Microsoft Business Intelligence Architecture creates new marketing potential

Specialized publishing house expands its DWH as a central information system

// Business Intelligence

An intelligent analysis of customer and online user data enables targeted and customer-oriented marketing. The prerequisite for this is that the implemented data structures and selected analysis methods and BI tools are coordinated with each other and fit together well. A medium-sized publishing company used the DWH and BI architecture introduced in 2013 to expand its data-based marketing activities. As in the previous BI projects, noventum's consultants were also responsible for developing a data model for marketing, which will also serve as a central basis for future analytics requirements.

The customer is a leading specialist publisher and sells databases, software, magazines, books and seminars.

Business Intelligence supports efficient digital marketing

For the marketing department of the publisher, the collection, coordination and processing of data, with the help of which control and decision-relevant findings for marketing and sales were to be obtained efficiently, posed a major problem. Whether through campaign management or online shops, the increasing digitisation of marketing and sales channels has led to an increase in the volume of data and the number of relevant, operative systems to an unmanageable level. In addition, the department was dependent on individual know-how providers to prepare important analyses and regularly generated ad hoc requirements for analysis and reporting. Both together resulted in a backlog of applications, so that answers to relevant questions could not be answered in time.

After the publishing house had already successfully introduced an Enterprise DWH and BI architecture for financial controlling in 2013, the conception and development of a data model and its integrated and automatic loading from various data sources should now open up further functional possibilities for publisher marketing.

Comprehensive marketing data mart based on Microsoft BI

Since the basic architecture of the company-DWH was already conceived in cooperation with noventum consulting, the publisher was able to set up and carry out its marketing project with the same partners in a straightforward and simple manner. The existing Enterprise Data Warehouse provides the methodological, data and software basis for this. The project was carried out agilely according to the Scrum methodology and was dedicated to the following objectives:

  • Moderation of marketing requirements and specification of the end-user application
  • Expansion of the DWH architecture, conception and data modeling as well as seamless integration of a marketing data market.
  • Coaching of the DWH methodology and the noventum BI project management/procedure model
  • Coaching and development of data management based on MS SQL Server Integration Services and Analysis Services as well as dashboard prototyping with MS Power BI and MS Excel Pivot

Technically speaking, the marketing requirements have been added to the DWH, which has already been introduced for controlling. New operative source systems, such as campaign management systems, landing pages and online shops from the online marketing sector, were connected and the DWH was expanded as a central information system for the analysis. The coaching of the IT staff on DWH methodology, BI project management and technical implementation skills significantly improved the expertise of internal IT.

How to Turn Business Intelligence into Marketing Intelligence

The marketing’s technical expectations were clearly exceeded by the project. A comprehensive analytically prepared data room in MS SQL Server Analysis Services today makes it possible to optimize evaluation processes and improve exploratory analysis possibilities and self-service capabilities. The few previous "standard evaluations" can now be created quickly and automatically by the data mart.

Originally only a data mart, on the basis of which analysis and reporting can be carried out, was in the scope, noventum consultants created a Power BI dashboard as a prototype in the project. This dashboard makes it easier for those responsible for marketing data analysis and is now successfully in use.

Online orders (e. g. after activating a campaign) can now be updated every 15 minutes, the remaining data is evaluated at night. In addition, the data room offers a much larger amount of information and allows quick answers to ad hoc questions. Providing an introduction to the data model / data room and Excel pivot knowledge, each employee can now work effectively and efficiently with the data and create information.

With the central DWH as its source, the company now has a data mart for each department (controlling, marketing). Cross-departmental BI technology forms the common basis. IT and the business side (marketing and controlling) work closely together and use existing IT assets.

The publisher's IT is in a position to increasingly serve as an "enabler". Marketing can now concentrate more on its core tasks. The project provides a first important step towards taking a holistic view of key figures, campaign and customer data, optimizing performance measurement and making well-founded decisions via appropriate marketing channels. This means that an enterprise-wide solution has been created for the future.


noventum consulting

Daniel Christoph

Management Consultant

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