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Gaming the BI System

Gaming Retailer


Background

The digital transformation occurring in the retail industry is well-documented by now. Organizations are adapting to disruptions at breakneck speed and are all too often forced into reactive states rather than having the ability to undertake proactive initiatives to drive innovation. At CCG, this is an all too familiar story we have heard many times from retail organizations. In 2016, CCG was approached by a retail supplier with a similar situation. The supplier, recognizing the value in its operational data had an idea; a new service offering shared KPIs amongst the numerous outfits it supplied.

Challenge

Historically the client had been able to provide only individual insights and analytics to their customers in an on-demand ad-hoc fashion. As time went on the organization realized that much of the clientele were a) asking the same questions and b) wanted to know how other outlets were performing in similar sales efforts. From the onset, the organization knew that their backend data management architecture needed to be modernized to accommodate the comprehensive, standardized, and well-governed solution necessary to add such a service. A variety of siloed repositories and data sprawl spanned the organization creating a data governance concern.Security was of special consideration as well. The nature of their business is highly regulated. If sensitive data is shared with the wrong entity, regulatory penalties may be assessed and more importantly the long-standing trust of their customers could be lost. The lack of a consolidated, governed source introduces complexity and additional overhead. The organization enlisted the help of CCG to overhaul their analytic service capabilities and turn data into a new stream of revenue.

Solution

CCG and the partner engaged in a relationship while the idea of a new service offering was still in its inception. The first step was to gain an understanding of what the client wanted to offer and how it would deliver given its existing capabilities and data. A thorough assessment revealed the need for a multi-faceted approach paired with a wide-ranging information management overhaul to establish the foundation for the product offering. After a thorough assessment, CCG and the client realized the plan would be a multi-faceted and wide-ranging information management overhaul. CCG and the client rolled up their sleeves and got to work modernizing infrastructure and platform shortly thereafter. Efforts included:


  • Determining a reporting and visualization tool.After analyzing the organization’s existing software licensing as well as best of breed BI and Analytics tools in the marketplace a two-pronged reporting solution was decided.The organization would make use of SSRS for paginated, operational reporting and Tableau for more advanced reporting and visualization capabilities.
  • Designing and building a data warehouse solution that would serve as the foundation of the new service offering.Data was integrated across numerous sources including sales, product inventory, supply chain, loyalty program, CRM, and additional 3rd party data sources for cleansing and enrichment.SSIS is the ETL technology responsible for the movement, integration, and business rule application of the data.
  • Building a security model to satisfy the regulatory and compliance requirements of the project. To simplify the technology infrastructure, the simplest solution was to integrate the disparate data warehouses (one per client) into a single unified data warehouse. A security policy was implemented at the database level based on geography, client, and outlet assigned to data consumers. Security constraints that filter data at the row level, preventing unauthorized viewing of data, in addition to security permissions on views were all part of the selected solution.
  • A rich set of operational reporting, analytics, and visualizations to drive several customer initiatives for the supplier’s outlets. These new visualizations have transformed how clients are interacting with and actioning the information presented, and the increased capabilities of the technology are enabling new insights.
  • Developing new insights which are applicable across different product lines and vendors. Insights are available in the form of KPI’s around product sales, rankings, performance trending, demographic data, top performers, and competitive analysis.

With new analytic capabilities in the form of a live revenue generating service, the client is now securely climbing the analytics maturity curve and setting their sights on new offerings such as more advanced predictive and prescriptive analytic capabilities. With the foundation in place, advanced analytical models can be tested, refined, and deployed from a single governed environment. Thanks to these efforts the client is now experiencing accelerated returns allowing them to go to market faster, cheaper, and with more confidence than ever before.

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Quick Facts

  • Industry - Retail
  • Solution - Platform Modernization
  • Technology - Microsoft SSIS, Tableau
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