Life.Church, one of the largest churches in the country, needed a better way to analyze their jaw-dropping amounts of data. Why does a church have so much data? Because Life.Church utilizes technology as a key way to deliver their message. This entails the delivery of massive amounts of media over web platforms, mobile apps and other interactive technology systems.
After seeing the power and simplicity of Tableau, they decided that it was just the answer they were looking for. They initially wanted to use Tableau to provide better analytics around donations and giving. From there, the Life.Church Operations Team would visualize some of the data out of their Church Management System. To do this, they needed someone to both provide the software and set them up to analyze their data. What they needed was a total Tableau and data services partner.
To assist them with their Tableau needs, Life.Church turned to InterWorks. InterWorks started Life.Church off with the initial Tableau licenses required to support their Operations Team. In addition to the licenses, they provided any ad-hoc consulting and training necessary in order to give them a solid foundation with the software. What started out as a fairly basic consulting gig soon evolved into something much bigger.
After seeing how easily Tableau and InterWorks transformed giving data into actionable insight, several other teams within Life.Church were anxious to give Tableau a try. The LifeKids.tv ministry jumped into Tableau next to create dashboards for some of their needs. One of the most well-known groups at Life.Church, the Digerati Team, also began visualizing download and usage data of their widely popular mobile app, the YouVersion Bible App. With over 150 million downloads of the app worldwide, the sheer volume of data within this group was staggering.
Tableau usage was rapidly catching on in nearly every group within Life.Church. As leaders started seeing more and more quality dashboards presented by the various groups throughout the church, they decided that it was time to go “all in” with Tableau and moved up to a core license. Again, they turned to InterWorks.
By purchasing a core license, Finance was able to begin using Tableau for their financial reporting needs. Before a monthly financial planning meeting, they asked InterWorks to show them what Tableau could do. They gave InterWorks Business Intelligence Consultant, Ben Bausili, a CSV file and 30 minutes to create something, thinking not much could be accomplished in that timeframe.
When it came time for Bausili to show them what he had created, they were awestruck. Bausili’s 30-minute dashboard recreated their static, custom-built app which took months to develop. Through the power of Tableau, this dynamic dashboard was able to answer questions in just a few easy clicks. From that moment on, it was clear that InterWorks could handle anything Life.Church threw their way.
InterWorks played an integral role in the Life.Church adoption of Tableau. As their go-to IT and data services team, InterWorks assisted with infrastructure deployment, data cleansing, analytics training and enterprise adoption planning. Their dedication to being good stewards of data at Life.Church ultimately swayed the organization to make this investment.
Building on Success
With organization-wide adoption becoming a reality, InterWorks now acts as an advanced training resource that Life.Church’s Tableau users can go to when they hit a roadblock. The mission has since shifted from getting everyone on board in Tableau to making everyone a master of Tableau. Users across every group continue to ask InterWorks to show them new techniques when they discover different ways of looking at their data.
In addition to being the go-to training resource, InterWorks has done quite a bit behind the scenes with Life.Church’s data. With Life.Church team members successfully using Tableau, InterWorks now works towards cleaning their data for easier analysis in Tableau. By focusing on their data, InterWorks has allowed Life.Church to focus on Tableau.
While the InterWorks Business Intelligence Team was hard at work revamping the way Life.Church viewed and interacted with their data, the InterWorks IT Services Team looked to how Life.Church stored their data. Life.Church, growing faster than ever, had outgrown its end-of-life, Apple XSAN storage array. With a ministry that relies heavily on video content, they found that their storage couldn’t keep up with the vast amount of new content. Their team of video editors needed a flexible, highly-scalable and virtualized storage platform that could grow with them.
The InterWorks IT Services Team knew the exact technology they required. They worked closely with Life.Church’s IT Operations Team to scope out the perfect solutions for their needs, ensuring they left plenty of room for growth.
InterWorks’ solution architects suggested two Dell Compellent SC8000 virtualized storage arrays, licensed for synchronous replication and Live Volume. These arrays amounted to over 500TB worth of storage with the ability to scale to 1PB when necessary. In addition to the SANs, InterWorks provided them blade chassis where necessary. To bring the network together, 10GbE fabrics would be available for LAN and SAN.
Note: You can learn more about the specific solutions implemented in this Dell case study on Life.Church.
InterWorks’ IT Services Team worked rapidly to put all of Life.Church’s new technology in place and facilitated a smooth transition into the new hardware. The new storage solutions give Life.Church more than enough space to store their growing library of videos and other media. The ability to scale these SANs out when needed ensures that their IT infrastructure grows with them, which translates into massive savings in the long run. The new Compellent arrays also bring performance to an all-time high, taking the tedium out of video editing efforts.
Life.Church employees are now enjoying faster, more reliable access to the content they need. They finally have an IT infrastructure that is as contemporary as they are.
InterWorks a Total Resource
InterWorks’ work for Life.Church is a prime example of what being a total IT and data resource is all about. After seeing how well InterWorks took care of their Tableau needs, Life.Church staff were confident they could also handle their IT services needs. They weren’t disappointed. In fact, they saw the benefits that a total IT company could provide first-hand. Not only did they save valuable time and money by choosing InterWorks for all of their needs, they also enjoyed incredible convenience. The ability to call the same person for any IT or data problem they encounter certainly has its perks.
The goods and services provided to Life.Church undoubtedly gave their organization a technological edge in multiple areas, but the real success is that they found a reliable technology partner. The relationship between InterWorks and Life.Church is exemplary of the type of relationship InterWorks seeks with all clients. Instead of just being transactional, they engage in an ongoing dialogue where they can assist them as needed, whenever needed, in any IT endeavor.
“The InterWorks team is solid. Not only are they great problem solvers, they are also very kind and professional. I know I can call on them for anything related to Tableau, and they will respond quickly to help me find a solution that will work for us. They are an incredible team to work with!”
– Amber Smart, Financial Operations Analyst