Before the ENTERTAINER launched its mobile app, 90 percent of its sales took place through retail channels, meaning the company had very little data on who its customers were.
“We knew something about the 10 percent of customers that were buying from our website, but the 90 percent that were buying the voucher book in their local supermarket, we had no idea about,” says David. “We also had no idea which of our restaurants or merchants were popular, how many redemptions were being made or by whom. We had very little data at all.”
However, as soon as the app launched in 2013, the company quickly found itself with the opposite problem.
“Redemption of an offer through the App is perfect data,” says David. “We get everything we need from an App redemption that we would never get through a print redemption. So as soon as the App was up and running, we started getting all kinds of data coming that we needed to effectively process and analyze.”
David and his team began by categorizing the data into three distinct categories, before storing it in relevant databases and data warehouses within the network.
“We've got master data, which is our merchants, outlets and offers, and transactional data, which is user registrations, product sales and redemptions,” explains David. “Everything else we classify as big data, which includes things like App sessions, web analytics, demographics, search, the way people are searching inside the app etc.”
Master data and transactional data is stored in a MySQL database, while big data, which is currently housed in MongoDB, is being migrated to a SQL data warehouse on Microsoft’s Azure platform. This means information from all sources can be pulled directly into Tableau for fast, effective on-demand business intelligence and analysis.
“One of the main reasons we selected Tableau over other BI products is because of the capability it has to blend data from different sources,” explains Vicki Gounari, Head of Information at the ENTERTAINER. “It doesn't need the strict data warehouse that most of the BI tools require, making it much more versatile.”
“The intelligence that we get from Tableau is adding huge value by allowing us to make better, faster, more informed decisions,” adds David.