“An Interview with The Caravan Club”


“An Interview with The Caravan Club”

by Victoria Ponsford


Established in 1907, the Caravan Club was founded by ten men and one woman and is one of the few organisations that has maintained its same titles and goals since it first opened its doors. Now, over a hundred years later, the Caravan Club is the largest caravanning organisation in Europe.  With over 3,000 sites, accommodating 200,000 people every single day, it provides over 20 million bed nights per annum; more than any other major hotel chain.

When thinking about data, you can imagine 108 years building up to quite a significant amount. The Club was having difficulties uncovering the true potential of this data and, realising there had been significant developments in Business Analytics tooling, they found Tableau and wanted to gain business benefits by leveraging the software.

We recently met with John Quinlan, Business Analytics Manager, from the Caravan Club to find out how they’ve found Tableau:

Hi John, would you mind telling us, what was your Business Problem or what were you trying to solve?

Sure! Essentially, the Club had an ageing SAP BW Installation, which had a limited scope of data in it. This wasn’t the easiest to develop in, and was costly to maintain. We also realised there had been significant developments in Business Analytics tooling and wanted to gain business benefit by leveraging these.

Was there a driving factor in looking for a solution? 

The key driving factor in looking for another solution was that the Club wanted to migrate to a Business-led self-service BI organisational model. The existing SAP BW platform was complex and costly to maintain and only IS staff could perform report development. There were no real graphical capabilities; everything was exported to Excel and performed there.

Why did you end up choosing InterWorks?

InterWorks were the largest Tableau European Systems Integrator that we could find. There was a Vendor selection process evaluating systems integrators and products and InterWorks produced by far the best presentation and capabilities display.

What was the InterWorks Solution?

The Interworks options presented were discussed as to the best route for the Club. Initially it was decided to start with a “per user” approach to the licensing. This gave us the flexibility within the Club to roll out in a phased approach.

How was the solution implemented?

The solution implemented was led by a contracted project manager on behalf of the Club. They worked with our internal staff, InterWorks and the PM to refine the final architecture design and then implement it. InterWorks’ experience in key areas such as installation of Tableau Server and initial report development, along with technical training was a significant benefit and one of the main reasons we chose them.

What were the results?

The results have delivered a trusted, stable solution with trained users and IS team members supporting where needed. The system is well liked and we have had to purchase more user licenses as the popularity continues to grow. New insights have been derived and many processes that took hours or days now can be performed in a matter of a few clicks.

What were some of the key benefits the solutions provided?

The benefits of having a system which is now a trusted single source of truth across the business has reduced the amount of reconciliation and disagreement between departments as to what the correct figures are, insights into behaviour from data spanning several sources is now possible and all this can be done by users and power users in the organisation resulting in a significantly lighter load on the IS resources and removing that bottleneck.

What’s next for the Caravan Club?

The Club are now looking at further expansion of data and deeper integration with their Digital Engagement Platform to help drive decisions on campaign management and produce an all-inclusive single view of the customer.

We’re hoping the Caravan Club will continue to benefit from the many benefits Tableau brings and we’ll always be on hand to help, whenever needed. If you’re having problems unlocking the true potential of your data, or simply want to understand a little more about Tableau, and how it could help you, feel free to email the team at hello@interworks.eu, or fill in the comment box below:

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Victoria Ponsford

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