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European retailer looks to SAP HANA BI project to wrangle POS data

Kingfisher, a European-based global chain of home improvement stores, said it has deployed SAP HANA in Castorama, a French subsidiary, to get a better grip on point-of-sales (POS) data that had become too unwieldy and too inconsistent to use effectively.

"About two or three years ago, we started to have some real challenges around our BI solutions. We could not respond to business needs. We couldn't be quick enough or agile enough to respond to an ever-increasing demand on quite a lot of data we have," said Mohamed El Fanichi, the company's business systems director.

Getting to that "single version of the truth" that business units could trust had proved elusive, he said, leading to Kingfisher running its BI operations on the HANA in-memory platform.

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"We were tasked with creating a common business language, common KPIs, [across units] that were quite diverse and had their own identities, and bring them into an integrated solution," El Fanichi said in this video from the 2014 Sapphire Now conference in Orlando.

According to Tata Consultancy Services, which Kingfisher partnered with for the project, more than 400 KPIs were established to help the company make more informed decisions.

One of the major benefits of using HANA was the ability to use data models instead of having to aggregate data, El Fanichi said. "We have no aggregations anymore in our business. You can't aggregate enough to be agile," he said.

The move is part of a broader effort to run the company's Business Suite software on the SAP HANA platform.

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