suc­cess stories
Vor­werk Schweiz

Cloud self-ser­vice BI for data-driven cor­por­ate management


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

gen­er­ated bene­fits

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.

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