As the company’s client roster grew to over 50 global brands, including Theory, Alice & Olivia, Lacoste, Fendi, and Marc Jacobs, several challenges emerged around data variety, velocity, and volume. How can these high-profile brands collect critical data, run high-performance analytics, and visualize results to understand consumer behavior?
Gil Hakami, Business Development Manager for Sky IT Group, realized what was required: “Our model didn’t scale, as we needed to manage each client separately. We wanted to upgrade our SKYPAD’s technology capabilities, enabling our retail clients to gain better insights and aid informed decision-making.”
Sky IT Group chose the Vertica Analytics Platform, with QlikView data visualization, to accelerate and refine data analysis. The data analysis platform runs in a cloud-based environment, on three 600 GB drives, with the ability to add more if and when capacity demands. This enabled them to manage massive volumes of data, make accurate calculations, and enter them into appropriate database tables. The data is highly granular and can be used to correlate sales to factors such as product attributes, store location, and even local weather.
Stephen Czette, VP and CTO with Sky IT Group, explains: “With Vertica, we treat data in a truly vertical way, collecting separate, individualized data sets for each of our clients, and dramatically accelerating our processes.”
The solution gives SKYPAD clients immediate, accurate, and secure visibility into their products’ sales performance across all channels. That, in turn, helps improve decision-making and collaboration between buyers and sellers. Supply chain processes are accelerated with optimized inventory, resulting in improved sales results.
In moving from a traditional database to the Vertica model, the data UI stays the same. Behind the scenes, Sky IT gains tremendous performance, cost savings, and timely results, enabling the SKYPAD platform to scale with increased demand.
Fashion brands use Sky IT’s Vertica-driven big data solution to view and analyze data collected and aggregated from multiple retail channels and disparate data sources. Leveraging Vertica, Sky IT’s costs are reduced as less infrastructure is required. Its retail clients have improved their ability to understand customer trends and behaviors, enabling them to fine-tune inventory placement, driving sales and margin increases, and reducing the risk that products need to be marked down. Supplier collaboration has improved, and retailers can allocate resources more precisely to ensure they maximize return and minimize overhead and unnecessary inventory. Inventory is allocated based on where specific items are selling, placing products in locations with the highest demand.
Clients gain visibility into weekly sales data with minimal lag between actual sales and data availability. They can easily track what’s selling, in which stores, and at what quantities and price points, among other metrics. Dane Adcock, VP Business Development at Sky IT, emphasizes the importance: “Ten years ago in fashion, it was about optimizing return and focusing on winners. Today, you must manage and optimize margins on your losers as well. It’s a total package.”
Retail customers benefit from improved access to the products they value. Stores are less likely to be overstocked with unpopular items and out-of-stock on popular items. This not only maximizes sales, but enhanced brand loyalty, and reduces risk that products will need to be marked down, which improved profitability.
Sky IT has experienced a 70 percent reduction in the time to load various data forms. It has also reduced its disk storage requirements by 90 percent, and query and report execution has accelerated by many factors.
Adcock concludes: “Our clients have reported an average revenue increase of 28 percent. Vertica has given us better analytics and actionable intelligence, which translates into better retail decisions and higher profitability for our clients.”