December 21, 2015

Providing BI expertise to support game-changing objectives

Decathlon, a brand and brand innovation for the pleasure of all sports is a speciality retailer with sincerity, generosity, vitality and responsibility as their key values. With an ambitious long-term, cross-functional BI initiative underway, Decathlon India wanted to ensure quality & consistency and needed a proven BI expert to help them orchestrate this - Akira Consultancy partnered with them.

The Vision

The BI programme at Decathlon India was ambitious - multiple new reporting and analytics systems for 5 key critical business areas based on India enterprise data warehouse.

Best-in-class technologies were chosen to meet these demanding requirements. The program had to address delivery of multiple components using QlikView, Pentaho, SAP BO and SAP HANA, a PostgreSQL based enterprise ERP.

Decathlon India chose Akira as their BI and Analytics partner. For the program to deliver success, it needed aligned development along with various other projects within the wide-ranging program. Key objectives were:

  • Productive ways of working
  • Fast performance
  • Consistency in user experience
  • Shared design principles
  • Future supportability

These could only be achieved if the program was co-ordinated & facilitated as a holistic measure and needed a combination of skills mapping technical knowledge to their business needs.

Delivering the Vision

Akira facilitated a core team to provide BI and analytics expertise to ‘Decathlon IT’– a group addressing the diagnosed pain points to ensure the pre-defined objectives were met.

The Akira team took up three key roles in addition to the development work:

  • Program Lead: co-ordinating analytics and reporting streams with other project paradigms
  • Technical Architect: working as part of the high-level program architecture team to define, monitor and constantly manage standards
  • Technical Subject Matter Expert: bringing deep technical expertise in support of the governance and development teams

This core team that came together with one commonality - to share Decathlon’s Vision has led way to a robust solution that caters to a multitude of business functions with a a perennially and rapidly expanding user base.

The Approach

During development, an agile approach was taken. Business and IT users were involved throughout the design and development processes to ensure that the dashboard is intuitive, easy to use and provides clear and obvious answers to their business questions.

A robust system architecture was proposed and implemented where the data from various sources are read and stored in native formats facilitating faster data retrieval and processing. Provisioning large data sets and capabilities to support near real time data to the business has been implemented as an incremental approach. This helped Akira maintain data integrity over frequently changing data sources.

Key Milestones

Over the last 24 months, Akira has been engaged with Decathlon India at various levels across verticals to fulfill their needs in BI and Analytics, both in terms of new development and support:

  • Rolling out QlikView reporting to various business functions
  • Scaling from 50 power users to around 1000 power and daily users by providing strong reporting and dashboard platforms
  • Streamlining IT support process for BI & Analytics projects
  • Successfully proposed and implemented a self – service BI solution

Looking Ahead

Today over 1000 users access QlikView to analyse KPIs to evaluate the growth of the organization towards their vision. QlikView empowers the executive team of the organization to take strategic decisions driven from the insights.

Having delivered applications for number of areas including Supply Chain, Sales and CRM, the Decathlon India BI program continues at an impressive pace. The strategy roadmap is to implement a central data warehouse, report data marts, mobile applications and customer analytics for 2016 and 2017.

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