This blog post appeared originally on our ADP (CDK Global) Expertise blog.
ADP (CDK Global) has recently announced a new data server product available to their customer base. The product is currently called Managed Data Access (MDA).
I was considering writing a series of blog posts about this exciting new offering on my main site here; but then I thought that this rather extensive opportunity needs a place of its own.
I am sure you will decide to take advantage of this offering and when you do ADP (CDK Global) will perform an initial full ETL (extract, transform and load) of your dealership’s data into a PostgresQL relational database server. ADP will then keep the database current with at least daily differential updates.
It’s true that some dealership groups have been doing their own ETLs into a SQL Server database for many years utilizing the ADP DAP program. DAP (Data Access Program) basically offered a way for dealerships to access APIs (application programming interfaces) to pull data. The DAP APIs do not lend themselves to object relational mapping and hence only the simplest data extractions were possible without some programming effort. These groups that have been doing the ETLs to SQL Server have had to have some pretty sharp Database Admins on staff to build the relational data model. Attempting this process was worth it though so these dealership groups could write queries and perform the joins necessary to get relevant actionable data.
The power of the MDA product though is in the connectivity of powerful data analysis and presentation software to your ADP data, namely Microsoft Excel. Beginning with Excel 2010 and continuing with Excel 2013, Microsoft has made Excel into a premier self-service data analysis (aka business intelligence) platform. Microsoft has done so with the advent of a few key free Excel add-ins namely:
- Power Query – Makes adding data to Excel simple from just about anywhere.
- PowerPivot – Makes joining data from disparate sources (or the same source) effortless for truly actionable data analysis.
- PowerView – Makes data analysis beautiful and unbelievably easy with effortless slicing, dicing and drill-down capability.
With a little help from us in the initial setup, a dealership manager (whether it be the Dealer, the GM or a Department Manager or all of the above), will have access through Excel to a level of understanding of their operation heretofore unknown in the car business.
We will post here those projects that have an immediate, profound effect on the dealership’s or dealership group’s growth and/or profitability, based on sound principles, utilizing ADP (CDK Global) Data and Microsoft Excel. Simple projects that make a big difference.
In the mean time, give us a call if you have any questions.