MYTOYS Group reduces IT costs by 20%, enabling employees with self-service analytics


Reducing IT costs by 20% & increasing flexibility
Unburdened IT from tedious routine tasks
Forecast order amounts and timing—saving money

With Tableau, MYTOYS Group gives department staff direct access to all relevant data, empowering them to dig into their own data. This new self-service approach allows the IT team has time to focus on more strategic projects — reducing BI-related IT costs by 20%. Today, the company can quickly respond to market conditions, opening up new business opportunities.

Our departments have become significantly faster and more flexible. With Tableau, our specialists don’t have to wait for reports, but can get to all the data relevant in their daily work themselves.

New BI platform improves decision-making & reduces routine work

"About a year and a half ago, we realized that our traditional BI solution was no longer delivering against the requirements of our highly digital business," says Steffen Heilmann, Head of IT at MYTOYS GROUP.

Employees in procurement, marketing, logistics, and customer support based daily decisions on static reports that had to be prepared manually. When asking additional questions and requesting further analyses, departments often had to wait for the results.

In early 2016, MYTOYS GROUP adopted Tableau to track key performance indicators (KPIs) and create one source of truth for the company.

"We wanted to have an effective, easy-to-use tool that would allow departments to generate their own reports and analyses whenever they required. At the same time, we wanted to free our IT staff from the repetitive report generation tasks. In short, we wanted to deploy self-service BI to create higher data transparency, better process speeds, independence, and flexibility," explains Steffen.

"We wanted employees to have all the data they need for their daily business, to be able to develop new ideas, come up with and test hypotheses themselves. We also wanted them to be able to drill down into the data as far as necessary to determine the cause for any undesirable developments."

This Pareto chart tracks profitability by category

Interactive and independent data exploration

After an initial evaluation of ten competitors in the BI space, the IT team selected Tableau due to their success during the free trial period. "Tableau has everything we need to evolve towards an even more data-driven business," explains Steffen.

Today, about 30 employees in procurement and marketing use Tableau dashboards to explore their data in an interactive way. Underlying data is stored in the company’s Oracle Exadata X6 data warehouse. This includes customer data from web stores, finance, and transactions, logistics data from the Oracle ERP system, along with server status and tracking data from mostly external sources.

While MYTOYS is in the process of expanding its Tableau deployment, the IT team supports employees with training and ongoing questions. As interest grows, the company is considering rolling out Tableau Server across the entire company.

The software gives them a wealth of options for creating meaningful reports and analyses, or even defining their own models and hypotheses. At the same time, they are no longer dependent on the IT department or external partners.

With this scatter plot, mytoys tracks category performance year-over-year

Saving 20% on IT costs & increasing flexibility with self-service BI

"Even though we are still in a very early stage of deploying our new BI platform, we are already seeing results," says Steffen. "Our departments have become significantly faster and more flexible. With Tableau, our specialists don’t have to wait for reports, but can get to all the data relevant in their daily work themselves and define their own models and hypotheses."

"At the same time, they are no longer dependent on the IT department or external partners. They no longer have to wait for current reports to be published or a new ad-hoc query to be run by IT."

Empowering the departments also means unburdening the IT from tedious routine tasks. Steffen Heilmann is very pleased with the cost savings achieved with the new project: "By deploying Tableau self-service BI, we figure we have decreased our IT costs by roughly 20%. Of course, that opened up IT capacities for other important projects. Overall, we have gotten faster and better in the departments, while at the same time saving a lot of money and effort in IT. What more could we want?"

Re-building their business intelligence strategy from the ground up has also allowed MYTOYS to define a unified set of KPIs and consistently apply them throughout all areas of the business. "Now we are all talking about the same facts. There is a single source of truth, and the sometimes endless discussions over data validity of old have gone quiet."

Waiting for current reports to be published or a new ad-hoc query to be run by IT is mostly a thing of the past.

More accurate retail forecasting & IT analytics

With 1,500 employees, MYTOYS runs web stores in German, English, and Russian, as well as 14 retail stores throughout Germany. In addition to its core toy business, MYTOYS’ portfolio has grown to include a wide variety of other products from categories such as decoration, clothing, shows, and furniture.

Within the product-side of the business, procurement uses Tableau to find answers to questions regarding units sold vs. units ordered, prices, and revenue. Employees monitor the company’s progress against quota, observe which products are selling well and why, keep track of what they need to back order, and identify under-performing products. With Tableau, they can determine ideal order amounts and order timing—helping to forecast demand and save money.

Meanwhile, the IT department runs its internal analytics on Tableau. The team built an availability report tracking all support tickets by severity and processing time. Visual time series analysis allows precise estimates, and users can drill down in order to identify root causes behind outliers. This allows users to discern past and current availability levels and SLA fulfillment at a glance.

Overall, we have gotten faster and better in the departments, while at the same time saving a lot of money and effort in IT. What more could we want?

Building a solid, scalable foundation with Tableau

Going forward, MYTOYS plans to fulfill all reporting and analytics requirements using Tableau – from procurement to marketing, to logistics and even in customer support.

MYTOYS’ goal is to provide our marketing team with more insight into their market and its real-time trends, allowing for more precise segmentation and ultimately, a more targeted approach.

The company also plans to analyze customer behavior at retail locations, the effectiveness of voucher campaigns and marketing measures, as well as customer specific conversion rates and reasons for abandoned transactions. With Tableau, MYTOYS hopes to achieve well-targeted optimizations for an increase in revenue.

"We are confident to have built a solid foundation for company-wide self-service BI with Tableau, gaining a massive advantage for our company," sums up Steffen.

We are confident to have built a solid foundation for company-wide self-service BI with Tableau, gaining a massive advantage for our company.

You might also be interested in...