Intersport increases analysis and marketing efficiency with Knime – TechTarget | Region & Cash

Since using Knime as an analytics platform, Intersport has significantly improved the efficiency of its analytics workflow and increased the effectiveness of its marketing campaigns.

Intersport, founded in 1968 and based in Bern, Switzerland, is a sporting goods retailer with 5,800 locations in 60 countries. Most of its branches are in Europe, but the company also has a strong presence in Canada and Australia, and is expanding into China and Africa.

Kime, on the other hand, is an analytics provider founded in 2004 and based in Zurich, Switzerland, whose latest platform update included a modernized user interface, a new environment for Python users, and expanded integration with Snowflake.

The problem

Three years ago, the analytics system Intersport used for its marketing campaigns was slow, labor intensive and expensive.

The company’s data comes from a variety of sources, including Salesforce to monitor sales information; enterprise resource planning tools to understand which items are in stock and which need to be ordered; and Google Analytics to monitor website traffic.

But instead of being automatically uploaded to a modern data warehouse or data lake, where it could simply be brought together and prepared for analysis, the disparate data had to be manually moved into a database. And once in the database, the data had to be merged manually.

Because of all the manual work required to use the data, it wasn’t easy for business users to access. Instead, it was overseen by a group of dedicated data workers who controlled the flow of data and access to that data.

“It was quite complex and things weren’t really connected,” said Gianpaolo Valenti, Intersport’s global data and analytics director, in a webinar hosted by KNIME. “It was quite time consuming.”

In addition, when problems arose, it was difficult to find the root cause of the problem because most of the process was done manually by different people and there was no way to automatically search for a bug among millions of lines of code.

“Often there was a problem and it was difficult to keep control of what was happening,” said Valenti.

The combination of labor-intensive tasks done manually rather than through automation resulted in a costly overall process of preparing data for marketing campaigns, Valenti added.

Sasha Rezvina (left), Director of Product Marketing at Knime, speaks with Gianpaolo Valenti, Global Data and Analytics Director at Intersport during a webinar.

address the issue

Valenti joined Intersport in 2019 and was tasked with improving the company’s analytics operations.

At this point, he was familiar with Knime, having first used the analytics platform about four years earlier. When he took on the position of Intersport’s global data and analytics director, he knew he wanted to take on KNIME rather than trying different analytics platforms to find the best solution for Intersport and set about winning over Intersport’s data stakeholders .

First and foremost, he had to convince members of Intersport’s existing IT department that it was in Intersport’s best interest to relinquish control of the data to enable a more efficient process and more data-driven decision-making.

“When I came to Intersport I had to strategize for analytics and that was a good moment to say ‘I think we should start using Kime’ and officially we’ve been using it for the last three years ‘ Valentin said.

To convince Intersport’s data prospects, Valenti set a clear set of goals – increased profits, better brand awareness, improved inventory management and increased customer acquisition – and his team used Knime’s analytical capabilities to help develop a small-scale marketing campaign.

After the success of this pilot program, Valenti gained the support of the Intersport data stakeholders and the company deployed Knime more widely.

Now Kime is at the heart of Intersport’s analytics activities.

Data from Salesforce, ERP systems and Google Analytics flows into data warehouses and data lakes connected to KNIME via connectors that automate data ingestion. Data from these reservoirs and lakes is fed to Knime, where it is automatically mixed and processed.

Some data is then automatically sent to users via email, notifications, or scheduled reports, while other data is available for analysis whenever a user needs it.

Meanwhile, according to Valenti, the data transparency that Kime offers makes it easier to correct mistakes.

It is now much easier to merge all the data. You can merge data with simple joins, and in case of errors, troubleshooting is much easier because you can visualize all the logic with Knime and quickly understand where an error occurred.

Gianpaolo ValentiniGlobal Data and Analytics Director, Intersport

“It’s much easier now to bring all the data together,” he said. “You can bring data together with simple joins, and in case of errors, troubleshooting is much easier because you can visualize all the logic with Knime and quickly understand where an error occurred.”

The result

In the three years since Intersport first chose KNIME as its analytics platform, the sporting goods retailer has seen significant improvements in the efficiency of its analytics operations and the effectiveness of the marketing campaigns that use the company’s data.

According to Valenti, Knime’s automation capabilities have resulted in a 60% reduction in the number of team members required to manage and prepare data on a daily basis. Additionally, these team members are now freed from repetitive tasks to perform deeper data analysis.

Intersport now takes 50% less time to create workflows. And since much of the process is automated, troubleshooting is 80% faster than it was before Intersport started using Knime.

Finally, the effectiveness of marketing campaigns has increased by 80% from previous levels.

“The enrichment of our data has completely changed,” said Valenti. “We use Knime as an orchestration tool to blend all of our data and we’ve been able to automate a lot of it [the process].”

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