IT and Telecoms: Ebucks Streamlines Data with New Data Warehouse
Recent Gauteng Business News
The rewards programme has a proven track record in applying innovative technology solutions to drive partner profits through the intelligent analysis of member data.
eBucks has over 1.6 million members who are highly active, spending in excess of 80% of the eBucks they have earned in any given month. Over R1,3 billion worth of eBucks have been allocated by partners, most notably FNB, eBucks’ biggest partner, since the programme’s inception in October 2000.
“With the massive growth in data volumes and ever more sophisticated data requirements, we needed a central, efficient data store with a single view of the organisation that would allow swift access to data within a fully secure environment,” says Benjamin Marais, CIO at eBucks.
After a vigorous selection process, eBucks elected to deploy a data warehouse and selected business intelligence consultancy firm Qinfo as its preferred implementation partner on the basis of their advanced technical skills and extensive knowledge of the SAS data warehouse technology.
The project kicked off in 2006, with a two-year delivery timeframe. The system is now fully operational, but the project was not without the challenge, of frequent remapping of data sources to meet changing business needs.
“One of the biggest challenges facing us, before we could populate the warehouse was data consistency,” says Sam Manyama, managing director at Qinfo. “It was with this that we set about creating a data framework that tied into the organisation’s overall business policies, but at the same time was flexible enough for all users.”
“There was a lot of pressure to deliver, and to deliver quickly as every delay on the implementation meant lost marketing opportunities for eBucks. In the end we are happy with what we produced and believe that eBucks are innovators in their use of the technology,” he adds.
The SAS technology, selected for its scalability, needed to provide a solid data foundation to support eBucks’ enterprise information needs. It needed to provide enterprise data access and processing across systems and platforms as well as integrated data quality. In short eBucks needed a warehouse framework that would provide it with accurate, consistent information, and an interactive, visual data integration development environment that enabled collaboration and easy reusability.
“In our business we can’t afford to not have access to our data, we use it everyday, in every campaign we develop and in every decision we make. With this framework we now have the capability to create a robust warehouse and quickly make changes to an ever expanding data environment,” concludes Marais.
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