Myer is one of Australia’s most iconic names in the highly competitive retail sector – with revenues of 2.9 billion AUD for financial year 2019. To drive growth and maintain competitiveness in fast-paced, fashion-driven retail markets, Myer and its suppliers must be able to rapidly uncover new insights about customer behaviour and operational performance.
Manually aggregating reporting data
In 2019, Myer turned to Shine to help address slow, manual processes for aggregating data and generating sales and inventory business reports.
Myer deals with thousands of suppliers to keep its 61 stores and eCommerce channel stocked with in-demand goods.To respond rapidly to sales trends and manage stock efficiently, Myer needs to share timely information about sales, warehousing, purchasing and logistics with its suppliers. Historically, this information was shared by manually generating single reports that combined data from five core systems which had limited connectivity.
Across these five disparate systems, Myer possessed all the data its internal teams and suppliers needed to make more informed decisions. However, the business lacked a consistently scalable and secure method for rapidly exploring and extracting intelligence from integrated data.
Cloud-based data hub
To solve this, Shine helped design and build a cloud-based business intelligence solution to combine the data and offer easy, secure access and analysis for suppliers and Myer staff.
The solution combined a data hub to aggregate the separate data sources and feeds, with a self-service analytics tool for generating reports and drilling down into the data.
Highly automated analytics
Google’s BigQuery was the natural choice for data warehouse analytics due to its low-maintenance, scalability and ability to query using standard SQL.
Other solutions, such as Redshift or Hive were considered. However, as these require the user to provision the infrastructure ahead of time to suit the workload, they didn’t meet Myer’s request for a low maintenance and low intervention solution.
Shine also turned to the ever-capable Google Cloud Dataflow, which provides an almost fully SaaS-based ETL (Extract Transform and Load) solution. Shine built the initial ETL jobs and framework to provide Myer with a platform that could be built on and adapted for highly complex transformation jobs – all without having to directly manage any compute instances.
Best-practice templates accelerate deployment
The project was accelerated by leveraging key components of Shine’s Jumpstart Toolkit of best-practice templates for setup and configuration of common elements of data engineering and architecture projects.
Myer had many years of in-house experience and established reports built up in their onsite MicroStrategy enterprise analytics implementation. Accordingly, MicroStrategy was selected as the self-service analytics tool for the new data hub.
Rather than a traditional lift-and-shift to the cloud, Shine migrated the MicroStrategy application, to be deployed in a cloud-native-like way, to address some of the challenges with running a tool designed for the data centre in the cloud. This included automating the installation and configuration of MicroStrategy with common DevOps practices and tools, which has subsequently enabled instances to be replaced in minutes, rather than being diagnosed and fixed in [VM1] hours.
Self-service business intelligence for thousands
Through this data hub solution and cloud-deployment of MicroStrategy, Myer has been able to provide thousands of suppliers with a self-service tool for their day-to-day business intelligence needs. The solution has also liberated Myer’s Business Intelligence team to deliver more valuable insights.
The reliability and scalability offered by Dataflow and BigQuery have resulted in direct cost savings and reduced support overheads due to the decommissioning of legacy data and information warehouses. And for longer term benefit, this cloud-based business intelligence solution provides a key strategic foundation to build on Myer’s ability to consolidate and leverage vast operational data for improved business performance.