1.Financial Planning and Analytics
With rapidly growing data volumes and an increase in multi-channel retailing that meant they were facing multiple versions of ‘the truth’, the client had little confidence in the numbers they were reporting. Excel spreadsheets were proving a bottleneck and lack of collaboration across the organisation was definitely an issue, making it impossible to report effectively off their data warehouse.
Having implemented new planning and analytics software, the retailer now does weekly sales reporting and quarterly store forecasting with a much more efficient process meaning the finance team are able to do more analytical tasks rather than simply chasing the numbers. The reports are formatted and every Monday morning these are distributed automatically to the regional managers.
2. Big Data Transformation
This major retailer had complex application and BI architectures that couldn’t meet the growing requirements of their evolving multi-channel, multi-national business. Data was poor in quality and slow in arriving to the reporting layer. As a result, the business relied heavily on spreadsheets spending 80% of time managing the data and only 20% of the time analysing it.
Having documented the current state and developed a target vision with comprehensive roadmap, a Big Data Transformation Programme was implemented through 3 key phases. Phase 1 focused on minor customisation and implementation of the Retail Data Model and the creation of an operational data store (ODS) and enterprise data warehouse (EDW). Phase 2 addressed data throughput, allowing it to be refreshed intra-day, rather than weekly or monthly. Phase 3 delivered a high quality reporting layer, allowing the business to self-serve the majority of their analytics needs.
3. 360 Customer View
Multiple data sources generated from ticket sales, commercial activities and multiple management systems meant the likelihood of duplication across the data was high. However, the retailer was unable to quantify the impact of this issue on their business, or the real value of their customer data.
Working with the retailer and its partners to analyse the source data, it was then possible to make recommendations on data for the source systems - building business rules for each. This process ensured standardised and de-duplicated source data that could then provide a single 360-degree view of the ‘customer’ – significantly enhancing the organisation’s communication strategy. The CRM system unlocked the data necessary to fine tune the organisation’s commercial activities, allowing different departments to share information and collaborate more effectively.
4. Omni-Channel Development
Adopting mobile and web strategies exposed some critical data management process issues for this retailer. Firstly, some of the systems in the company’s branches were 25 years old and not equipped to follow validation standards for data entry. Secondly, data silos — a consequence of growth through acquisition - resulted in multiple sets of product information in different systems with no interconnectivity.
“Over the last few years we’ve invested a lot of time and money improving our websites and building a mobile channel. We need to offer our customers a great experience with their mobile phone so they can find the products that they want, ensure that that product is in stock, order it and select whether they want that product delivered to the work site or ready for pick-up at the branch. It forced us to re-examine our view of data. In the past, we saw it as an inconvenience of sorts, now we realise that data is key to being a successful 21st-century company.”
To help create an omni-channel journey, the retailer now uses business process management (BPM) software – introducing high-level data governance across the collection, change and approval process. With the right rules and validations in place, the organisation can be sure that they’re collecting the right type of information and keeping poor quality data out. Complementing the BPM system, the company has also embarked on a Master Data Management (MDM) programme – in a drive to eliminate data silos and gain a single version of ‘the truth’. Being SaaS solutions, both fit into the company’s ‘path to cloud’ initiative, which aims to move all key applications to the cloud and become virtually ‘data centre free’ within the next 10 years.
5. Marketing Automation and Decision Management
A national supermarket chain with an existing loyalty card scheme needed an effective way to communicate with its customers.
A unified view of ‘the customer’ was created that would enable the retailer to change and rebuild campaigns much more quickly – responding dynamically to customer behavior to ensure informed and personalised marketing communications.