Carphone Warehouse's all-in-one data box ends the long wait for business intelligence


Carphone Warehouse's all-in-one data box ends the long wait for business intelligence

Arif Mohamed

Mobile phone retailer Carphone Warehouse will next month replace a four-year-old database with a database server appliance that is expected to significantly speed up the extraction and analysis of customer information.

Carphone Warehouse will use the system to run analyses on mobile phone contract transactions, insurance sales, customer records and other data. The company is due to go live with Netezza's Performance Server - in effect, a database, a server and storage in one box - on 11 December.

Netezza will integrate with Business Objects, Carphone Warehouse's main business intelligence application. The company also uses tools from Epiphany for marketing, SAS Enterprise Miner for predictive modelling, Hyperion for online analytical processing, and Hyperion Essbase for financial analysis, but these will remain separate.

Dave Parfett, head of relational technologies at Carphone Warehouse, said Netezza would let several hundred users analyse data between 10 and 50 times faster than the company's existing datawarehouses.

"The data loads do not take as much time as before, and queries will come back quicker. We hope users will look for more insight from the data as it comes back in 10 minutes instead of two hours," said Parfett.

The firm ran an eight-week pilot for the project. A data integration tool from Informatica ported data to Netezza, and users were given two days' training.

Parfett said Carphone Warehouse chose Netezza because of its price to performance ratio and its speed of deployment - it will take just two weeks to roll out.

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