AFG: A fully automated serverless data platform

A fully automated and self healing AWS and Snowflake platform for self service analytics.


Data PlatformsAWSSnowflakeFinancial Services


Jan 2020



The Client

AFG was established in 1994 and has grown to become one of Australia’s largest mortgage broking groups and leaders in financial solutions.

They provide mortgage brokers with access to products and support, offer business finance, insurance products and AFG-branded and securitised products throughout Australia.

They have 2,975 finance brokers, who have the ability to offer their customers a choice of over 3,800 finance products.

Each month AFG brokers will help around 7,500 Australians get the right loan, which has resulted in a loan book around $140 billion dollars.

The Problem

AFG had an existing data warehouse, however it was a complex system, expensive to run and did not consolidate all their business intelligence into one place.

To retrieve high-level analytics data, the analytics team had to execute multiple complex queries and then the results had to be manually collected and compiled for end users.

Their analytics data was difficult to access and did not deliver the business value AFG required.

AFG wanted a solution that would:

  • Integrate their data warehouse with other source systems.
  • Reduce complexity of the current, inflexible system.
  • Reduce costs of their current data warehouse.
  • Deliver simple, self-service analytics for their users.
  • Deliver data to citizen data scientists.

The Solution

AFG Executive Performance Dashboard

In order to help AFG achieve their goals, Mechanical Rock created a
fully automated data migration platform, that included:

  1. Data Migration and Integration
  2. Data Integrity
  3. Automated Engineering
  4. Built-In Flexibility and Capacity for Growth
  5. Self-Service Analytics
  6. Delivery in 6 Weeks

1. Data Migration and Integration

AFG’s existing data warehouse was migrated into Snowflake’s cloud
native data platform running on AWS, allowing for instant elasticity
and security.

External financial data from the AFG ERP system was also integrated
into the new data platform.

Diagram showing how data sources were migrated and integrated with SnowflakeAFG Data source migration and integration with Snowflake

2. Data Integrity

Significant effort was put in to create an event-based architecture to reduce complexity, improve outcomes, automation, efficiency and data integrity. A deeper focus on data integrity resulted in a highly resilient and highly available solution, with “self-healing” design. This means any data repairs, inconsistencies, or new updates to the data is managed automatically, with zero outage and zero impact to end users.

3. Automated Engineering

The new data platform incorporates automated data pipelines, auto schema change detection, auto reload, auto replication, auto selfcleanup and auto failure notification - no platform management is required from the AFG team.

4. Built-In Flexibility and Capacity for Growth

The platform has also been specially built for maximum flexibility, allowing users to add and load new data sources to the platform. The need for growth, scaling and optimisations are all automatically detected and managed by the platform.

5. Self-Service Analytics

The new data platform is seamlessly integrated to AFG’s Tableau Online for improved data visualisation, business reporting and instantly accessible to the AFG team.

6. Delivered in 6 weeks

Mechanical Rock delivered a complete solution in 6 weeks, from start to finish. Snowflake training was also provided to get the AFG team up and running.

AWS and Snowflake services used for the AFG Executive Performance Dashboard.

Diagram displaying icons for the AWS and Snowflake services used for the AFG Executive Performance Dashboard.Services used for the AFG Executive Performance Dashboard.

The Benefits

With Snowflake and AWS integration, Mechanical Rock provided a seamless, automated platform for data analytics with the following benefits:

Business insights on demand

AFG can now generate business insights across multiple teams, with minimal investment from the analytics team.

Accessible and simple-to-use integrated data

AFG teams now have self-service analytics, where they can instantly and confidently access the new integrated data from their already familiar Tableau Online interface.

An automated platform with zero impact to users

With in-built automation, the data platform can grow, scale and self-heal, with no management or intervention from the analytics team, and zero outage and impact to end users.

Reduced costs

By taking advantage of pay-per-use cloud native technology, AFG will reduce their ongoing data warehouse costs.

Enhanced data insights to drive business forward

AFG can rapidly configure and scale their data platform to enhance business insights to drive their business forward, faster.


Get in Touch

Reach out to us and a member of our team will be in touch right away.