• // Business Intelligence
  • // Data Warehousing
  • // Business Analytics

Case Study: Food Company

Industry:
Food and Beverage
Company Type:
Food Manufacturer
Company Size:
$3B
Job Functions:
Chief Information Officer, BI Director
Solutions:
BI Strategy and Planning, BI Requirements Analysis, Performance Management

Challenge: How to upgrade and get more business value from an outdated risk-prone data warehousing and business intelligence infrastructure while also responding to growing business unit demand for better information and performance management tools.

Brands You Know. Brands You Love

Our client is a company of classic brands including powdered baking mixes, canned meats, sauces, frozen dinners, and frozen vegetables. Their major brands hold leading market positions in their respective retail categories and enjoy high consumer awareness – collectively penetrating four our of every five US households. With revenues of $3 billion, the company is a strong competitor among mid-cap food and CPG companies.

Big Appetite for Information

While the company’s legacy data warehouse had been effective in producing standard reports across the sales organization and ad-hoc queries for power users, the infrastructure was outdated, risk-prone, and unreliable. This led to a number of issues, including reports not being created in time, limited self-service by business users, long project development cycles, and sub-optimal business analysis and performance management.

Instead of being able to develop and deliver newer high-value business analysis solutions, the BI Director and his staff was consumed by responding to user requests for reports that were slight variants of existing reports. In short, the company’s BI Director was faced with the challenge of reengineering the current data warehousing and BI environment to improve performance of existing BI applications, migrating to a modern BI front-end tool, and changing the business user culture toward more self-service access to basic business information and analytics.

BI and Data Warehouse (DW) Technical Readiness and Technical Strategy

The company needed to find a way to increase the business value of their BI investments thereby evolve to a sophisticated level of BI Maturity. They selected DecisionPath for our combination of food industry experience, BI thought leadership, and extensive DW and BI technology expertise and technical experience. 

Using our BI Pathway Method, DecisionPath partnered with the BI Director to perform a comprehensive technical readiness assessment that encompassed:

  • identifying risks associated with expanding the company’s existing data warehouse and deploying more sophisticated BI tools
  • assessing technical readiness and pre-conditions for BI/DW success
  • benchmarking the technical state of the company’s BI/DW against industry best practices
  • assessing data readiness in relation to the BI requirements of the company’s business users
  • understanding the current technical architecture as the starting point for migration to a modernized BI/DW architecture and for developing a BI/DW technical strategy

Based on the results of the above assessment, DecisionPath developed an enterprise data architecture and a technical strategy for migrating to a modern BI/DW platform.  The key elements of the approved technical strategy included:

  • executing a BI/DW technical renovation to rapidly improve the performance, reliability, and usefulness of the existing BI/DW platform and the standard reports it produces
  • retiring a BI tool that business users rarely use, migrating the reports produced by that tool into the renovated BI/DW environment
  • engaging with business users to select and implement a modern, full-function BI tool
  • iteratively reengineering and expanding the enterprise data warehouse to deliver new BI applications on a regular basis over 18 months

A Clear Path Ahead

As a result of this engagement, the company has a clearly articulated technical strategy and a low-risk, practical plan for delivering BI applications that will that eliminate the need within the company’s business community for time-consuming workarounds, improve business user productivity, and expand the depth and range of business analysis and performance management that is possible for business users to perform on their own.

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