Retail and Consumer Goods / Modern Data Platform

Retail Marketer Features Novel Product Insights with Innovative Cloud Scale Analytics



Moving top-brand consumer goods products off store shelves is the chief priority for a North American sales and marketing giant. More than 30,000 employees across 100-plus offices work directly inside retailers and behind the scenes to keep products selling. 

On the front lines, close to 16,000 staff members keep stock visible, organized, and accurately priced across North American retail stores. Backstage, nearly 600 analysts focus on metric-based measurements to gauge product success.

The marketer recently decided to expand the vast analytics capabilities it already offered to the manufacturers it partners with. It collaborated with BlueGranite to design and implement an advanced Azure solution that features even deeper proprietary analytics offerings, and largely automates a once onerous report building process.

The Challenge

Business managers behind the marketer’s operations analyze product sales, market share, and promotions to drive revenue and increase market share. They use pre-aggregated, syndicated North American sales data from multiple sources and match it with other information to get deep product insight.

Building proprietary reports was a substantial, time-consuming process. The multi-sourced, raw product datasets had to be manually mashed together to create each report across the company’s vast client network. Complicated, inconsistent information added to an already immense workload. 

BlueGranite utilized its Catalyst for Modern Data Platform to quickly deploy a new Azure-based analytics and data platform to automate the formerly tedious, inefficient report building process; it refreshes data weekly and monthly, pulling information for multiple clients from five source systems into a consolidated data model to create in-depth product overviews. A set of client-agnostic, metadata-driven code allows consultants here to analyze at least 160 categories of data, such as weekly distribution and individual sales for countless products. While the solution currently incorporates several major manufacturers, it can scale out to accommodate any number of clients.


BlueGranite helped the marketing giant build a cost-effective, cloud-first modern data solution. Azure components drive the solution, which feature machine learning and AI capabilities, and user-created reports with Power BI and Power BI Premium's rich, interactive dashboards.

The consolidated, standardized, modern reporting solution combines key proprietary data with multisource, pre-aggregated syndicated data. It includes Azure services such as Functions, Blob Storage, Data Factory, Databricks, Data Lake Store, Logic Apps, Analysis Services, and DevOps, and also features Power BI. The economical solution eliminates the need for a custom build for each of the marketer’s many major clients.

Moving to a modern, massively scalable cloud system was the clear next step to accommodate the marketer’s growing number of clients and the affiliated data boom. By hosting its retail analytics pipelines on Azure, BlueGranite has revolutionized the way this company’s analytics team gains insights from client data.



The Results

This streamlined, scalable, dynamic Azure platform multiplies the marketer’s capabilities, as well as its offerings, and holds the potential to vastly increase profits. It also holds promise for countless future machine learning and AI capabilities. Reporting that once took hundreds of analysts endless hours to pull off is now largely automated. The business managers, who formerly spent the majority of their time manually building client reports, now devote that additional time to working directly with clients to boost profits. 

BlueGranite’s additional image recognition and evaluation application helps this company’s management oversee and direct the in-store retail team to ensure quality. Future AI possibilities include a project that looks for opportunities or strategic influencers within a client’s data.

The Azure platform holds massive potential for the marketer’s current customers, as well as future ones, as it allows ease of incorporation, both of new customers and parameters, and offers rapid results. A system that once required a development solution for each new client now only requires the click of a few buttons to bring customers onboard.  

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