British American Tobacco (BAT) is a global company present in 180 markets and selling over 300 brands around the world. BAT needed to manage large datasets relating to its sales performance in each market and those of its competitors in order to drive its marketing strategy. Parity created a Data Warehouse along with mechanisms for transferring data and maintaining data quality.
The overall aim of BAT marketing is to retain customer loyalty and win over additional consumers from competing brands. In order to accomplish this, BAT needs to consistently monitor the performance of their brands and their competitors in each of the markets where it operates.
The first stage was to develop an analysis and reporting infrastructure for the BAT central marketing and strategy team through the creation of a central data warehouse. The data warehouse was built using an Oracle database and populated with reference data, live sales data from end-markets, and competitor performance data.
Historically, reference data such as the definitions of products in different markets and systems had inconsistencies that hindered the development of reliable data and business intelligence. A separate but related Global Master Data Management (GMDM) project was established by BAT, assisted by Parity’s extensive technical and business data management experience, to address this problem. It had to address many challenges including:
- Scale of business change – implementing a Master Data Management function via a global operating model involving collaboration of IT and business teams around the world
- Complexity of operational systems landscape – with 10 different operational systems around the world to be migrated.
Solution And Approach
Success was achieved through:
- Definition and adoption of common data standards
- Establishing governance and roles to embed ownership and accountability for master data
- Implementing common processes to achieve consistency and control of master data.
In order to compare the progress of BAT with its competitors around the world Parity designed the Data Warehouse to store Key Competitor Metrics. Populated by BAT staff in 40 end-markets, these allow cross-market and cross-competitor benchmarking analyses to be performed.
Parity had to migrate 7 years worth of data from a pre-existing system and create an easy-to-use interface to allow a smooth transition for users. Key Competitor Metrics permit BAT to assess the strength of their competitors and adopt a more proactive approach to their strategies.
The Central Data Warehouse became the foundation for an integrated set of analysis and reporting systems able to support a global marketing information management strategy (see Parity’s Business Intelligence case study to find out how the data was used).
Through the creation of the data warehouse, Parity also saved the company time and money on the maintenance and management of these critical data sets and provided a single reliable source of data to drive its global marketing IT systems.