Delivering Daily Business Insights to Hundreds of Stakeholders
WERTGARANTIE Group is a leading insurance company specialising in consumer electronics equipment, including smartphones, TVs and washing machines, as well as pet insurance products. Headquartered in Hannover, Germany, WERTGARANTIE Group employs 850 people and serves more than 6.75 million customers. The insurer works closely with international high street retailers to sell its products across seven European countries.
Many departments at WERTGARANTIE Group use analytics and reporting to drive sustainable growth. Regarding data analytics as a key part of operational planning, the company needs tools that deliver high levels of extensibility and performance.
Steffen Riedel, Team Lead Data Warehouse at WERTGARANTIE Group, explains: "Previously, we were using a homegrown, custom-developed data integration solution. It was challenging to keep up with all the requests from our business departments to provide the figures they need, when they need them, every day. We wanted to modernize our data warehouse with a new, standardized and scalable approach that would allow us to deliver new insights faster."
The company’s small data warehouse team must coordinate reporting requirements with 200 business stakeholders. To provide a better service to all departments, the team wanted to streamline internal communications. "It was very difficult for the team to discuss metrics and reports in a productive way with stakeholders who don’t understand database queries and code," says Riedel. "To define and develop our performance indicators more efficiently, we needed a more visual language to create a shared understanding with our business users."
WERTGARANTIE Group also wanted to focus more on the verification and validation of data. The objective was to establish a continuous feedback loop that would help to increase data quality across all departments. At the same time, to answer questions about key performance indicators and complex data flows more easily, the data warehouse team needed more sophisticated auditing capabilities.
Our team can much more easily communicate with our 200 business stakeholders thanks to intuitive visualizations of complex data flows in Pentaho Data Integration. Better communication means faster implementation of new functionalities. The whole business has become more agile.
Team Lead Data Warehouse WERTGARANTIE Group
Getting Started Quickly with an Intuitive Data Integration Tool
After completing comprehensive, hands-on testing of solutions from four different vendors, the WERTGARANTIE Group team selected Pentaho Data Integration, a Lumada portfolio product.
"We’re self-starters, so we explored some options on our own to understand how easily we could set something up from scratch,” says Riedel. “Based on our experience, Pentaho Data Integration is by far the easiest solution to work with. We were able to become productive quickly and gain the benefits of a very flexible platform that is simple to extend."
WERTGARANTIE Group decided to deploy Pentaho Data Integration and take advantage of its full range of features, from extract, transform and load processes (ETL) to job scheduling and monitoring. To help the data warehouse team level-up their Pentaho skills prior to the deployment, Hitachi Vantara provided in-depth introductory training sessions through a partner.
"After the initial training, we knew everything we needed to start building our new data warehouse," says Riedel. "As a result, we have already been able to implement 600 data pipelines across 750 database tables."
Starting from a clean slate, the team used the intuitive graphical drag-and-drop interface to standardise its ETL processes. Today, the team manages a data warehouse with 1.5 billion records and generates a set of 30 key performance indicators with 44 dimensions for in-depth analytics. The underlying business data is stored in Oracle databases, and IBM Cognos Analytics provides the user interface for data analysis and visualisation.
Throughout the entire journey, WERTGARANTIE Group worked closely with Hitachi Vantara. "We have received outstanding support from Hitachi Vantara," confirms Riedel. "The specialists in the support team provided fast solutions to our specific challenges, helping us to keep improving our data warehouse."
Helping Business Leaders Make Better, Data-driven Decisions
With Pentaho, WERTGARANTIE Group can process its daily data pipelines much faster. "In the past, it took 7 hours or more to load the latest data," says Riedel. "With Pentaho Data Integration, we cut the loading time down to approximately 2.5 hours, which makes it 70% faster. Crucially, this means everyone can access current information to support data-driven decision making. Including teams that start early in the morning."
In addition to the daily data loading jobs, WERTGARANTIE Group has also seen an acceleration in monthly updates. Previously, it could take up to three days to calculate month-end figures. Now, with Pentaho Data Integration, key performance indicators are always available on the first day of the new month, without exception.
For the IT team, the ease of use of Pentaho has been a major benefit right from the start of the implementation. "At the core, Pentaho Data Integration is a simple solution," says Riedel. "The solution offers the features and flexibility we need combined with great documentation, a big community that we can turn to for guidance, and the outstanding Hitachi Vantara support."
Furthermore, the integrated debugging tools and preview features have accelerated the development cycle and help to save valuable time for the team. Once new data pipelines have been pushed into production, it is easy for administrators to monitor the status, progress and performance and streamline operations. This also helps WERTGARANTIE Group to improve data quality.
In future, WERTGARANTIE Group plans to provide more self-service features to allow for more flexible on-demand data uploads and analytics. The flexibility of Pentaho Data Integration also makes next-generation business models possible, which could use IoT sensor data to offer customers completely new intelligent services and insurance policies.
The combined impact of all these improvements means that the team estimates a full return on its investment in the Pentaho solution over the medium term, within a couple of years. Riedel concludes: "It is now much easier for our team to communicate with our 200 business stakeholders thanks to the intuitive visualizations of complex data flows in Pentaho Data Integration. Better communication means faster implementation of new functionalities, whether for the executive board, the controlling department or the partner management team. As a result, the whole business has become more agile and we can make smarter, faster, more data-driven decisions than ever before."
Pentaho Data Integration
Data integration platform to ingest, blend, cleanse and prepare diverse data from any source in any environment without code.
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