AWS Case Study:  Amazon SageMaker and Machine Learning Solutions—Customer Churn

“We continue to partner with 1Strategy due to their extensive AWS experience as well as their strong capacity in applied machine learning and deployment in the AWS ecosystem.”

-Jared Turner, CTO, Boostability

About Boostability

Boostability, established in 2009, was founded on a simple business model: to create affordable and effective SEO for the small business marketplace. Today, Boostability serves thousands of small businesses, helping them elevate their digital presence and succeed online. Boostability primarily works with partners that offer their white-labeled SEO, social media, and website build services to their SMB clients. The company serves more than 26,000 active clients and has over 400 employees based in two offices on the Silicon Slopes of Utah and satellite locations in Amsterdam and Berlin. It has been ranked in the Inc. 5000 list of the fastest-growing private companies in America for four straight years.

The Challenge and Why AWS

The rate of customer churn is a critical metric for every business. Customer churn refers to when a customer ceases their relationship with a company. For example, this could be not renewing a service or agreement, closure of an account, or cancellation of a subscription. The cost of customer churn includes both the lost revenue and the marketing cost in replacing those customers with new ones. Boostability’s challenge was to predict customer churn, to identify customer behavior, and to shed light on the growth of their business.

Boostability recognizes the benefits they have received from leveraging Amazon Web Services (AWS) and continues to rely on the help and direction provided by 1Strategy, an AWS Premier Consulting Partner. “AWS provides Boostability affordable and scalable services which allow us to grow faster and more efficiently,” said Jared Turner, CTO of Boostability. “We continue to partner with 1Strategy due to their extensive AWS experience as well as their strong capacity in applied machine learning and deployment in the AWS ecosystem.”

The Benefits

The customer churn rate measures the speed at which a business is losing its customers within a specific time period. 1Strategy developed a Customer Segmentation and Churn Prediction Model to identify high-risk customers who may leave Boostability’s services in the following month and provided guidance and support with the following:

  • Creation of an architectural plan to support customer segmentation and churn model in AWS
  • Creation of customer segmentation and churn model infrastructure
  • Extracting source data from Amazon RDS and other datastores and the transformation of data to fit within the proposed architecture created in the above deliverable
  • Creation of customer segmentation and churn model and evaluated both for accuracy
  • Establishing location inside customer AWS account to store and secure customer data for use in the model
  • Deployment of the project model to Amazon SageMaker to be accessed through application programming interface (API) endpoint for programmatic access

1Strategy designed and created a churn prediction model for Boostability that utilizes key AWS services including Amazon SageMaker, Amazon S3, Amazon API, and AWS Lambda (see image below). This allows Boostability to submit a customer profile dataset and receive a prediction ranking of the customer’s churn risk level. In addition, this churn model is based on Boostability’s data and predicts their churn rate more accurately and reliable while delivery forecasting insights quicker than their previous, manual process.

Amazon SageMaker is an end-to-end solution for machine learning in the AWS ecosystem and gives the freedom for data scientists by providing the additional capabilities and benefits that companies, like Boostability are able to utilize, including:

  • Automatic scaling to meet performance needs
  • Support of any model built into a Docker image

Customer churn impedes growth, but with Amazon SageMaker and the churn model developed by 1Strategy, Boostability is able to monitor their churn rate on a monthly basis enabling them to identify high-risk customers before they churn. This also allows the company to take a proactive approach to offer retention incentives that prevent customer loss and gain feedback on their customers’ behavior.

“Leveraging Amazon SageMaker enables Boostability to determine our customer retention success rates and aides in identifying strategies for growth,” said Turner.

About the Partner

1Strategy is an Amazon Web Services (AWS) Premier Consulting Partner, focusing exclusively on AWS. 1Strategy helps businesses architect, migrate and optimize their workloads on AWS, creating cost-effective, secure and reliable solutions. 1Strategy holds the AWS DevOps and the AWS Migration Competencies, was chosen as a Launch Partner to the AWS Managed Service Partner program and is a partner of the AWS Public Sector Program. With experts having deployed AWS solutions since 2007, 1Strategy is a leader in custom training—providing customers with the knowledge, tools and best practices to manage those solutions over time. Headquartered in Seattle, 1Strategy teams are also located in San Francisco and Salt Lake City and support customers globally and across every vertical.

Learn More

For more information about how 1Strategy can assist your company with migration to AWS, building Machine Learning solutions, optimizing Big Data analytics, or receive custom training, visit 1Strategy.com or contact us at info@1strategy.com.

To read about other companies we’ve helped in their AWS journey, CLICK HERE.