ECMC Group Transforms AWS-Integrated Data Lake Analytics with Amazon QuickSight
ECMC Group is a nonprofit corporation providing financial tools and services, nonprofit career education, and funding for innovative programs that help students achieve their academic and professional goals. Faced with outdated legacy systems and time-consuming manual processes, ECMC Group needed to integrate disparate data sources to better serve customers. Building on its relationship with Amazon Web Services (AWS), ECMC Group selected AWS Advanced Partner Charter Solutions to build a modern data lake architecture that uses Amazon QuickSight to power unified business intelligence. The new solution streamlines data management, delivers user-friendly reporting capabilities, and positions the company for future success.
The Collateral Damage of Siloed Data
ECMC Group’s affiliate Educational Credit Management Corporation (ECMC) supports the administration of the U.S. Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP) as a nonprofit student loan guaranty agency.
ECMC collects, stores, and analyzes various datapoints throughout the entire lifespan of a loan for millions of borrowers. Prior to building the data lake environment, data was stored in separate systems, making analysis uneconomical and inefficient, wasting time and money—time because the company used manual processes for matching data; money because the system relied on more expensive legacy technology and multiple outsourced tools.
Additionally, ECMC supports other external loan guaranty agencies that use its technology platforms to support their own business operations. Such collaborations require ECMC to preserve the segregation of data between external client networks and its own internal network, which was challenging to do with ECMC’s legacy systems.
“We’re able to more effectively focus on our customers’ needs than before. I see that as evidence of the success of our data lake environment.”
Chief Information Officer, ECMC Group
Centralizing Data Management with a Thought Leader
As an AWS customer since 2019, ECMC looked to AWS Partners for help in architecting a solution that would address its multifactor data management challenges. The company chose AWS Partner Charter Solutions to build and implement a data lake, a centralized repository for structured and unstructured data storage. “Charter Solutions is a thought leader in this space, and their experience working with AWS tools made them the right partner for us,” said Rahoul Ghose, chief information officer at ECMC Group.
Leveraging Amazon QuickSight for Customizable Business Intelligence Dashboards
Amazon QuickSight is a cloud-scale business intelligence (BI) service that provides insightful and contextualized analytics through visualizations and interactive dashboards. ECMC is leveraging the diverse capabilities of Amazon QuickSight for internal BI, reporting, and analytics. The company is also extending the use of Amazon QuickSight to a key external customer by embedding it as part of its solution. With Amazon QuickSight, customers can view, interpret, and better engage with their data using customizable visualizations and dashboards while keeping ECMC’s internal data secure. “Amazon QuickSight is easy to use, even for those without training in BI or data analytics,” asserted Ghose. “We’ve used Amazon QuickSight to understand the efficacy of our education programs, specifically the dispersion of student grades and instructor effectiveness across cohorts, course offerings, and campuses. That has been very helpful to us,” Ghose goes on to share.
Having a robust, integrated, and scalable environment is critical for businesses like ours; that’s what working with Charter Solutions and AWS has given us.”
Chief Information Officer, ECMC Group
Streamlined Processes and End-User Focus Improves Data Score
Thanks to the data lake architecture, ECMC Group’s once manually heavy and time-consuming processes have been streamlined. “Today our data is handled systematically and programmatically, with daily quality checks,” said Ghose. “We’ve seen significant improvement.”
ECMC Group has also made strides toward better understanding its data, which in turn helps it build reports and dashboards that bring more value to end users. “We’re able to more effectively focus on our customers’ needs than before,” said Ghose. “I see that as evidence of the success of our data lake environment.”
Balancing Access with Control
While the data lake permits ECMC Group to transport data from multiple sources to a centralized location for analytics, it also allows the company to segregate and control access to that data. External customers can access the data they need without compromising ECMC’s internal network, enabled by an integrated, easy-to-use toolset. As Ghose lauded, “AWS brings to bear a toolset that is naturally integrated so that we can quickly architect solutions to complex tech problems like ours.”
Going forward, ECMC Group is looking to further improve data management with new capabilities like data catalogs and data dictionaries. The company plans to continue its partnership with AWS and anticipates Charter Solutions will play a role in further developing automated data ingestion, curation, and data cleansing processes, particularly for non-traditional data sources, such as unstructured, publicly available external data. “Having a robust, integrated, and scalable environment is critical for businesses like ours that are continually adapting to the market,” concluded Ghose. “That’s what working with Charter Solutions and AWS has given us.”
About ECMC Group
ECMC Group is a nonprofit corporation focused on helping students succeed by providing financial tools and services, nonprofit career education, and funding for innovative programs.
AWS Services Used
- Unified business intelligence
- User-friendly reporting capabilities
- Streamlined data management
About the AWS Partner Charter Solutions
Charter Solutions is a business and technology consulting firm whose team of data experts help organizations change and innovate quickly by accelerating how they aggregate and use data. With broad and deep expertise, Charter Solutions delivers agile and innovative solutions to improve how our clients engage with the market and their customers. Its services encompass the whole life cycle from concept to execution, delivering near-term value while also planning for long term evolution.
Published March 2023