HomeShop18

A business intelligence system that collates data from the three vastly incoherent sources across MySQL, Sybase, MS SQL Server technology platforms

We've always had a great working relationship with NetProphets. Whenever we needed technical help it always happened very promptly and any issues were resolved quickly. The only problems we did have was when an intermediary was placed between us and yourselves. That's when we started getting slow responses.

Steve Fung

Technical Director, Alchemy Interactive Ltd

HomeShop18, a venture of Network 18 group, is online and on-air retail marketing and distribution venture which has also launched India’s first 24x7 home shopping TV channel.

Problem

HomeShop18 had disparate automation systems that were used to automate various processes across the organization. These systems were not linked to each other and, therefore, IT team of HomeShop18 had to collate data dumps from these systems and pass them on to the MIS team for manual reporting.

HomeShop18 was looking to automate the data collation and reporting exercise and assigned this work to NetProphets Cyberworks Pvt. Ltd. NetProphets conducted a business study of the various processes in the organization by meeting different teams and analysed requirements using modern day techniques. Consequently a data warehouse based BI and reporting system was proposed for the immediate and future analytics.

Solution Description

iDART, the Business Intelligence system of HomeShop18 collates data from the three identified and vastly incoherent sources across MySQL, Sybase, MS SQL Server technology platforms.

The iDART, with the help of Microsoft SSIS serving as an ETL tool, extracts data at a stipulated time, transforms and loads a SQL Server based centralized repository, in the form of an OLTP database, and once again from here the SSIS loads the data marts which are refreshed periodically on Microsoft SSAS provided OLAP engine.

It is through the data marts that most of the reporting is provided to the users via a feature rich user interface capable of drag-n-drop, filter and drill down on various reporting dimensions and measures.

Features of the Platform

  1. Data Archiving across three different data sources
  2. Data Warehousing
  3. Business reporting and analytics

Uses/Advantages

  1. Single source of all data requirements across the organization.
  2. No need for a large MIS team thereby reducing costs.
  3. More accurate than manual reporting.
  4. More trustworthy since all users see the same numbers.
  5. The system can be used for category reporting to see how much sales are happening across a combination of dimensions such as category-wise, city-wise reports and so on.
  6. Can answers questions like which payment mode is preferred by users in metros vs non-metro city users, which products attain more sales in north zone vs south etc.
  7. The system can also be used to track markets inflation based on trend analysis.
  8. Predictive analysis helps decision makers plan better and make right moves, creating a better product portfolio for example.

Results

Ever since iDART is deployed at HomeShop18, the data integrity issues and long waits for a simple dump of data have gone out of window. Every team member is a potential analyst and come up with their own and interesting results making decision making easier for the managers.
Employees feel motivated from the transparency they see in numbers between sales and finance teams.
Consequently, the overall productivity has increased post usage of iDART at HomeShop18.