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Parkdean Resorts: Rich insights to improve customer service

Looking for fresh insights to drive continual improvement in customer service, Parkdean Resorts sought a partner that would help it implement a powerful new cloud-based business intelligence platform.

Parkdean Resorts is an award-winning provider of holiday parks throughout the UK, offering a wide range of family facilities and entertainment. Customers can take short breaks and holidays, or invest in holiday home ownership. Parkdean Resorts owns and operates 67 holiday parks across England, Scotland and Wales as the UK’s largest holiday park operator.

A cloud exemplar for wider adoption

In the first stage of the engagement, we carried out a technical assessment of the client’s two shortlisted solutions, and our recommendation was a data warehouse product hosted in Azure. This was well aligned with the client’s existing technology strategy to migrate to the cloud and increase adoption of Software as a Service. The data warehouse project offered the perfect opportunity to continue the client’s cloud journey, and we were able to collaborate closely with the client team in establishing the infrastructure and fostering best practices.

Working with the Parkdean Resorts team, we built a fully automated cloud infrastructure, implementing Infrastructure as Code processes which enable the rapid provisioning of new environments at the touch of a button. In so doing, we laid the groundwork for DevOps ways of working which the client team can cultivate and mature over time. We also established an exemplar target operating model for information security in the cloud which will be adopted as the client’s cloud migration advances.

Uninterrupted by COVID

We were on-site regularly with the client team in the early stages of the project, which was very beneficial; however, Scott Logic’s tried-and-tested remote working model was soon of equal importance: the COVID-19 Lockdown was initiated halfway through delivery. Communication and ways of working within the integrated team were unaffected by the changed circumstances. Sprint ceremonies continued to give structure to delivery, while team chat and video conferencing allowed uninterrupted collaboration and knowledge sharing. Our team provided regular demos via video call of the new working practices, and video conferencing and screen sharing facilitated continued peer-to-peer upskilling.

Incremental value from a hybrid solution

With the cloud infrastructure in place, we progressed the implementation of the data warehouse and insight tools. The product choices from our recommendation supported a hybrid solution: part data lake, part data warehouse. In contrast to data warehouses, the data that is loaded into a data lake has not yet been transformed for any specific purpose. Consequently, data can be pooled without time-consuming, up-front data architecture design. The data in the lake can still be transformed at a later point, but the raw data is meanwhile conveniently pooled for analysis. In this way, we supported Parkdean Resorts in uploading its first structured datasource into the data warehouse, while also providing additional flexibility and opportunities to drive incremental, long-term value from the data lake.

A key objective for Parkdean Resorts was to enhance its in-house capability around cloud and data warehousing. So, while we were selected for our excellence in cloud and data engineering, it was an added advantage that we, like the client, were headquartered in Newcastle. We were on-site regularly before lockdown, working as an integrated team. With swift and sufficient up-front planning, we rapidly moved into the next phase, taking an adaptive delivery approach. The infrastructure and data warehouse were delivered within tight timescales – thirteen weeks divided into sprints, each sprint with a clear goal.

Delivered by Scott Logic

  • Technical assessment and validation of shortlisted data warehouse solution
  • Implementation of Azure cloud infrastructure, incorporating Infrastructure as Code processes and a target operating model for Information Security
  • Setup and configuration of a hybrid business intelligence platform, from which the client can derive rich business insights from both transformed and untransformed data
  • Knowledge transfer to Operations and Data Insights teams through team and peer-to-peer upskilling and collaboration
James Gardner
The Scott Logic team provided technical leadership and delivery support at a business-critical time for us. They integrated well into the business, working as ‘one team’. Based on the trust they had developed and their style of engagement we had constructive, candid conversations which went both ways; this being the hallmark of a true partner.

James Gardner, Director – Data, Analytics & Insight