BizOne developed a BI platform solution in the cloud for leading beauty retailer Kicks
BizOne developed an integrated BI platform solution in the cloud, for leading beauty product retailer Kicks, to optimize sales and operations throughout the company.
The project was initiated in 2018 and by 2019, a full-scaled BI solution was delivered, with the flexibility to add new capabilities and data sources.
Store managers, finance, and senior management now have the ability to analyze sales and operations in real (or near real) time and can implement tools for individualized marketing.
Background and scope
In 2017, Kicks, a leading Nordic cosmetics and beauty retailer, contacted BizOne for the development of a new IT solution, where the company could leverage its huge amount of data from both e-commerce and in-store sales. BizOne recommended a cloud solution on Microsoft Azure that could be implemented fast and that would be easy to use.
The project started with a proof of concept, PoC, on fraud detection, a prioritized area for Kicks. The development of a full-scale BI platform solution was initiated in 2018 and by 2019 the main part of the project was delivered. The project has now entered the maintenance phase, where BizOne continues to add new data sources and develop analytical tools.
A cloud based solution
BizOne has built the whole platform in the cloud and has developed a roadmap to make the solution completely serverless. All data across the organization has been consolidated, thereby enabling future use of machine learning and advanced analytics.
The challenge of the project has been the multiple data sources – to identify commonalities in the data and to create a star schema. Data can be easy to collect; the challenge is to integrate it with other data for fast and easy access in a data warehouse.
Building the solution in the cloud makes it easy to scale up and scale out, to include more sources and tools. It also saves costs for infrastructure and maintenance.
BizOne has used an agile methodology, enabling a flexible, iterative and incremental development process. This allows changes to be made quickly and new developments to be prioritized and deployed quickly. The ambition throughout the project has been to maximize visibility to the client and to provide continuous feedback.
With a joint team in both Sweden and Thailand, BizOne can monitor development, maintenance, and operations both day and night. Issues can therefore be dealt with before they affect the business.
Benefits for end users
The project started with sales and finance, where most companies start, as it is often easiest to get value from your data in these areas. The project then moved on to also include inventory and to combine sales from the website with in-store sales. Using Google Tag Manager, data is streamed into the system for real-time monitoring of sales online. The goal is to also have near real-time data from in-store sales for the Christmas campaigns in 2019.
Store managers in each of the 250 stores now have access to Power BI reports, where they get a clear view of sales and inventory, and results from campaigns and activities of the company’s makeup artists and beauty experts. Using machine learning, Kicks will, in the near future, get a 360° view of its customers, which can be used for individualized marketing to further increase sales and improve margins.
The development of the new BI platform solution in the cloud is a long-term partnership where BizOne will continue to help Kicks maximize value from their data. The next steps are to finalize near real-time data from in-store sales, to create a 360° view of customers, a recommendation engine and to implement more tools for advanced analytics.
Kicks is the leading cosmetics and beauty product retailer in the Nordics, with stores in Sweden, Norway, and Finland. Kicks’ ambition is to offer the best guidance and inspiration in the market when it comes to choosing beauty products.
Kicks has adopted an omnichannel approach, integrating its 250 physical stores with e-commerce. In total, Kicks offers 25,000 products from 300 different brands.
The PoC took place in 2017. The development of the integrated BI platform solution in the cloud started in 2018. In 2019, the project entered the maintenance phase in terms of BI, where new data sources and capabilities are added upon customer request as well as upon suggestions from BizOne.
The solution consists of the following components:
For traditional Business Intelligence: Azure Virtual Machines with SQL Server, Azure SQL Database, Azure Analysis Services, Power BI, Event Hub, Azure Stream Analytics
For Machine Learning: Azure Databricks with MLFlow
For the agile project method: Jira by Atlassian