Customer Data Analysis at KAISER+KRAFT – a Case for DeltaMaster
With DeltaMaster, the B2B online mail-order company KAISER+KRAFT has set up a system for flexible customer data analyses based on the self-service principle. These analyses are used throughout the Group in 25 countries.
Data analysis via self-service BI
As a company in the TAKKT AG stable, KAISER+KRAFT is responsible for aspects including the Group’s IT. One of its current tasks is to ensure the global build-up of digitalization expertise in the context of the Group’s “digital agenda”. This involves modernizing the companies’ merchandise management systems. The central data warehouse is also being revamped: To date, the Group’s data has been stored in a data warehouse on the basis of IBM DB2. Over the years, this has evolved into an essential “single point of truth,” via which ERP, CRM, and other data can be retrieved centrally. As part of the modernization of the application landscape, DB2 is gradually being replaced by Microsoft SQL Server. Alongside this, a self-service BI solution is intended to enable employees in the specialist departments to perform their own data analyses independently in order to understand their customers even better. Although various BI solutions are already in use within the Group, they have not been so easy to operate as to be able to provide applications from them in line with the self-service principle.
KAISER+KRAFT expected a “good advice” by the consulting firm mip GmbH, which is appreciated as a reliable, professional IT partner. mip introduced the company-wide data warehouse in 1999, and has maintained and updated it ever since. As a result, it knows the connections and structures of the company’s data inside out.
When the request to use DeltaMaster came from the specialist department, mip was called in again. In conjunction with Bissantz, the foundations for the “Customer Data Analysis” project were laid at a kick-off workshop. mip was also entrusted with the migration to SQL Server.
On top of mip’s recommendation, KAISER+KRAFT consulted market studies on BI software and explored further offerings online and at various events. It soon became clear that mip’s recommendation was absolutely right: “We looked into the various products in great detail, and assessed them on the basis of our list of criteria as well as using test installations. DeltaMaster was the most impressive one,” recalls Christof Maendle, head of the IT/Applications Development department at KAISER+KRAFT.
Particularly crucial aspects here were handling and the fact that DeltaMaster is suitable for standardized reports as well as for individual analyses that each user can produce themselves. “In addition, the visualization concept of DeltaMaster greatly appealed to us. The fact that large volumes of data can be displayed in a compact manner, for example via Sparklines, means that the information can be understood quickly. You know at a glance what is important and should be looked at more closely,” adds Maendle.
“What we like about DeltaMaster is that you can navigate from high aggregation levels to a detailed level with just a few steps. This provides huge flexibility.”
Christof Maendle, head of the IT/Applications Development department, KAISER+KRAFT
Remote and on-site coaching
First analyses could already be generated in the kick-off workshop for the Customer Data Analysis project, which mip took the lead in setting up. Alongside this, through implementation during coaching, KAISER+KRAFT built up its level of expertise with regard to the principles, concepts, and creation of models, for instance. “Combined with the remote and on-site deployment of external consultants, this was a highly efficient method for us,” says Maendle, “as we want to implement as many BI elements as possible in the future without external support.”
Modeling and data loading are carried out centrally. Analyses and reports with drilldown functionality are provided for users in all country organizations. Around 20 power users in sales/marketing, logistics/procurement and controlling already use the flexible self-service analysis options for their day-to-day work.
There are also a growing number of report recipients (currently around 100) to whom the power users have to make standard reports available regularly on an automated basis. These reports can be flexibly adapted to the respective recipient group.
The customer-data analyses cover the entire product range and can have different levels of detail. For instance, when browsing, starting with an indicator such as revenue, users can move in various analysis directions in order to examine customers’ purchasing behavior. They can ask, for example, about the types of advertising that drew the customer’s attention to the online retailer, the channel via which the order arrived, or the product range, in order to analyze which sizes of companies predominantly buy in which product range.
In the future
The solution will be gradually rolled out throughout the whole Group in the next few months. In addition, through training and coaching, the power users will be empowered to take on predefinition of the reports in order to further reduce the workload of IT. The aim of this is to entrench DeltaMaster in such a way that the system can be used by everyone.
- Self-service BI for power users in the specialist departments
- Flexible analyses in any direction and level of detail
- Standard reports for all country organizations
- Compact visualization of large volumes of data with Sparklines
- Project partner
- One of Europe’s leading B2B mail-order companies for factory, warehouse, and office equipment
- Multichannel company
- Around 1,000 employees
- Part of the TAKKT Group