Taming the data beast

GS Home Shopping unifies multiple data sources, ensures integrity and timeliness

GS Home Shopping, the largest home shopping outlet in Korea and the third-largest in the world, reaches 12 million homes throughout Asia. The company has a state-of-the-art computer and telephony integration system, runs the largest call center in the region, and implemented the industry's first ERP system. But all that information from numerous data sources meant that the company needed ways to collect and extract data for analytics more quickly. And because it used more than 300 data warehousing programs, it was hard to react immediately when errors occurred.

To overcome these obstacles, GS Home Shopping chose the SAS® Data Integration Server. The SAS solution improved data quality, deployment speed, business efficiency and service, and successfully met the company's biggest data management challenge: collecting data from various sources to extract vast amounts of viable business intelligence. Enabling the flow of hundreds of existing data warehousing programs at a glance resulted in catching errors faster and more accurately as they actually occurred.

Aggregating and transforming data before executives get to work is very important. The solution helps us to do that seamlessly and make timely decisions.

Hye-kyun Im
Manager, Process Change Management Team

Broad sources of data

Before adopting SAS, GS Home Shopping's data was split between an administration system and an analytics system. The administration system included purchase orders, distribution and accounts. The purchase-order section used Siebel, while distribution and accounts sections used an SAP R/3 package.

The analytics system included management information used by executives. Each of GS Home Shopping's distribution channels – including cable and satellite TV, telemarketing, catalog and online shopping – had its own data analysis and data warehouse system, designed to meet unique needs. These systems can extract and load 50,000-60,000 orders per day.

GS Home Shopping used Oracle DB for its administration system, Sybase for enterprise, Siebel for orders, and SAP for distribution and accounts. Because there were so many data sources, it took too long to collect and extract vast amounts of data for analytics, and numerous data warehousing programs made it hard to react quickly to problems.

Hye-kyun Im, Manager of the Process Change Management Team at GS Home Shopping, explains: "With the existing data warehouse and database, we couldn't deal with issues right away. So ensuring timeliness and protecting the integrity of data was most important. In particular, we wanted the information to be ready for executives before they got to work."

Choosing the right tool

GS Home Shopping decided to introduce data integration tools and compared solutions from several vendors. The company chose SAS Data Integration because of its powerful and efficient data management features. Im explains, "SAS provides connections among a broader range of source data than any other vendor's product. As a result, we can schedule enormous existing deployment programs closely to collect the right data for analysis."

Moreover, SAS provides tools to consolidate and manage metadata, which enables superior future scalability.

GS Home Shopping uses SAS Data Integration Server for all communication between the administration and analytics systems. The company migrated existing complex data warehousing programs with SAS Data Integration Studio and finished the data integration project before the system began formal operation.

Faster deployment, better business efficiency

With SAS Data Integration in place, GS Home Shopping identifies analytical errors immediately. SAS enables prompt reactions to maximize data integrity and reduces time to ETL tuning and automation while scheduling data by 30 percent.

"Aggregating and transforming data before executives get to work is very important. The solution helps us to do that seamlessly and make timely decisions," says Im.

GS Home Shopping also uses data integration for marketing, which has shown significant results. Im says, "The marketing department conducts database marketing for efficient customer service. For instance, we provide rules about distributing discount coupons through data infrastructure. It is very effective for marketing."

The data integration project also increased business user satisfaction. Before the project started, only specific departments used advanced analytic tools. Now, however, everyone can analyze data easily. "Users are increasing because we are data-based now. They are interested in data warehouse training," says Im. Other benefits include graphical views of the entire process and influence analysis for changing sources, as well as targeting centralized management and support for multiple development environments.

Challenge

Collect and analyze data from more than 300 different warehouses for faster, accurate decision support.

Solution

SAS® Data Integration Server

Benefits

  • Maximized data integrity allows GS Home Shopping to catch and fix errors more quickly.
  • Reduced time to ETL tuning and automation while scheduling data by 30 percent.
  • Ease-of-use and satisfaction attracted more business users.
The results illustrated in this article are specific to the particular situations, business models, data input, and computing environments described herein. Each SAS customer’s experience is unique based on business and technical variables and all statements must be considered non-typical. Actual savings, results, and performance characteristics will vary depending on individual customer configurations and conditions. SAS does not guarantee or represent that every customer will achieve similar results. The only warranties for SAS products and services are those that are set forth in the express warranty statements in the written agreement for such products and services. Nothing herein should be construed as constituting an additional warranty. Customers have shared their successes with SAS as part of an agreed-upon contractual exchange or project success summarization following a successful implementation of SAS software. Brand and product names are trademarks of their respective companies.

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