REVIEWERS: Ellen Smith, senior manager of data warehouse systems, and Mark Madsen, manager of decision support systems, for Harry & David Operations Corp.
BACKGROUND: Harry & David Operations Corp. is the parent entity for the corporations that grow, manufacture, market and distribute products for the company's fruit, rose and other business ventures. The company is a leading direct marketing and e-commerce company.
PLATFORMS: Harry & David's nearly 1 terabyte corporate data warehouse is an IBM RS6000 UNIX system running UDB. BusinessObjects Data Integrator is used for moving data from the source system to the data warehouse. The corporate data warehouse is the company's financial reporting system as well as the merchant reporting system. It is also utilized by the sales and service divisions to query items. Harry & David's marketing data warehouse, also almost 1 terabyte in size, is a packaged solution that has been extensively customized. Millions of customer records are contained in the marketing data warehouse - customers that have come to us through a diverse set of sales channels, including catalog sales, a 120-store retail division and the Web. The marketing data warehouse resides on an RS6000, with SAS used as a reporting tool as well as for the extraction, transformation and loading (ETL) of data. There are approximately 50 users on each system.
PROBLEM SOLVED: Harry & David Corp. used to write its own computer applications. The result was a wide variety of homegrown legacy systems used for order entry, finance, distribution and marketing, making enterprise data integration for the development of data warehouses for financial reporting, customer relationship management (CRM) and business intelligence (BI) applications a very difficult task. Approximately seven years ago, Harry & David began the transition toward buying packaged systems when possible and optimizing the software to meet the company's specific needs. Firstlogic's data quality software measures incorrect, incomplete and inconsistent data.
PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: We are using Firstlogic's Information Quality Suite to perform standardizing, cleansing, matching and consolidation of Harry & David's millions of customer records. We are also using Firstlogic's software to perform householding on the millions of customer records contained in the marketing data warehouse.
STRENGTHS: Firstlogic Information Quality Suite is providing superior data standardization, deduplication, matching and consolidation capabilities. We can also quickly consolidate information to perform householding and track marketing programs over time.
WEAKNESSES: Customization of the software to handle specific business rules requires hands-on training and is not easily learned from documentation alone.
SELECTION CRITERIA: Firstlogic was selected for its ease of use as well as its powerful data cleansing capabilities.
DELIVERABLES: No matter what channel an order is received - call center, Web, retail store, snail mail or fax - the order method is recorded and the order entered, standardized, cleansed and consolidated using Firstlogic IQ Suite before moving into the marketing data warehouse. We can then household those names. The capabilities are powerful, and the results are very compelling. We have a 23 percent collapse of individuals into households when we perform householding on our entire marketing database. This provides our marketing team with some unique insights into our customers' buying patterns. In addition to our own diverse sales channels, we also sell our goods through a relationship with Amazon.com that has unique requirements. It is imperative that we keep track of where our leads and sales originate, and Firstlogic's data quality software helps us set up the business rules to achieve the desired results. We are getting very positive results from our data quality initiative. We have eliminated sending duplicate catalogs, saved mailing costs and marketing resources, conducted more targeted and successful marketing campaigns and, most importantly, we improved customer service.
VENDOR SUPPORT: Our experiences with Firstlogic have been extremely positive. Their Web site and customer portal are easy to use and very efficient.
DOCUMENTATION: The documentation is acceptable.
Firstlogic Information Quality Suite
100 Harborview Plaza
La Crosse, WI 54601-4071
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