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The Works powers its new data warehouse with Google Cloud

The Works is one of the UK’s leading multi-channel specialist retailers of value gifts, arts, crafts, toys, books and stationery at discount prices. Its network of more than 450 stores across the UK and Ireland sells over one million products every week to consumers looking for a bargain.

The Challenge

The Works lacked a single customer view so it was missing out on opportunities to better understand their customers.

They wanted to better understand the driving factors of their customers' loyalty plus generally be able to more effectively analyse their data so that they could draw actionable insights from it. 

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The Solution

Ancoris built a core data platform that provides a single source of truth for all reporting and analysis. The solution ingests data from The Works’ operational systems and runs this through several dataflow pipelines to cleanse and transform it.

Stakeholders are pro-actively notified of any data violations so that affected data can be remediated if required. Ultimately, the transformed data is pushed to a BigQuery data warehouse which becomes the source of truth which feeds BI dashboards and on demand data exploration through SQL queries or Data Studio projects for example.

A third-party QlikSense platform is also hosted on Google Compute Engine allowing The Works to create interactive reports and dashboards to visualise the data. In addition, The Works have a dedicated VPN back to their data centre supporting end user access.

The Results

By automating the delivery of data into the BigQuery data warehouse, The Works has been able to consolidate multiple data sources. Not only has the solution simplified operations, it has also increased trust in the company’s data, so staff are more willing to act on the analysis; encouraging them to make even greater use of data to drive decisions by making it easy for them to access insights.

The solution is also protecting the company’s business data at scale as the business grows and transforms. Further down the line, there is the opportunity to make use of BigQuery’s Machine Learning capabilities to help predict business peaks and troughs as well as implement in-store dashboards to help monitor in store stock levels and sales performance.


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Organisations of all sizes and across all sectors know they need to become more data driven: using the data they already collect to make better decisions, operate more efficiently, and improve customer experiences and engagement.

If you'd like to make better use of your data download our practical guide to setting up your own modern data analytics platform.

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