One of the World’s Largest Specialty Retailer: Our client is a global specialty retailer offering apparel, accessories, and personal care products for men, women, children, and babies, with more than 2,700 stores and operating some of the most recognized apparel brands in the world. HARKENDATA has implemented multiple projects for the client. Highlighted below is a summary of the BI Roadmap and Tool Rationalization project.
As companies mature, a natural proliferation of business intelligence tools and related investments can occur over time, making it difficult to determine if the current state of BI technologies matches the current and future objectives of both the business and IT. Conducting a rationalization study can provide the insights and industry direction that cannot always be realized through internal mechanisms. Our client chose HARKENDATA to assess their current state of BI, match it to their objectives, and provide a window into strategic decisions that proved to have short-term and long-term impacts.
Specific objectives for the strategic engagement included:
- Targeting areas of value: improving the alignment of the BI tool investments to the company’s business objectives
- Gap analysis: identifying specific gaps in functionality in the current environment
- Identifying trends: providing insight as to how the client matches up to industry standards and best practices
- Strategic roadmap: providing a direction to move forward.
HARKENDATA employed a multi-step process to accomplish the objectives of the strategic engagement.
- Information Gathering
- Artifact analyses
- Review high level technical and business requirements
- Analyze current BI tool environments and usage patterns
- Analyze current BI tool investments
- IT and Business Interviews – Individual and Group Setting
- Assess degree of fit of tool environments to requirements
- Interpret survey and interview data
- Perform gap analyses
- Gather industry standards and best practices
- Create strategic recommendations and roadmap
- Solution Deliverables
- Tool Rationalization Document
- Tool Assessment Matrix
- Executive Level Presentation
The engagement deliverables included an extensive strategic document with detailed analysis of the current state, investments, degree of leverage/effectiveness, and gap analyses in relation to business and IT objectives. Within these deliverables, a tool assessment matrix was provided that quantified critical data points. An executive level presentation was a key deliverable as well, summarizing the findings for the business sponsor and stakeholders.
Benefits Client Received
This strategic engagement brought several critical insights to the customer in regards to the following:
- Tool Management
- Several technologies identified as under-utilized, requiring critical updates, and incorrectly targeted for the client’s needs.
- Specific technologies identified as high-value with potential for expansion.
- Data Governance
- Critical gaps in data and tool governance were identified as factors for positively influencing future initiatives
- Data Environment
- HARKENDATA exposed several issues in both data integration and database management platforms that all impacted BI tool performance and acceptance.
- Several key factors in the current organizational structure (both on the business and IT side and the interaction model and BI methodology) were noted as crucial for future successful BI deployments and effective management of the environments.
- Industry Best Practice
- HARKENDATA provided multiple insights as to how Retailers of similar size handle the same type of critical decisions facing the client’s BI tool environment.
Utilizing the strategic information provided, the customer made several course corrections in their planning for the following year. In addition, the IT leadership at the client leveraged the HARKENDATA content to assist with influencing the business areas and creating strong sponsorship opportunities that became funded in the following months. In addition, the recommendations helped drive the restart of the data governance function at the client.