The Delta Sonic name is synonymous with affordable, quick, quality car care. The company has worked hard to delight their clients with every wash, oil change, tank fill up, and snack run since their inception in 1967. Delta Sonic Car Wash, a privately owned and operated chain of touch-less car washes, opened its first car wash in Niagara Falls before quickly expanding to become the premier car wash brand with 30 locations across New York state, Chicago and Erie, Pennsylvania.

As the business continued to grow in offerings and markets, their IT leadership realized the company could work even harder for their customers and make better business decisions if they could more effectively understand what was happening at their locations in real time.

“We have a small IT department and reporting on data is one of those things that was not getting as much attention as it needed,” said Delta Sonic’s CIO, Chris Boebel. “We recognized we didn’t have access to the right data, structured in a way that helped us make better decisions. I could have hired an internal developer, but after talking to Cause + Effect Strategy, we felt like they brought us so much more than what we would have gotten if we hired direct, so we outsourced it all to them.”

With the help of Cause + Effect Strate (CE Strategy) Delta Sonic underwent a data transformation to transition from disparate, traditional database systems, to a data-driven cloud-based system, offering real-time reports to key decisions makers across the company.

“We chose CE Strategy because we trust them 100% with our data. Our data can give us a competitive advantage and we needed a partner who could review it and draw conclusions from it, while not being unscrupulous with it.” – Chris Boebel, CIO


As the company expanded into new locations and added services, including their unlimited car wash program and their convenience store card, they quickly realized they were drowning in data and finding a clear path out was not so simple.

A critical issue the Delta Sonic team looked to solve was that of unrelated data systems; namely their point-of-sale system in their convenience stores and their car wash system, each offering separate customer loyalty programs, did not communicate with each other. They were unable to match up who came by for a weekly wash and who filled up their tank on their way to grab a road-trip snack. The Delta Sonic team knew their customers were loyal and they knew their programs were having a positive effect on business, but their data systems were not aligned enough to reveal the true combined value of their marketing programs.

The most frustrating part of the current system for the IT team was that they simply could not get the information they needed fast enough. Data processing could take up to thirteen hours, which meant many data points could only be looked at once per day at most. With business questions consistently coming in from finance, marketing, and individual store locations, Chris’s team was strapped to provide answers in a timely manner. They needed a more efficient system to drive the business forward and a team that had the resources and know-how to make it happen.


CE Strategy enacted a three-prong approach to tackling Delta Sonic’s current business needs while also setting them up for a successful future:

The first step with Delta Sonic was to define and standardize the company’s business requirements, including the key performance indicators that would be used to create critical business questions in the new data system.


To create standard and custom hierarchies, CE Strategy moved each piece of disparate data from a traditional database into a cloud-based system. The team identified data from multiple sources—point of sales, loyalty programs and others—to flow into an enterprise data warehouse architecture. CE Strategy leveraged cloud data warehouse technology from Snowflake and developed data visualizations using Sisense, to accomplish this. The warehouse was built to house the data and ensure reporting could happen more efficiently. While Sisense was integrated for data management and reporting needs.

With the help of these two technologies, CE Strategy implemented a complete digital transformation for Delta Sonic. Beginning with identification of data at its source, CE Strategy engineers moved it to a usable place, then pushed it into a flexible data model to be used for business intelligence, reporting, and data science. The CE Strategy team simultaneously worked with Delta Sonic to develop key performance indicators and create dashboards to answer questions as they were discovered.

Finally, CE Strategy and the Delta Sonic team worked together to ensure adoption of analytics, including training for the Delta team, went smoothly. With so many more use cases suddenly available, every internal stakeholder began having questions they needed answered. Each of these questions were little projects in themselves and once the CE Strategy team built a solution to answer one, many other questions could also be answered in the future. It allowed Delta Sonic team members to buy into the system and grow with it.

“Everyone likes it and they are referring to the data more frequently – some team members have even gone one step further to modify the platform to suit their own needs, which is something we didn’t have the ability to do before,” said Chris. “The higher engagement we’re seeing internally is a big piece of why we wanted to partner with CE Strategy, and now we’re getting more requests for data from other departments than we ever did before.”


“In working closely with the Delta Sonic team, we were able to create a clear pathway from their initial need to a place of value. We pride ourselves on moving beyond what a client asks for and working to deeply understand their business and how a data solution has the power to impact their overall strategy and deliver a solid ROI,” – said Michael Sutton, Vice President of Client Service, Cause and Effect Strategy.

The CE Strategy team takes a creative approach to problem solving. Once it was clear where Delta Sonic wanted to be, and most importantly why they wanted to be there, CE Strategy provided them not only the solutions to get there, but answers to questions they did not even know they had yet.


CE Strategy provided Delta Sonic with a holistic view of their customer through the combination of their disparate systems. They are able to see in real time how many people are coming to which locations, who is putting gas in their cars in addition to entering the store, how many washes are getting done, and so much more.

Beyond the real time metrics, the true value of their customer programs has now become apparent as well. Not only are they able to look at discounts offered by loyalty program, by brand, it informs them what discounts would be most beneficial to create in their stores in the future. They are able to create more targeted marketing programs while increasing profitability and securing a better understanding of their customer value.

As a result of their data transformation efforts, the Delta Sonic team saw a stunning 70% reduction in time from raw data to insight. The IT team can answer more questions, faster, and work to make a greater difference in every aspect of the business.

The most powerful result of implementing a business-intelligence solution for the Delta Sonic team has been the democratized usage of analytics. There is significantly less time management and restrictions on when data can be seen and who has access. Data can be strategically and securely shared throughout the organization based on department and role. While not everyone gets to see everything, individual business leads are finally able to see what they need when they need it—creating a true 360-degree view of Delta Sonic’s customers.

This benefit doesn’t stop at the top either. All the way down to the store managers at individual car wash locations, store managers can login to the platform and make real time decisions down to where to place their employees at the car wash that day. This is the result of the strategy to replace legacy reporting tools and establish continuity between multiple business lines.

As business units across the company gain access to valuable analytics, individuals can be more creative in the questions they are asking about the future. This creativity is exactly where the Delta Sonic and CE Strategy teams will continue to work together towards a brighter future driving more mature data usage.


What began as a six-month engagement has turned into a true partnership now entering its third year. “Working with Delta Sonic to drive their data transformation has been an ideal partnership and our favorite kind of relationship to foster. Our initial project pathway was taking them from point A to point B, and now we are working together to reach points C and D and beyond,” says Eloy Meira, Director of Analytics and Business Intelligence.

CE Strategy’s goal is to educate, train and simplify data for their partners. With an eye towards demystifying data and making it usable, the goal is to give Delta Sonic ultimate ownership over their data. What started in the IT department is making waves throughout every facet of Delta Sonic’s business. CE Strategy is focused on moving requirements away from IT and helping Chris’s team establish relationships with internal stakeholders and bring them into the discovery phase of new business problems as they arise, driving new report and BI requirements to help the business.

As Delta Sonic looks ahead to new projects, like implementing a new point-of-sale system, there is no question that CE Strategy is the partner to help them navigate their data needs as well as their business needs.

“CE Strategy did a lot of work to get us here and it’s just at the beginning,” said Chris. “In another six months to a year, we will have an even more compelling story to tell and it’s all thanks to our partnership with them. It’s been such a success that I’ve already recommended them to other carwash operators around the country.”