September 30, 2022

Real-time reporting for an organic supermarket chain

Business Case

Our client, an organic supermarket chain, sells affordable natural foods to thousands of shoppers every day. To better understand customer demand, teams relied on multiple daily sales reports. However, their existing analytics platform offered limited visualization and self-service capabilities. To build reports, teams exported data from the platform to Excel, where they manually organized and analyzed data – taking as long as 15 minutes to create a single report. The process was time-consuming, error-prone, and offered little return on investment (ROI). Knowing they needed a change, the supermarket giant began working with another supplier to migrate to Microsoft Power BI, a leading reporting and visualization platform. But when the supplier failed to deliver a solution on time, Microsoft introduced us to accelerate their migration. Over the next few months, we worked closely with our client’s teams to understand their needs and deliver an effective solution.

Key Challenges

  Enable self-service reporting 
  Empower real-time insights 
  Enable holistic view across teams 
  Reduce operational costs 

Our Solution

Our client knew they wanted Power BI, but supporting the speed and flexibility they needed also required a powerful analytics platform on the back end. We performed an in-depth analysis and determined the best combination for our client’s needs was Power BI and Azure Synapse. With this combination, we could perform direct queries between front-end Power BI reports and back-end data, enabling teams to access insights in real time. In addition, Azure Synapse provided higher data security than their existing platform. With Azure Synapse’s full data protection, access control, authentication, network security, and threat protection, teams can work with more confidence.

After migrating all data to Synapse, we built a robust data model that provides a holistic view across teams and sales channels. Now, teams can easily compare in-store purchases and ecommerce orders. Using our technical expertise and business knowledge, we helped teams create reports that maximize their insights. With Power BI’s slice and dice capabilities and drag and drop visualizations, teams can now edit and build reports with zero code. To ensure teams were confident using their new platform, we offered Center of Excellence (CoE) trainings and dedicated support hours.

Business Outcomes

Within three months, we migrated our client’s reports to Power BI and built a robust data model on Azure Synapse that provides a holistic view across teams. Now, report generation is automatic, collectively saving teams up to an hour a day. With a unified system and no manual effort, our client reduced their operational costs and increased their ROI. Teams can now easily access insights and be confident in their business decisions.