How Keller Sports saves 50% of IT-time with optimally organized pipelines
By integrating Fivetran, Snowflake and Tableau into the company’s day-to-day operations, Kemb was able to help Keller Sports save time previously spent writing scripts and collecting data manually, and map the business with reliable data.
The main results of the cooperation
- Keller Sports was able to avoid hiring at least one more engineer to complete the work that Fivetran is now doing
- The IT department can shave about 20 hours a week that was previously spent writing scripts and solving problems
- The purchasing department saved 75% of the time previously spent exporting raw data from MySQL to Excel
- With Snowflake, the enterprise can scale and maintain anything without the need for dev ops or servers
- The company has numerous Tableau reports in all departments, including purchasing, marketing and sales, which enable data-driven decisions
Used to be dedicated to writing scripts and solving issues
Previously spent exporting raw data from MySQL to Excel
Keller Sports, founded in Munich in 2005, is an e-commerce company that sells sporting goods in more than 20 different online shops in various European countries.
In 2019, kemb GmbH had the opportunity to support the company in optimizing its IT infrastructure, especially the ERP and business intelligence setup, in order to meet the company’s rapid growth and the resulting requirements. We worked closely with Florian Otte, who was part of the company from the start and was responsible for the development of the online shops. As CTO, he is now responsible for the entire IT. This includes supporting the BI team in setting up the company’s new reporting structure.
Before kemb accompanied the process, Otte had already developed the company significantly compared to where it was 10-12 years ago: “We used to use Excel for our BI. It wasn’t a big problem back then, but we quickly outgrew it. With millions of rows, Excel is not your friend. It took a few hours each week to generate a report.”
As the business grew and people started using Google Analytics, Otte also developed an interface that people could use to search for sales and other data. Eventually it became impractical to develop scripts and maintain the system, so Otte exported the data to MySQL and used Tableau to complement it. Again, this process could not be expanded at will when the company wanted to integrate new sources and integrate other data types, which would have required the hiring of additional developers.
At this point, Keller Sports brought Kemb on board to find the right tools to build a scalable and reliable data stack. It started with a needs workshop and an interview phase. We conducted interviews with department heads on current and future reporting requirements and on regular problems with the then established figures. When structuring a scalable infrastructure that should be accessible to a large number of employees without the need for extensive upfront training, we compared several possible solutions in terms of ETL, data warehousing and data visualization. After Kemb knew exactly the needs and requirements of Keller Sports, we suggested a setup of Fivetran and Snowflake.
Fivetran reduces development time
Without Fivetran, Keller Sports would have had to hire more developers to keep up with the company’s growth, integrate additional online stores and ensure reliable data flow from the sources to the warehouse.
“With Fivetran we need fewer development resources,” says Otte. “People used to come to me to tell me the data is inaccurate or hasn’t been updated in days. Now our team can connect to Fivetran themselves. If something is not working or there is a problem, they can see it themselves in the Fivetran UI. You no longer need IT help.”
Fivetran relieves Keller Sports’ IT department of approximately 20 hours per week that previously had to be spent writing scripts and solving problems. The purchasing department regained 75% of the time previously needed to export raw data from MySQL to Excel. “Our teams now have new tools and data they trust. People no longer have to search for numbers in Excel and no longer have to coordinate those numbers with other people.”
In addition to the implementation of Fivetran in the day-to-day business of Keller Sports, decisive advantages were achieved with the use of Snowflake and Tableau. Fivetran standard connectors automatically transfer the data to Snowflake.
“We currently have 140GB of data in Snowflake and we can scale and manage it all without needing our own dev ops or servers. In the past, I had to make sure the MySQL database was working, repair it when it failed, and decide whether to wipe data or buy additional discs. None of this is necessary anymore.”
CTO OF KELLERSPORTS
Keller Sports IT department found the process of implementing Fivetran, Snowflake and Tableau together to be very easy. “We didn’t need any IT resources – we just connected everything to Fivetran within minutes, the data was automatically pushed into Snowflake, and the BI team was able to work with the data.” After the company switched from MySQL to Snowflake, it switched its Tableau Server instance to Tableau Online. “With all these SaaS applications, our data has become more reliable and more accessible. All three work well together and we no longer have to manage anything on our end.”
At Keller Sports, around 20-25 people in different departments are actively working with reports in Tableau. The purchasing department now has a report that the company can use to carry out efficient inventory analysis and reordering. The marketing department can view sales by channel and evaluate customer lifetime value. A margin report shows the daily sales and margins that drive price adjustments. With transparent data, it’s easier for the Keller Sports BI team to create or change reports that impact the entire business.
Developed based on real-world needs of data analysts, Fivetran technology is the smartest and fastest way to replicate your applications, databases, events and files into a high-performance cloud warehouse. Fivetran connectors deploy in minutes, require no maintenance, and automatically adapt to source changes – freeing your data team to worry about technology and focus on developing results.
Snowflake is the leading data warehouse purpose-built for the cloud. Its unique architecture delivers proven breakthroughs in performance, concurrency and simplicity. For the first time, multiple groups can access petabytes of data at the same time—up to 200x faster and 10x less expensive than non-cloud solutions. Snowflake is a fully curated service with a pay-as-you-go model that works with structured and semi-structured data.
Tableau helps people visualize and understand their data. The Tableau platform offers the breadth and depth of capabilities that organizations desire, adapting to your environment with unmatched flexibility and diversity while meeting the highest governance and security requirements. Tableau is popular because it is both powerful and intuitive. Tableau is an industry leader thanks to its most enthusiastic user community, over 86,000 customer accounts, and commitment to customer-centric innovation.
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