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Retail Technology, Retail technology News

STUDY: Game fuels efficiency with optimised data warehouse

Friday August 5 2011

Multichannel gaming retailer improves management of unstructured data sources to provide more meaningful BI information

Multichannel gaming retailer improves management of unstructured data sources to provide more meaningful BI information


Game, the computer gaming software and video games retailer, historically managed its business intelligence (BI) needs through various manual and tedious means.


Among these included processing a large number of unstructured data sources (mainly in spreadsheets and flat files), querying several tactical databases with limited information, and managing delivery through a large support team engaged in meeting business needs.


The dynamic nature of Game’s specialty retail business and its need to react faster to opportunities were severely limited by the existing BI infrastructure and decision support mechanisms; and, due to the absence of an enterprise-wide BI system, the retailer lacked an integrated view of information from its various data sources like its JDA merchandise management system, promotions management system, point-of-sale (PoS) and customer loyalty systems.


Building more trust in data


The poor architecture and performance of the existing data warehouse BI infrastructure also resulted in frequent data loading failures, especially during peak seasons like Christmas – a time when Game makes more than 30% of its annual revenues. Problematically, the users were unable to change gears and react to immediate market opportunities, or get cross-functional views of key performance measures. Having operations in eight countries posed major challenges in managing both regional and organisational needs, and there was a fundamental inability to do so in a simple, manageable and cost-effective way.


On multiple fronts, Game found ARC from Manthan Systems to suit their BI needs better than any other available solution. Game’s retail business managers found that ARC’s best practice retail capabilities give them rich analytical coverage in an easy-to-use, intuitive and actionable set of front end tools and utilities. Furthermore, ARC’s retail data model and data warehouse architecture gave Game’s business a much needed cross-functional analytic ability across key performance measures, while maintaining data quality and accuracy.


Rapid adoption and results


Game’s IT management found ARC ideal for bringing all of their data warehouse BI support requirements under a single platform that was easy to manage and maintain – just as impressively, the ARC deployment only took around six months across the entire enterprise. Game now has the ability to manage BI across a multi-country, multi-currency business by integrating data across more than 830 stores. The first phase of deployment focused on enabling sales, merchandise and inventory modules of the data model. The deployment roll out is phased to minimise risk with UK and Ireland going live first, followed by the Scandinavian countries, rest of Europe and finally Australia.


Beyond having the ability to access and analyse sales and margin information for products and categories, Game’s business managers now have improved insights and analytics into their business – including information like trade-ins, vendor returns and daily on-hand stock. Complex reports, which used to take several hours, are now being delivered in seconds at the click of a button. ARC’s optimised data warehouse architecture and high query performance have eliminated load-processing issues during peak business days like Christmas, and standard report packs today are sent to various countries through ARC’s report bursting utility.


ARC is allowing stable, consistent and reliable reporting, and faster reporting turnaround enables Game to be highly responsive to their dynamic business environment. Also ensured is a single version of the truth in enterprise reporting and analysis.


Peter Crowne, Game financial director, said: “The retail-specific capabilities of ARC and its best practice approach gave us the ability to move much faster than we would have been able to do with more generic solutions. In our very dynamic business, we need to be able to keep our finger on the pulse at all times and ARC will enable us to do just that.”