Case study


Soil Association

Soil Association is a UK charity with a wholly owned subsidiary, Soil Association Certification Ltd, run as a not-for-profit organisation.

We worked with Soil Association Certification Ltd, using our Discovery + Design approach to create a data-driven strategy and then deployed a data technology stack to power a suite of management reports.

The vision

To understand the art of the possible, as well as options, pros/cons, costs, timelines and recommendations for how Soil Association Certification Ltd can become a future-proofed, scalable, data-driven business.

The problem

Soil Association Certification Ltd’s data is complex with 15+ data sources, 2 divisions, and 46+ business reports. The data was disconnected and it was hard to make sense of it. Plus they are growing fast so the data challenge is getting bigger and bigger.

The objectives

To understand Soil Association Certification Ltd’s business requirements, data sources and current data outputs,
to design, build and support the right technology, reporting and resource solutions in a way that is robust, secure, scalable and self-sufficient.

Data sources

We reviewed a number of different data sources for this project which included:
  • DATA TYPES – organic and forestry certification, finance
  • DATA ENTITIES – clients, contacts, licences, schemes
We delivered the Discovery + Design Report in March 2022 and delivered the solution in August-December 2022.


We used our DATA³ Discovery Process to capture all business requirements and reviewed all relevant data, report samples and business information covering 2 business functions, 15+ data sources and 46+ business reports.


We used our DATA³ Design Process to create a Data Strategy covering the art of the possible for technology, analytics and reporting, tool selection recommendations, a fully-costed implementation plan as well as a plan to drive culture change.


We designed, built and supported their data technology stack resulting in the creation of a data warehouse and a single source of truth. Built on Azure and delivered to users via Microsoft Power BI. We supported the team with recruitment, technology advice and Power BI.

“The business benefits, once embedded, will be increased trust in and use of our data for resource, budget and business planning, with reduced manual effort and ultimately reduced cost.”