WeddingNetwork.com is the most comprehensive online wedding resource, offering creative tools, imaginative ideas and real answers to help engaged couples plan unique wedding celebrations. Wed-dingNetwork.com partners with a broad network of retailers to provide traditional and unique online gift registry options. The company is the official online registry and content partner for Modern Bride magazine, Modern Bride Connection's 16 regional publications and ModernBride.com. WeddingNetwork.com, founded in 1997, is owned by Denver-based Internet Gift Registries.

Implementation

We wanted a solution that would provide a coordinated view of our e-commerce and internal processes for managing the business. We needed one place where we could capture data and perform multidimensional analysis regarding transactional activity and marketing program performance.

Strategic Approach

We recognized that in order to manage the business effectively, we needed solutions in place to track our business results. Our marketing department sponsored the initiative with support of the operations group. We identified and evaluated the requirements and solutions, and a cross-functional team representing operations, technology and marketing reviewed the information gathered.

We continue to evaluate the activity, so it is an evolving process. We look at the reliability of the data, ease of accessing reports as well as our ability to make more informed decisions. We revise retailer relationships and redesign promotions based on our results.

Our strategy required a scalable solution that was adaptable to our changing needs. It also needed to be cost efficient. We faced challenges with integrating the tools into our normal decision-making process. With Cognos, we met these challenges by accessing the data on a regular basis and defining the report requirements.

Cognos Solution

Using Cognos' business intelligence solution for e-business, we are now able to better understand the components of the business, including merchandising trends, product sales by retailer, groom/bride and guest preferences, store registration and gift selection preferences. We chose Cognos based on its excellence in data integration, reporting capabilities, data manipulation, scalability and ease of use. We chose the solution that would scale with us as our business grew. We also liked the desktop application, cross-functional access and competitive cost. In the future, we plan to extend data access to our retail partners via an extranet. This will allow them to better understand the dynamics of the WeddingNetwork.com customers and the products and services offered on the site.

Cognos showed a desire to understand our business before making recommendations. Time was spent discussing our needs, and then a proposed solution was drafted. Cognos was accessible to answer questions during and following deployment, and we have continued our close contact with the company.

Practical advice

Early in the planning process, companies should clearly define requirements as well as gain support and interaction of both technical and business-focused users.

Benefits

The Cognos solution focused our attention on measurable activity and improved our decision making. Through the process, we recognized that it is an evolving activity that must be integrated into everyday business practice. The Cognos solution provides us with a picture of the business within a framework that is tailored to the unique characteristics of WeddingNetwork.com. We are able to run reports on referring URLs, guest and registered brides metrics, gift registry metrics, average dollar-per-gift registry, average purchase-per-gift registry and trend data.

Cognos Enterprise Business Intelligence helps e-businesses become successful by making information easily accessible to everyone in the enterprise including customers, partners and the supply chain. The results include decision making that is better coordinated across the entire organization, more effective customer acquisition, greater customer retention and improved business performance ­ at e-speed.

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