short to story
For more than 130 years, Vorwerk’s Thermomix® kitchen appliances and Kobold vacuum cleaners have impressed millions of families with their superior, innovative technology and their proverbial long service life. The products are not sold via traditional retailers, but via direct sales. Throughout Switzerland, over 1,500 representatives are on hand to provide customers with personal advice and support before and after their purchase.
For data-driven corporate management, it should be possible to use existing data treasures quickly and easily. A self-service BI is designed to bring together internal and external data sources for the analyst and make them usable. The Vorwerk Switzerland PowerBI project creates a flexible and powerful BI solution.
Goals & challenges
The existing evaluations make insufficient and inflexible use of the available data for data-driven corporate management and the acquisition of insights. The "Vorwerk Switzerland PowerBI" project aims to create a new platform with which internal data from ERP, HR and accounting as well as external data can be linked and analyzed easily and flexibly by users. Expenses are to be massively reduced through extensive automation and self-service. Manually collecting and preparing data in Microsoft Excel should be a thing of the past with the new solution. In future, specialists will be able to focus more on analysis rather than preparation. The aim is to create a single source of truth for the various analyses. Despite the ambitious objective, the limited IT skills and resources should also be taken into account with a pragmatic overall solution.
The following key requirements were placed on the new BI solution:
- Integration and linking of internal data, in particular from SELECTLINE ERP and external data
- Mapping of historicized storage of variable master data specifically for mapping the sales structure
- Creation of a uniform database for all analyses (single source of truth)
- Complete automation of processing and analysis processes on an hourly basis
- Guarantee of very high analysis performance and simultaneous reduction of the system load on the ERP system
- Possibility of analysis creation by the specialist users, including availability of a data catalog that describes the available information technically and professionally
- Ensuring operations without IT specialists
Due to the technical focus of Vorwerk Switzerland and the use of Microsoft Office 365, the BI solution is based on Microsoft's BI products. The data from the SELECTLINE ERP and external data is loaded into an SQL Server database (on premise) using Microsoft SQL Server Integration Services. The necessary transformations, historizations and DQ checks are carried out. The database is used as a single source of truth from which topic-oriented data sets are created in Microsoft PowerBI Services. These data sets provide the evaluation-optimized database in the sense of data marts for the visualizations (analyses and standard reports) in Microsoft PowerBI Services. The analyses and users use workspaces and apps in the Microsoft PowerBI Portal to access analyses and information
The BI solution developed provides the following benefits:
- The data from internal and external data sources is automatically available for analysis and reporting on an hourly basis.
- The historicized storage of master data enables analyses in the “as booked” and “as today” viewpoints, thus massively expanding the perspective of the ERP system.
- All analyses are based on uniform data truth and transparent data definitions thanks to the data catalog
- Analysts can gain new insights from the data quickly and independently with self-service. The time required for manual data preparation has been massively reduced.
- A data-driven management culture and an “analytical mindset” were established
services accomplished by synvert saracus
As a competent partner, synvert saracus provided the following services:
- Carrying out the requirements analysis and architecture definition
- Professional and technical conception and data modeling
- Support with source system analysis
- Implementation of ETL processes with Microsoft SSIS
- Structure of the data sets and key figure calculations with DAX in Microsoft PowerBI
- Support and coaching in the implementation of visualization with Microsoft PowerBI
- Support in operation and further development
delivery / conclusion
The introduction of cloud-based self-service BI has made it much easier and more flexible to use the existing data from the ERP system for analyses. The historicized view of the data and the linking of internal and external data has made it possible to gain valuable new insights. The cloud-based infrastructure makes the use of information for analysts and management independent of location, time and medium. The pragmatic architecture and technical implementation enable simple and secure operation. Overall, the "Vorwerk Switzerland PowerBI" is a first step towards data-driven corporate management and massively increases the importance of data as a resource within the company.