Wednesday, February 4, 2009

SQL Server BI Comes into Fashion

Apranga Group, the leading fashion retailer in the Baltic States, has contracted Microsoft partner New Vision to implement its business intelligence solution based on ProfitBase and Microsoft SQL Server.

Apranga Group currently operates 71 stores in Lithuania, 21 in Latvia and seven in Estonia. The company was experiencing a challenge in selecting a single standardized business intelligence (BI) platform. A short implementation time was a top priority, as Apranga had a very strict deadline. The ability to modify and extend the deployed BI solution easily was another important requirement.

Following an extensive evaluation process, Apranga Group contracted Microsoft partner New Vision to implement its business intelligence solution which uses Microsoft SQL Server. This BI solution is based on Association for Retail Technology Standards (ARTS) templates from ProfitBase. The templates enabled Apranga to kick-start the BI solution rapidly, saving time on analysis and implementation, minimizing risks and reducing costs. New Vision’s competence in Microsoft Dynamics NAV combined with data connectors from ProfitBase saved a lot of effort loading a data warehouse. Integrating historic legacy data sources was easy and the customer had an Online Analytical Processing (OLAP) system finished in only two and a half months.

Following the implementation of the BI solution, Apranga Group is able to analyze sales and inventory in a single BI system using SQL Server Reporting Services and Office Excel Pivot Tables tools. Previously the same data was analyzed by several different reporting and BI systems.

The standardized BI solution at Apranga Group now covers all stores and chains it operates and contains nine years of historic data. The solution has become a central point of information for many employees. The company is planning to extend the BI solution with new functionality according to their business needs.

This article first appeared in the spring 2009 edition of Retailspeak magazine.

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