every night to determine which locks experienced an outage or other issue the day before. This generated a report which we stored in their database” Robert Rodger, Data Scientist at GoDataDriven

GoDataDriven built a data platform (including Databricks and Azure components), which we connected to Clay’s existing real-time event stream and customer database. We explored the data and proposed a definition of an anomaly. Once approved by Clay, GDD built a nightly job to process the event data and determine which locks had suffered an issue the day before, generate a report, and store it back to their database.

Collecting and storing data correctly

Our set-up consisted of a database for information storage and report generation and a separate event message stream, which wasn’t accessible for ad hoc analytical queries.

The database only saved information for seven days, making long-term correlations impossible to generate and requiring us to know which questions it was interested in before storing it. Simply put, if our team needed any insight, the options would be limited, and a request would take days to process. Robert explains how we solved this challenge: GoDataDriven saved all events (more than seven days) to the data platform, allowing for cost-efficient querying of historical data. We enabled Clay Solutions to use existing reports for future insights by dynamically changing the time window and the statistics. Being able to retrieve the information needed from the systems and access and use data enables Clay Solutions to improve customer satisfaction and innovate services.

“By integrating the data pipeline (information from the locks or keys) and data-platform with Clay’s existing monitoring and alerting toolset, employees have already been able to resolve issues quickly.” Alexander Bij, Big Data Specialist at GoDataDriven

Working together

GoDataDriven and Clay Solutions use the Scrum methodology to ensure a speedy and high-quality process. “We are pleased to have partnered with GoDataDriven. How they managed the project and structured the Scrum process was impressive. We certainly learned a lot from them,” says Clay’s Technical project Manager Michele.

Results

Today, the generic and very scalable data platform built by GoDataDriven ingests and registers new events from SALTO KS every fifteen minutes, accumulates them locally, and makes them available for short and long-term future reference. With this new platform, GoDataDriven has reduced the time from queries to answers from days to seconds. Replacing the previous uptime model (‘always on’) with a usage model (every fifteen minutes) enables Clay Solutions to save costs while still meeting the needs of its users. Additionally, replacing a third-party solution with a custom-made platform also lowers costs.

The new platform helps us offer better customer service by providing insights, generating alerts, and enabling data-driven decision-making and innovation. For example, some old locks occasionally got stuck. The latest data platform generates a list of high-failure locks, which the technical support team uses to replace or repair faulty products. This update has dramatically increased customer satisfaction.

Our team at Clay Solutions has tested the platform extensively. It is now ready to detect anomalies, create reports, monitor (mal)function, troubleshoot, and inform installers. We are also determining which additional roles we need in the team, including a Product Owner and Data Scientist. The next step is to hire these experts and start collecting requests to improve and innovate our services.

Michele concludes “Our customers are, in general, technologically advanced companies that recognize the advantages of having a cloud platform. They understand it doesn’t compromise security but, on the contrary, increases it and allows a solution to be accessible everywhere without complex and expensive on-premises infrastructures.”

“Our goal was to enable Clay Solutions to use the enormous amount of data that was produced but not processed.” Robert Rodger, Data Scientist at GoDataDriven

Pushing the boundaries of the cloud: Club Cloud Conference 2021

We couldn’t be more excited to attend GoDataDriven’s The Club Cloud Conference 2021 from November 1st-5th 2021, an in-person conference to learn about the latest in cloud technology.

This conference serves a delightful cocktail of in-depth tech topics for cloud-native engineers and insights that empower business leaders to increase the speed of innovation.

Our Managing Director, Bart Klaver, will be representing Clay Solutions – A SALTO Group Company, speaking at the conference on November 4th at 10:45 am.

In this session, Bart will share how Clay Solutions leverages the data produced by our platform to reduce costs, improve customer satisfaction and remain a market leader. In addition, he will discuss several applications, including predictive maintenance, developing insight into the use of our platform, and pro-actively informing SALTO KS’ installers of malfunctions.

Register here to attend Bart’s session and join leading specialists in cloud technology at Club Cloud 2021. We hope to see you there!


Clay Solutions is the company that build the cloud-based access control solution SALTO KS, offered by mother company Salto Systems. Clay’s specialists (aka Bricks) are constantly discovering innovative access management solutions. As we release new features, our API expands so you can offer more features and convenience to your customers. On my-clay.com we give you a sneak peek and show you what goes on behind the scenes of a software company. Get to know the Bricks, read what the team is working on, what technologies we use, how we nourish our company culture and last but certainly not least: how to #becomeabrick

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