A modern data stack for Douglas
To be successful in today’s e-commerce world, a scalable business intelligence solution for product, marketing and customer analysis is essential. Recognising this, Douglas – Europe’s leading platform for premium beauty and health products – turned to DEPT® to act as a service provider, enabler and partner in the development of a central data platform.
Data rows per month from 30+ data sources
The starting position
When DEPT®’s data team first started working with Douglas two years ago, the brand had an evolved IT infrastructure with a database that was difficult to scale, slow processes and static tools. It needed an overhaul, to ensure Douglas could benefit from a modern, fast, scalable and flexible data stack.
As the performance capacity of the existing system was limited, certain analyses could not be carried out to the desired extent and depth. In addition, there was an enormous manual effort in reporting because data from different countries and companies had to be merged. In particular, analyses that required a combination of data (e.g. tracking and marketing data), from different tools took a long time before insights could be gained.
The design of a modern data stack
Together with Douglas, we were able to identify optimisation potential in three key areas:
As Douglas’ own IT resources for new integrations were limited, we recommended Fivetran. This software allows data to be extracted from various sources and loaded into data warehouses. Today, Douglas is Fivetran’s largest customer in Europe.
Data storage and transformation
Before Douglas turned to us, they had already chosen Snowflake cloud data platform, an ideal fit for Douglas’ challenges and objectives. For data transformation, we relied on our own SQL Runner.
Data activation and visualisation
We conducted a thorough comparison of visualisation tools across eleven categories and over 50 requirements, as defined by Douglas. Tableau was identified as the best solution, and is now gradually being established by Douglas as a central, self-service tool.
The data stack in action
Thanks to the use of the above tools, data management for Douglas is now significantly easier, more efficient and more effective.
The days of manually combining dozens of Excel files to produce a simple sales report are over. We have been able to make a significant contribution to ensuring that data from all Douglas subsidiaries is now available in the same format in one central location, and that metrics are standardised across the company.
In the past, a great deal of manual effort was required to produce Excel reports that were sent to the board on a weekly basis. Now, the data for the reports is processed fully automatically and made available in the visualisation tool, so that the C-level at Douglas has the latest reports every morning before they even have their first coffee.
Basis for self-service
Thanks to the newly created data platform, the teams at Douglas are for the first time able to carry out tool-supported, independent data analyses on a large scale. Standardised KPIs, Tableau training, and the connection of new data sources enable them to easily find the data they need and visualise it. As a result, reports can now be created independently by employees and the workload of Douglas’ IT department is reduced.
Planning & Forecasting
In close cooperation with Douglas, data from Snowflake is also used in forecasting tools for planning, for example with regard to inventory and pricing. But that’s not all; in order to enable automated, data-driven decisions and to further increase the degree of independence of the teams in the future, we are currently working with selected Douglas departments to prepare a business case for the use of reverse ETL solutions such as Hightouch or Census.
Ready for a data-driven, digital future
Thanks to the modern data stack, Douglas saves the time of around a full-time position, according to its own calculations. With data integration via Fivetran, data storage via Snowflake on Azure, DEPT®’s own SQL Runner for data transformation, and Tableau as a visualisation solution, Douglas has reached a first major milestone in digitalisation. We are pleased to be able to continue to accompany Douglas on the path to a data-driven, digital future.
Thanks to its high level of technological expertise, DEPT® is the ideal partner for the modernisation of our data stack. The implemented technology is not an end in itself, but optimally aligned with our business needs.
Jonas Rashedi, Director of Data Intelligence & Technologies, Douglas
Global Lead of Data Practice
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