Westfield uses Pentaho to improve customer experience

 

 

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Business Challenge

Westfield Group has one of the world’s largest shopping centre portfolios with locations on four continents. Last year more than one billion customer visits generated over $40 billion in retail sales from the world’s leading retailers.

Wanting to improve the customer experience at their centres, Westfield set a company wide initiative to focus on connecting users of digital technology and social media with the physical shopping world.

Westfield’s Australian portfolio in particular has led in using data and analytics to improve business value, but it has been no small feat. The Australian market makes up more than half of the Group’s global assets under management by value, and has around 11,300 retail outlets in 3.4 million square meters of retail space. Additionally, the Australian centres atract more than 500 million visits each year, and the portfolio includes smaller community-based centre’s anchored by supermarkets as well as super-regional centres with multiple department stores and several hundred specialty retailers.

Goals

In order to enable cloud integration and refine their data flow, Westfield needed an easy-to-use, quick to deploy data integration solution. Moreover, their data environment would need to be built in a manner that could easily scale and connect to new data sources as integration architects take on new projects and evolve their data processing capabilities.  

  • Onboard new ETL processes easily and at low cost.
  • Deployable using standard design patterns so system ops can monitor, maintain and troubleshoot deployed processes.
  • Scalable data environment that can grow with company and evolving needs.

Pentaho's Unique Solution 

Being a very lean, focused and cost conscious organization, Westfield was seeking an alternative to the traditional up-front cost peruser licensing models. Integration architects at Westfield had previous experience with Kettle (the open source version of PDI) and knew that Pentaho could achieve the desired results.

The traditional practice of consolidating the implementations onto single application platform became somewhat challenging with the emergence of the cloud based systems and general divergence of the software solutions. Westfield decided to explore “fit for the purpose” model in regards of the selection of the architecture components.

The pilot project demonstrated PDI stability, power, and development speed. With the alternative also under consideraton costjng significantly more to implement and lacking a number of key technical capabilities the decision was made to establish PDI as a cross domain operational ETL tool.

Westfield BizCubed (the leading ANZ Pentaho Partner) to assist with the deployment of the Pentaho Data Integration Enterprise Edition, allowing Westfield to jumpstart the data management capability for its cloud and onpremise systems.

Westfield currently runs roughly 200 different data integration jobs and 250 transformations, integrating otherwise siloed operational data. With this environment, Westfield is able to integrate data from their core operational domains: leasing, centre management, finances, social media and digital presence.

Value Added

With Pentaho Data Integration, Westiield has a low-cost/high value ETL solution that can bring systems together with low technical barriers. Business users in different departments now have a single point of contact for their data syncing needs, including the delegation of the operational control to the end users.

Moreover, PDI and BizCubed services allow Westfield to sustain a substantial growth of its integration practice with minimal increase in number of the full-time employees – from on demand support to partcipation in the long running new developments.

Over time, the ease of use, extensibility and significantly lower running costs allowed Westfield to expand the area of application of the Pentaho platorm beyond the initial operational scope and extend into a variety business domains.

  • Scalable solution that can grow with analytics needs and new technologies.
  • Low total cost of ownership with high functionality.
  • Enterprise support from partner BizCubed that ensure underlying processes will run smoothly when embedded.
  • Large community support for development and innovation.