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How Athena built a quality control engine to assign, manage, and task track thousands of virtual assistants

How Athena built a quality control engine to assign, manage, and task track thousands of virtual assistants

Dec 11, 2023

Dec 11, 2023

Company: Athena

Industry: Business services

Use Case: marketplace quality control, data governance, ops task queue 

Problem: Data inaccuracy and completeness across tools, risking payroll errors and customer dissatisfaction.

Solution: Set up over 100 rules-based alerts in Avenue that monitor when data across recruiting/CRM/Billing tools is missing or incorrect. Issue is either resolved automatically with a workflow or a manager is tagged

Outcome: 95% reduction in data issues with data governance system. No more payroll or billing errors.


Background

Athena offers the best virtual assistants (VA’s) to help you manage your business and your life. Virtual assistants from Athena are the superpower behind elite founders, top investors, and world-class leaders.


Challenge 

Athena operates a marketplace of virtual assistants (VA’s) around the world. With thousands of virtual assistants in their network, Athena’s operations team has a lot of moving pieces to keep track of. To maintain onboarding, account management, payroll, billing, and other key components of the marketplace, virtual assistants worked across tools like HubSpot, Coupa, and Airtable. Ensuring data accuracy and completeness became a challenge. Athena needed to be able to detect and correct incorrect data. They needed to know:

  • Is the price of a contract different in the CRM v. Billing platform?

  • Does every virtual assistant have an assigned manager in ADP?

  • Did customer get billed for the correct hours in Coupa?

  • Did ex-virtual assistant get offboarded from assigned accounts in Airtable?


Missing any of these moments leads to big issues like employees not getting paid on time or clients billed incorrectly

  • Multiple deals with incorrect pricing = thousands of dollars at risk

  • Blank VA address = missing payments = churn

  • Inaccurate VA employment status = customer paired incorrectly with a VA (or former VA) = task delays = poor customer experience

"We can't afford to be manually checking data. When we make mistakes people don't get paid or clients don't get charged correctly."


Athena needed a way to QA data across their platforms to ensure accuracy and completeness. Peter Dimov, Director of Data Science, knew that manually auditing data was impractical given their scale so he tried in-house solutions – “I used to build janky versions of this [QA system] myself."  


Ultimately, Peter looked externally for a solution that was easy to set up and maintain. That’s where Avenue came in.


Solution  

Athena surveyed available options and ultimately selected Avenue to proactively catch and resolve data issues. Using Avenue, the Athena operations team monitors for over one hundred plausible data accuracy issues across their recruiting, account management, payroll, and billing platforms. “We can automatically identify issues and route to the right person or automated workflow to fix”, notes Peter. Now, when an issue (like inaccurate billing hours) is detected, it gets auto-resolved or routed to an operations manager.

"Avenue is our QA system for all of the data being captured in disparate tooling."


Athena also gets full visibility into their data health with Avenue's integrity KPIs and audit logs. At the end of each week in their business review, Peter is able to speak to the health of Athena’s data – reviewing metrics like data error rate, time to resolve, and volume of escalated incidents. 


When Peter sought out a quality control engine for Athena, he had a few requirements in mind. He landed on Avenue because it checked all the boxes when it came to must-haves:


Plug-and-Play integrations: connect existing data sources in minutes (Snowflake, HubSpot, Coupa, Greenhouse, Zendesk).


Easy to use: non-technical members can set up monitors without knowing SQL. And, create monitors from 2 data sources without needing data engineering support.


High security: the ability to manage who has view/edit access to underlying data with role based permissions and a comprehensive set of features and processes to safeguard company data.


Reporting: Be able to pinpoint overall health of data and track performance across individuals and teams (SLA’s, efficiency, accuracy). 


Smart task assignment: set custom working hours and auto-assign feature. 


Communication syncing: don’t want to force people to learn another tool. Let operators stay in existing tools like email, Slack and Zendesk (unlike Zapier).


Affordable - as a start-up didn’t have resources to hire an engineer to build a reliable internal tool or staff a QA team. 


Automated: ability to auto-resolve certain issues that shouldn’t require human input to fix


Results

With Avenue, Athena has a reliable data QA system. Avenue's continuous monitoring enabled Athena to reduce data issues by over 95% within months by finding and fixing root causes. This has minimized issues like payroll and billing errors and ultimately ensures that virtual assistant’s and customers are happy. Athena is able to enforce data governance policies across departments in an affordable and easy way.


What's next?

Athena plans to use Zendesk as their centralized location for managing and responding to any employee issues. Using Avenue, they'll be able to create tickets in Zendesk from the tools their operators already live in and sync messages directly between Slack threads and Zendesk.


Looking to automate data governance? Talk to our sales team today!

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Backed by

Y Combinator

Accel

Lachy Groom

Slack Fund

Flexport

Elad Gil

© 2023 Avenue. All rights reserved

Sign up for a free trial

Operations observability in under 10 minutes

Subscribe to our newsletter

Receive updates on new posts and features

Backed by

Y Combinator

Accel

Lachy Groom

Slack Fund

Flexport

Elad Gil

© 2023 Avenue. All rights reserved