BI creates a new level of customer understanding
morgan benjamin Case studies
Technology and services enterprise Consolidating customer data with powerful results
s a major technology and services enterprise, this Fortune 500 company has innovation at its heart, developing technologies, products and services across a breadth of product portfolios. The company has revenues of $15.7million and over 55,000 employees worldwide. Background The company wanted to create a ‘top account’ customer information application as 80% of its business revenue was generated from just 350 of its customers. It was imperative that the business gained a deeper view of these customers in order to grow its business and develop new customer services. Armed with a new level of customer understanding, management would be better positioned to make strategic decisions regarding the direction of the business; financial controllers could have greater visibility and control over revenue streams and the sales force would be able to target their efforts at truly profitable areas based on clear financial information, trends and cross sector product analysis.
The organisation had a number of technical challenges to overcome before it could benefit from the new application; first it had to consolidate a multitude of disparate systems containing precious sales, financial, customer and service information to gain a single view over its entire data. Business users also relied upon analysis generated in spreadsheets to enable them to assess their key business data, which were time consuming to develop. The company looked at implementing a BI solution to allow them to integrate core business information based on SAP r2 , SAP r3, in-house sales force and CRM data and the new customer application, into a single data warehouse. By using industry-leading products from both Cognos™ and Oracle™ it also looked to replace its existing spreadsheet system and provide IT and business users with powerful reporting and OLAP analysis. The level of expectation was high and the project needed to be delivered on time to achieve the goals which had been set. Exact delivery was crucial. The Solution Our consultants were tasked with developing an end-toto end solution featuring database design, ETL scripts, Cognos installation, reporting & OLAP development, combined with collaboration with the business to gather and define the information requirements. Using our iterative approach to development and engagement with the business, our consultants were able to give the business useful cubes and reports within four weeks. First we constructed a data warehouse to hold the information from the transactional systems. ETL procedures were introduced into the process to automate the Extraction, Transformation and Load tasks. Cognos Powerplay Cubes™ were designed and distributed via Enterprise
server, which allowed us to provide a series of standard reports written using Cognos Impromptuâ„˘. To achieve the desired customer outcome, our broad spread of technical skill were used to create bespoke drill through capabilities. We worked to design an application written in .Net to provide the functionality that the users desired. This solution provided a single portal integrating the suite of Impromptu reports and cubes allowing interactive filtering, navigation and drill through. By working closely as a team with the business and understanding their situation we were able to produce relevant reporting, present detailed information and focus on the results to deliver the much needed tools to the client. The Benefits On completion, the business had a robust, timely solution providing the information they previously craved. The business users were provided with accurate and appropriate reporting -with the ability to explore the data by OLAP slice and dice or via our bespoke drill downs.
The previous spreadsheet system which took four man days to create each month had been replaced by fully automated overnight processes (both ETL and cube building), with all reports running in a matter of seconds. Our consultants provided the companyâ€™s in-house team with the tools, skills and documentation to take their production and output to a wider and more detailed level. Before the new system went live, business analysis had become a long-drawn out process â€“ our solution instantly brought power to the users enabling them to understand greater elements of their own specialist sectors. The implementation was so central to the progression of the division, that it was formally demonstrated to all the other divisions within the business who agreed that they too, should adopt this implementation as their new business standard. Ongoing iterations due to the take up of the solution both across business areas and other countries saw the project develop into the preferred pan- European solution over the next 12 months.