Customer Success Story

Cresco Labs

"Zuar is a leader in the space. They have years of experience with business intelligence platforms, data visualization softwares, being able to answer business questions with data, and knowing how to marry it all together to drive the most efficient outcome."

Derek Lilley, VP of Data, Analytics & Insights, Cresco Labs

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Data in the cannabis industry is becoming more valuable than ever, but most companies are ill-equipped to handle the challenges that come with building a strong Business Intelligence (BI) infrastructure. The complexity of cloud systems combined with the novelty of the cannabis industry has made it difficult to find the correct tools and skill sets to solve business problems with data. Cresco Labs was experiencing both of these growing pains.

Problem - BioTrackTHC, Dropbox, Flat Files

Cresco Labs, one of the largest vertically-integrated multi-state operators of cannabis, was looking to become an industry leader by leveraging data. Cresco Labs is involved in every aspect of the cultivating, shipping, distributing, productizing, and selling of cannabis, which is commonly referred to as a “seed to sale” operator. Cannabis is a highly regulated category and as a result, companies are required to use state certified cloud systems to capture and report information.

Most of the data being collected by Cresco’s regulatory systems was trapped in BioTrackTHC (a seed-to-sale tracking and cannabis POS systems) and Excel spreadsheets living in Dropbox. Due to the inaccessible nature of BioTrackTHC, the impractical data structures, lack of centralization of disparate data systems, and inability to visualize and share data-driven insights, Cresco Labs was finding it extremely challenging to use data to gain a competitive advantage. Furthermore, Cresco’s BI team was short-handed and faced with a daunting implementation deadline. Cresco Labs needed a modern cloud analytics solution and experts with cannabis industry experience to help with implementation. They found all of this and more with Zuar.

Cresco Labs BI Stack Diagram
Solution - Zuar Runner, Snowflake, Tableau

To answer business questions and solve future business problems, Cresco Labs needed to implement an industry leading cloud analytics technology stack:

  • A platform to connect data sources/APIs, extract, load, transform and automate data flows (ELT) - Zuar Runner
  • A performant cloud database - Snowflake
  • Data analysis and cloud presentation layer - Tableau & Tableau Server (Online)

After finalizing the technology stack, Zuar helped Cresco Labs with strategy and implementation:

  • Step 1: Use Zuar Runner to access data source APIs like Dropbox and BioTrackTHC to extract cultivation, distribution, and sales data. Zuar Runner was then used to clean & integrate data with custom SQL and pipe the data into Snowflake, all while automating the entire process.

  • Step 2: Use Tableau to live connect to Snowflake. Snowflake possesses the power and speed to handle live queries of millions of rows of data. The data was then analyzed with Tableau through interactive visualizations and dashboards. The insights were shared with all business units, executives, and stakeholders.

  • Step 3: Zuar helped Cresco set up a self-service BI environment in the cloud with clean data. Live data sources were made accessible on Tableau Server, and Zuar provided custom training to end users so that anyone can use Tableau to connect, analyze, and visualize their data.

  • Step 4: Zuar becomes a strategic specialist providing long-term support for advanced use cases and new business questions.

Outcomes - Industry Leading Cloud Analytics

Cresco Labs now possesses an industry leading cloud analytics solution. Their end-to-end solution allows them to:

  • Quickly answer the most challenging business questions with data.
  • Optimize cultivation, shipping, distribution, and product sales.
  • Save hours of valuable development time per day.
  • Use their BI team to focus on the highest value business priorities.
  • Leverage the correct tools, which have helped increase performance & job satisfaction.
  • Improve organizational adoption of data best practices.
  • Build a team of self-sufficient business analysts.
  • Use Zuar as a strategic partner to help with advanced use cases and long-term initiatives.

Like so many fast growing industries, cannabis companies are doing their best to keep up. By partnering with Zuar, Cresco Labs was able to harness best-in-breed analytics solutions to retain their place as a market leader in the cannabis industry. See the video for the full story!

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