CATEGORY: Business Intelligence

REVIEWER: Nikhil Behl, vice president, strategy and planning for

BACKGROUND:, a wholly owned subsidiary of Hewlett-Packard, sells HP's full line of consumer products, as well as ink and media products for HP's current and vintage model printers, select toner products and most accessories. also provides shoppers the opportunity to customize desktop and notebook PCs, as well as purchase hard-to-find refurbished products.

PLATFORMS: Informatica PowerAnalyzer is currently running on HP-UX.

PROBLEM SOLVED: While was pleased with the initial success of its Web site, it knew that further analysis of its sales and product supply was critical to long- term success. The company aimed to gain a deep understanding of customer activity on its Web site to improve the customer's experience, expand profitability and increase conversion rates and sales. lacked the ability to perform sophisticated customer relationship analytics but recognized the clear opportunity to collect valuable information from an environment that touches millions of customers per month. Therefore, the company set out to develop a solution that would bring together customer, operations and financial information to achieve a holistic view of the business. turned to Informatica PowerCenter and PowerAnalyzer for an enterprise-wide data integration and business intelligence (BI) solution that would allow the company to have greater visibility and improve the total customer experience.

PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: PowerAnalyzer's dashboard-style interface allows executives and analysts to gain visibility into key business measures, spot anomalies and analyze root causes. The PowerAnalyzer BI Platform allows the company's executives to look at the last month, last quarter or last year to compare sales and product data in order to understand how the business is performing on a day-to-day basis in comparison with historical metrics. In addition, PowerAnalyzer enables the marketing team to more closely track the success of its programs using revenue, product mix, lifetime customer value and profitability metrics. The result has been a better understanding of the best campaign mix for's business.

STRENGTHS: Informatica PowerAnalyzer's key strengths include its full UNIX support, pure thin-client interface and underlying J2EE architecture. The solution's persona- driven design approach provides extreme usability, which helps a wider range of users intuitively navigate a large amount of actionable business information with minimal training. PowerAnalyzer is well-integrated with the Informatica data integration software, which also uses. As a result,'s total cost of ownership and the effort required to implement the end-to-end solution are significantly lower than if the company had deployed separate technologies for each component.

WEAKNESSES: PowerAnalyzer addresses the majority of's needs; however, the product documentation has not yet reached its full potential in terms of completeness.

SELECTION CRITERIA: selected PowerAnalyzer over competing products based primarily on its ease of use, rapid implementation, low total cost of ownership and Web- based, thin-client access. In addition, because's heterogeneous data environment required an open, extensible platform, PowerAnalyzer's flexibility was a significant advantage for the product.

DELIVERABLES: Informatica PowerAnalyzer enables to provide more than 70 employees with access to integrated data for analysis of order shipments, revenue, average order size, conversion rates, inventory levels and velocity levels. The business community uses PowerAnalyzer to create standard reports either on a scheduled or as-needed basis. In addition, online dashboards give rapid visibility to business metrics and scorecards, and ad hoc analysis enables analysts to drill into the data to uncover answers to questions not addressed in the standard reports.

VENDOR SUPPORT: Informatica's sales and professional services were very supportive throughout the entire implementation process and worked closely with to help determine requirements. Informatica was very responsive to all requests and worked with the company on the most efficient, appropriate implementation method. As a result, strong relationships were built between and Informatica executives and engineers.

DOCUMENTATION: The documentation is fairly complete; however, it could be slightly more comprehensive.

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