iostudio delivers key metrics to public sector recruiters with Amazon QuickSight
This is a guest post by Jon Walker and Ari Orlinsky from iostudio written in collaboration with Sumitha AP from AWS.
iostudio is an award-winning marketing agency based in Nashville, TN. We build solutions that bring brands to life, making content and platforms work together. We serve our customers, who range from small technology startups to government agencies, as a social media strategy partner with in-house video production capabilities, a creative resource that provides data-driven insights about a campaign’s performance, a content marketing machine with connections across the United States, and a sophisticated customer engagement partner.
We wanted to include interactive, real-time visualizations to support recruiters from one of our government clients. Our previous solution offered visualization of key metrics, but point-in-time snapshots produced only in PDF format. We chose Amazon QuickSight because it gave us dynamic and interactive dashboards embedded in our application, while saving us money and development time.
In this post, we discuss how we built a solution using QuickSight that delivers real-time visibility of key metrics to public sector recruiters.
Modernized analytics and reporting
At iostudio, we faced the challenge of modernizing our government client’s static recruitment marketing analytics solution. Given the limitations of the static PDF charts used for its recruitment marketing data, we recognized the opportunity to introduce real-time interactive dashboards to improve insights needed to drive recruitment marketing initiatives. With the solution we built using QuickSight, recruiters are given access to rich visualizations on interactive dashboards in real time, eliminating uncertainty about whether the information they are looking at is accurate.
We created a QuickSight dashboard as a proof of concept, and it surpassed our expectations because of its advanced visualizations. We embedded QuickSight dashboards into our web application, making it seamless for recruiters to log in and get the insights they need. Because we used QuickSight anonymous embedding APIs, we were able to do this without registering and managing all our users in QuickSight. After this initial proof of concept, we gained confidence in our solution quickly, and we were able to build and launch our solution to production within 4–6 weeks. As a result, we reduced our development time by 60%, allowing us to bring this embedded analytics solution to our government client faster. We also saved 75% on our annual external software costs. Switching to QuickSight has enabled us to better serve our customers.
Taking care of sensitive data
iostudio operates in the AWS GovCloud environment because many of our customers are government agencies. This makes protecting customer data even more important. When building our solution for recruiters, we needed to ensure that recruiters can only see data related to the marketing campaigns that are assigned to them. We used row-level security with tag-based rules in QuickSight to restrict data on a per-user basis.
Integrating with AWS
With the AWS technology stack, we were able to create a custom-fit solution using a regionally diverse, service-oriented model to improve our time to deliver interactive reporting to our customers while also trimming costs. With AWS, we aren’t forced to pay for a bundle with services that we don’t use. We can pick what we need, and use what we need with pay-as-you-go pricing.
Our client had previously been using a data integration tool called Pentaho to get data from different sources into one place, which wasn’t an optimal solution. The following diagram illustrates our updated solution architecture using AWS services.
The custom-fit solution that we built uses AWS Lambda to extract data from three key data sources: a referral marketing tool, Google analytics data, and call center operations data. The data lands in an Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) bucket, and from there AWS Glue jobs are used to transform the data and load it into another S3 bucket. QuickSight is connected to this data using Amazon Athena, helping us create real-time and interactive dashboards. This end-to-end extract, transform, and load (ETL) process is run with the help of AWS Step Functions, giving us the ability to orchestrate and monitor all the steps of the ETL process seamlessly.
By switching to QuickSight, we were able to provide our client’s recruiters with key metrics in real time, while reducing our development time and cutting costs significantly. Because the components in the architecture are reusable and interoperable, we were able to extend this solution to even more of our customers.
To learn more about how you can embed customized data visuals and interactive dashboards into any application, visit Amazon QuickSight Embedded.
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About the Authors
Jon Walker, Senior Director of Engineering, is a native Nashvillian who has been in the technology field for over 19 years. He oversees enterprise-wide system engineering, development, and technology programs for large federal and DoD clients, as well as iostudio’s commercial clients.
Ari Orlinsky, Director of Information Services, leads iostudio’s Information Systems Department, responsible for AWS Cloud, SaaS applications, on-premises technology, risk assessment, compliance, budgeting, and human resource management. With nearly 20 years’ experience in strategic IS and technology operations, Ari has developed a keen enthusiasm for emerging technologies, DOD security and compliance, large format interactive experiences, and customer service communication technologies. As iostudio’s Technical Product Owner across internal and client-facing applications including a cloud-based omni-channel contact center platform, he advocates for secure deployment of applicable technologies to the cloud while ensuring resilient on-premises data center solutions.
Sumitha AP is a Sr. Solutions Architect at AWS. Sumitha works with SMB customers to help them design secure, scalable, reliable, and cost-effective solutions in the AWS Cloud. She has a focus on data and analytics and provides guidance on building analytics solutions on AWS.