This is a guest post by Cynthia Valeriano, Jaime Olivares, and Guillermo Puelles from DeFontana.
Defontana develops fully cloud-based business applications for the administration and management of companies. Based in Santiago, Chile, with operations in Peru, Mexico, and most recently Colombia, our main product is a 100% cloud-based enterprise resource planning (ERP) system that has been providing value to our business customers for about 20 years. In addition to our core ERP product, we have developed integration modules for ecommerce, banks, financial and regulatory institutions, digital signatures, business reports, and many other solutions. Our goal is to continue building solutions for customers and make Defontana the best business administration tool in Chile and Latin America.
Most of our customers are small and medium businesses (SMBs) who need to optimize their resources. Our ERP system helps customers manage cash flow, time, human resources (HR), and other resources. As we were exploring how to continue innovating for our customers and looking for an embedded analytics solution, we chose Amazon QuickSight, which allows us to seamlessly integrate data-driven experiences into our web application.
In this post, we discuss how QuickSight has sped up our development time, enabled us to provide more value to our customers, and even improved our own internal operations.
Saving development time by embedding QuickSight
We built our ERP service as a web application from the beginning. 10 years ago, this was a big differentiator for us, but to continue to serve the SMBs that trust us for information on a daily basis, we wanted to offer even more advanced analytics. By embedding QuickSight into our web application, we have been able to provide business intelligence (BI) functionalities to customers two or three times faster than we would have if we had opted for libraries for generating HTML reports. Thanks to our embedded QuickSight solution, we are able to focus more of our energy on analyzing the requirements and functionalities that we want to offer our customers in each BI report.
The following screenshots show our ERP service, accessed on a web browser, with insights and rich visualizations by QuickSight.
We enjoy using QuickSight because of how well it integrates with other AWS services. Our data is stored in a legacy relational database management system (RDMS), Amazon Aurora, and Amazon DynamoDB. We are in the process of moving away from that legacy RDMS to PostgreSQL through a Babelfish for Aurora PostgreSQL project. This will allow us to reduce costs while also being able to use a multi-Region database with disaster recovery in the future. This would have been too expensive with the legacy RDMS. To seamlessly transfer data from these databases to Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3), we use AWS Database Migration Service (AWS DMS). Then, AWS Glue allows us to generate several extract, transform, and load (ETL) processes to prepare the data in Amazon S3 to be used in QuickSight. Finally, we use Amazon Athena to generate views to be used as base information in QuickSight.
Providing essential insights for SMB customers
QuickSight simplifies the generation of dashboards. We have made several out-of-the-box dashboards in QuickSight for our customers that they can use directly on our web app right after they sign up. These dashboards provide insights on sales, accounting, cash flow, financial information, and customer clusters based on their data in our ERP service. These free-to-use reports can be used by all customers in the system. We also have dashboards that can be activated by any user of the system for a trial period. Since we launched add-on dashboards, more than 300 companies have activated it, with over 100 of them choosing to continue using it after the free trial.
Besides generic reports, we have created several tailor-made dashboards according to the specific requirements of each customer. These are managed through a customer-focused development process by our engineering team according to the specifications of each customer. With this option, our customers can get reports on accounts payable, accounts receivable, supply information (purchase order flow, receipts and invoices sent by suppliers), inventory details, and more. We have more than 50 customers who have worked with us on tailor-made dashboards. With the broad range of functionalities within QuickSight, we can offer many data visualization options to our customers.
Empowering our own operations
Beyond using QuickSight to serve our customers, we also use QuickSight for our own BI reporting. So far, we have generated more than 80 dashboards to analyze different business flows. For example, we monitor daily sales in specific services, accounting, software as a service (SaaS) metrics, and the operation of our customers. We do all of this from within our own web application, with the power of QuickSight, giving us the opportunity to experience the interface just like our customers do. In 2023, one of our top goals is to provide a 360-degree view of Defontana using QuickSight.
QuickSight has enabled us to seamlessly embed analytics into our ERP service, providing valuable insights to our SMB customers. We have been able to cut costs and continue to grow throughout Latin America. We plan to use QuickSight even more within our own organization, making us more data-driven. QuickSight will empower us to democratize the information that our own employees receive, establish better processes, and create more tools to analyze customer information for behavioral patterns, which we can use to better meet our customers’ needs.
To learn more about how you can embed customized data visuals and interactive dashboards into any application, visit Amazon QuickSight Embedded.
About the authors
Cynthia Valeriano is a Business Intelligence Developer of at Defontana, with skills focused on data analysis and visualization. With 3 years of experience in administrative areas and 2 years of experience in business intelligence projects, she has been in charge of implementing data migration and transformation tasks with various AWS tools, such as AWS DMS and AWS Glue, in addition to generating multiple dashboards in Amazon QuickSight.
Jaime Olivares is a Senior software developer at Defontana, with 6 years of experience in the development of various technologies focused on the analysis of solutions and customer requirements. Experience with AWS in various services, including product development through QuickSight for the analysis of business and accounting data.
Guillermo Puelles is a Technical Manager of the “Appia” Integrations team at Defontana, with 9 years of experience in software development and 5 years working with AWS tools. Responsible for planning and managing various projects for the implementation of BI solutions through QuickSight and other AWS services.