The COVID-19 pandemic has brought significant impact, change and ongoing uncertainty to most New Zealand organisations. Intelligent data analytics tools are more essential than ever in enabling businesses to bring information together across all areas of the business to help determine the impact of this current crisis. CDP has been working with a number of large New Zealand customers to implement cloud-based analytics platforms to help them survive and thrive at a low cost.
The initial use case
In the case of a major retailer based in NZ, the initial use case was to deal with the large volume of transactional information to support large scale analytics on its business in a more functional and cost-effective way than using their existing platform. Their current platform had grown to a point that large queries would fail, and to expand it would require a significant investment. They were also looking for more flexibility to be able to ingest new data sets, and to generate new views of data.
Cloud-based, open source tooling
Cloud-based analytics platforms offer many options to provide greatly enhanced analytics capability; improved loading, transforming, storing and management of information on scale. But we’ve found that the cost of these solutions can range from very cheap to very expensive depending on the design, tools and approach.
CDP completed an initial evaluation solution to integrate the cloud-based analytics platform into the existing core system. This involved loading POS (point of sales) data for a number of years, including a regular update process to capture new transactions. This was completed in days of consulting effort, not weeks, leveraging CDP’s experience and knowledge of the existing source system and of cloud-based approaches. After the initial success of the solution it is now being expanded to include additional data sources and expand the user base.
By utilising cheap serverless processing capability and open source tooling, CDP delivered a platform that from initial cost indications, provides far greater analytics capability, scalability, and improved performance for less than 10% of the cost of completing the same in their existing platform. Performance testing has shown significant performance improvement with no issues with scalability.
The future is bright with an expanded toolkit
A well chosen cloud platform reduces significant build effort from expensive Data Scientists, where functions such as text analytics, geospatial analysis and AI modeling are already built into the platform. Additionally it will provide the ability to integrate AI models with existing applications using API’s.
Now the retailer’s Analysts and Data Scientists have an expanded toolkit to develop models, visualisations, and reports that allow them to understand the impact of COVID-19 on their business in a way that had not been possible before.