Improving business efficiency using data automation and BI-analytics

Case study: Retail


The client is one of the largest networks of electronics and household appliances stores, which has been successfully operating in the market for over 25 years.
The client approached us to solve a number of problems:
  • Lack of clear methodologies for defining and calculating financial indicators that reflect business performance.
  • Ambiguous financial reporting within the company.
  • 15 poorly integrated primary systems with financial data.
Financial data was spread across multiple non synchronised systems and a particular indicator was calculated using the data convenient to a particular manager to demonstrate performance of the department.
All analytical reports were generated in the system supported by 3rd party vendor without documentation. It did not allow company specialists to manage data sources and formulas without formal change requests to the vendor which caused delays and additional costs.
As a result, this misled senior management about an objective picture of the company's key business parameters. Our task was to develop a comprehensive solution that would include:
  • Revision of set of key financial indicators and development of the methodology and rules of their calculation.
  • Revision of data sources and consolidation of ‘true data’ into a single data warehouse.
  • Development of analytical reports in the BI tools.
  • Deployment of the whole system and post production support.


At start we engaged our senior financial consultant to elaborate a unified set of key financial indicators. During the business consulting phase he discovered the existing reporting system and business demands.
To ensure mutual understanding, we developed a glossary, defining all the concepts and terms used in the reports.
Then we performed a formalisation and specifiction of the parameters: each one got a ‘passport’, namely: how it should be calculated, what data should be used for its calculation, and how to interpret the results. Finally our team created a comprehensive "Scorecard tree" which incorporated 200 input parameters. We have created passports for 65 of these parameters and have collected and calculated data for 50 of them. Additionally, we have successfully integrated 15 primary systems into a single information space.
During the implementation of the IT solution, we set up a data warehouse based on the open-source software Greenplum, which also allowed the client to replace previously used proprietary applications and reduced costs of licenses. We also discovered a vendor lock in the existing BI system and were able to eliminate significant data discrepancies, which helped the client reduce material losses.


Greenplum Qlik Tableau

The final results

As a result of the team's work:
  • Top management has received a unified system of indicators that ensures transparency and accuracy of information, so data manipulation has become impossible.
  • A glossary has been developed — now all specialists use the same terms in their work.
  • The ability to create new reports has significantly improved our client's work and increased the efficiency of business processes.
  • The developed documentation has allowed new developers to quickly familiarize themselves with the software and get started on their tasks.
Project implementation period: 9 months.
Currently, we are providing technical support for the solution.