Bilot’s Data Warehouse Automation solution Bilot DW Core™ is, at its best, a new platform for management by insight for organisations, which enables straightforward and versatile self-service analytics. A good example of this is the case of a foodstuff company operating in the Nordic and Baltic countries. DW Core™ was used to build a solution for their marketing department, which has resulted in better channelling and targeting of marketing efforts and increased sales.
With the help of Bilot, the company’s aim was to develop their management by insight in general, and boost the generation of new business and innovation. At the same time, the company wanted to increase automation in data management and self-service utilisation of data. Usecases included examples like ensuring that the right products were in the right markets, at the right time and at the right price.
Previously, the customer had been using another solution for years, built with different technical tools but offering equivalent end results. Our aim was to not only replace the existing solution, but also generate added value on top of that. The old solution is still used in production by a specific user base. With the new solution, however, the company’s own experts can do a lot more themselves, says Tomi Lindström, who participated in the project as a developer.
In addition to the developer’s role, Lindström also acted as a link between business activity and the technical execution of the project. He made sure that the customer’s business needs and expectations were correctly understood by the development team.
New analytics to support management by insight
In practice, the new solution integrated SAP ERP business process data by leveraging the Bilot DW Core™ framework. Bilot’s predesigned models and data warehouse automation were used as the foundation for the data model. The data was transferred from SAP to Azure, and the actual data warehouse information schema view was created using Snowflake. Since the first modelling, the solution has been expanded to include data other than SAP data. For example, data produced by resellers has been included.
As the end result, the data platform contains dimensional data models and structures which can be easily used by data analysts, controllers and other experts at the customer’s end to carry out different analytics that support management by insight, summarises project manager Miika Sipilä.
The development stage of the project took approximately three months, comprising everything from the design phase to the final product. At the same time, the company also brought new technology into use, so both validating the data content and learning how to use the new technology took a certain amount of time.
The customer spent lots of effort on this and can now use the platform very efficiently as a result, says Sipilä happily.
More possibilities for the customer with a self-service-based model
One of the most important benefits of the DW Core™ Framework is that it makes it possible to build a development model based on utilising the organisation’s self-service capabilities to the full. The previous reporting solution barely offered any possibilities to make calculations and reports quickly and easily. When data was gathered clearly and informatively on a single platform, the previous process could also be simplified.
With Snowflake, the customer moved increasingly to a self-service mentality. Now they don’t need to always ask the supplier to do this and that, as they can do the same things themselves. That’s by far the most important thing, Lindström says.
Another remarkable advantage is the cost saving originated by moving from On-Premise service to SaaS service. Thanks to this, maintenance and licence expenses are determined directly according to usage.
The costs might not concern end users, but they do concern the IT department. In a cloud service, software updates are performed automatically, so the customer does not need to worry about maintenance. Today, everybody wants to be in the cloud, Lindström asserts with a smile.
A future-proof solution for all data processing needs
The plan for the future is to expand the use of the data content to other divisions of the business, in addition to sales and marketing. The platform could be used in production, supply management and finance, for example. In production, integration design has already been kicked off.
For example, this could mean that in production, the entire process with its different stages – from field to plate – can be controlled. The process could then be directly monitored step by step, Lindström explains.
Our platform for management by insight and automation solution would thus better cater to different use cases and cover all the different data processing needs of the entire business, says Sipilä in summary.
Read more about Bilot DW Core™