Danish Church Aid (DCA): A Cloud-Based Data Platform Using Microsoft Power Platform

Danish Church Aid was founded in 1922 and is a Danish faith-based civil society organization that works globally to eradicate poverty and is present in hotspots around the world.
Delegate has helped Danish Church Aid take the big step towards a data-driven business with Microsoft Power Platform and create a central cloud-based data platform.

Danish Church Aid depends on understanding their contributors, and the organization is highly driven by flexibility concerning innovation and new ideas.

DCA has relied on on-premise data storage and solutions for many years as an organization with a long history. Data is stored in a wide range of source systems without the ability to provide insight and create real business value.

"Data silos are the big challenge in our old set-up. Firstly, it could provide better conditions for adaptation, innovation, and our ability to act on new ideas quickly. Secondly, it limits our ability to show our contributors exactly how much we can accomplish thanks to their contributions. We know the way forward: We need to be data-driven, where the goal is to gather data to have a unified view of the entire organization."

– Kenneth Andersen, former Digital Project Manager at DCA

The challenge was the starting point for a large digitalization project that will take DCA from on-premise to cloud and ensure future innovation and interaction between the organization's many solutions.

As a central element in the large digitalization project that includes CRM (Dynamics 365), a new marketing platform, and a new CMS system, a data platform has been built on Microsoft 365 that utilizes Azure, the Microsoft Power Platform, and SharePoint.

The Microsoft Power Platform is the focal point where data from the marketing platform, CRM, CMS, payment module, survey platform, telemarketing module, financial reconciliation, and more are collected. In short, the data platform will serve as the basis for insights and future innovation in DCA.

The purpose of the data platform is to gather data in one place, making it accessible to all solutions. Information and data are shared through a publish/subscribe pattern, meaning different systems can subscribe to specific updates or events. For example, the CRM system can subscribe to updates of existing customers in the financial system so that the data is always visible in both systems.

By collecting data and making it visible in the system that each user is most familiar with, DCA has created a foundation for efficient workflows and ensured that they can come up with new future initiatives supported by access to data.

"Creating an actual data platform that puts data first has been a big desire. For me, it is the cornerstone of succeeding in our ambition to become data-driven. We cannot achieve that goal as long as data is stored in various source systems and shared as Excel sheets. Therefore, the desire was to gather all the data that adds value to the business in one system. Data remains in their original systems, but on top of the many separate systems, we now have one system (the data platform) that pulls the threads together to extract knowledge and value from our data across the board."

– Kenneth Andersen, former Digital Project Manager at DCA

The right solution the first time

A data platform is only as good as the data stored in it. Keeping all data just for security is not a real option.

Therefore, Delegates' first task was to gain insight into DCA's business through workshops. The purpose was to identify which data is essential for the business based on the mantra: Data should be shaped for the business and business goals - not for IT. Therefore, it was crucial to understand the business needs to avoid simply throwing a lot of data into a new box.

"As consultants, one of our most important tasks is understanding our customers and their needs. We need to understand which data is relevant so that it can be modeled and made available in an easy and usable way in the business."

– Poul Kjeldager Sørensen, Principal Consultant at Delegate

The result of thorough groundwork is a solution that is as simple as possible.

"The collaboration with Delegate has been crucial in reaching our goals. It has not been an IT project but a business one. If we had "just" implemented the Dynamics platform, we could have hired anyone, in my opinion. However, we needed a partner for this project to help us collect data and processes. A partner who could challenge us and help us create business value from our data. This is where I think Delegate's consultants can do something special."

– Kenneth Andersen, former Digital Project Manager at DCA

The data platform in Azure is not standing alone but is part of a larger digitalization project. However, with its central role in the entire digitalization project, the data platform is a prerequisite for future innovation and the realization of new ideas.

DCA lifting their data to the cloud provides security and a new perspective for the future. They have a long-lasting solution that can act on new ideas, which can be realized on a platform that can handle future scaling and changes.

"This technology lift gives us a technical maturity crucial for transforming into a data-driven and digital organization ready for new initiatives. It provides an understanding that we are in the driver's seat and can do what we want. That alone is important, but it also means we can work smarter. The perspectives are great, and the goal for the future is to achieve "smarter" earnings, understood in the sense that if we can use fewer resources on fundraising for our projects, it provides better conditions for providing aid in the world. When all is said and done, that is the big goal."

– Kenneth Andersen, former Digital Project Manager at DCA

"The collaboration with Delegate has been crucial in reaching our goals. It has not been an IT project but a business one. If we had "just" implemented the Dynamics platform, we could have hired anyone, in my opinion. However, we needed a partner for this project to help us collect data and processes. A partner who could challenge us and help us create business value from our data. This is where I think Delegate's consultants can do something special."
– Kenneth Andersen, Digital Project Manager at DCA
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Morten Fritsch, Director

mfr@delegate.dk
+45 53 53 69 59

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