Helping Ken Garff Listen To Its Data


The Ken Garff Automotive Group is a car dealership chain known for its customer-centric selling style and humorous billboard ads. Founded in 1932, today it is one of the top 10 largest automotive groups in the US, with 26 car dealerships in Utah.  



Starting out, BI at Ken Garff was handled by a single report builder working under the IT department. Reports were refreshed with complex database queries using SSRS. As the business grew, scalability became a huge issue. Reports started coming in late because the system was taking too long to process data.  

Eventually, the report builder became so bogged down with maintenance that meeting new reporting needs became impossible.  

Frustrated with IT for being unable to provide needed insights, the Ken Garff marketing team started looking for a solution for their department.  



Eventually, Ken Garff’s marketing team decided to go the Done-For-You Data Warehouse route and hired Xerva. We immediately took them through our five-step process. 

Discovery: We conducted a deep dive to understand Ken Garff’s current BI setup as well as their marketing team’s BI needs/goals. Significantly, we discovered that their database’s processor was being overloaded by inefficient report building systems.   

ExtractWe connected Ken Garff’s different data sources (Facebook Ads, Facebook Pages, Google Analytics, Google AdWords, inventory system, and point of sale system), pulled out all the raw data, and centralized it in a data warehouse.

TransformIn the data warehouse, we cleaned the data, applied rules, optimized relationships between tables for reporting, and set up a daily refresh. We used Kimball Methodology to create a star-schema optimized for KG reporting needs. We also created custom data transformation logic, including, vehicle dealership transfer reports to support geographically targeting email marketing, and advanced website visitor analytics to profile potential customers.

Reporting: For visualizations and reporting, we recommended Ken Garff use Power BI. Once we had Power BI connected to the data warehouse, we helped get adoption by providing training.

Monitoring: We regularly conduct audits and maintenance to keep the data warehouse running smoothly. We solve issues from bad data entry and make sure everything is refreshing properly so reports stay timely and accurate. We also provide 10 hours per month to make on-going improvements to keep up with Ken Garff’s evolving BI needs.  



-Instant access to daily reports that previously took 1.5+ hours per manager (136 hours total) to build/load manually 

-Corporate reports now automated, saving 5 days of manual report building per month  

-Able to take full advantage of Power BI’s features, including natural language queries  

-Went from flying blind to being able to directly track marketing’s impact on sales  

-Can quickly and independently get answers to BI questions  

-Plans are being made to expand the Xerva platform from Marketing to the rest of Ken Garff  

Emmett is a graduate from the BYU Marriott School of Management. He has been the marketing team lead at Xerva since July 2017.