By automating and streamlining its data operations, IKEA Austria gained a new way of getting insights needed to prepare for upcoming growth and transformation into a leading multi-channel retailer.
As a renowned brand, and one of the largest home furnishing retail chains in the world, IKEA is investing a lot of effort in trying to understand the needs of its customers and being able to react ahead of time. By automating the process of consolidating data from various sources through Adverity, IKEA Austria is now at the forefront of a totally new approach in working with data within the whole IKEA group. Manual data operations have now been completely eliminated, and all departments have gained access to key information they need to make better business decisions. This gives the teams time and resources needed to ensure IKEA is further strengthening its position as a market leader.
Beyond usual data sources, like the localized website and sales data from line-of-business applications, IKEA receives an additional layer of intelligence about its customers’ needs through the IKEA Family loyalty program. The main challenge was to make these large amounts of disparate data easily accessible to all stakeholders across the company. “I believe that good decisions are always based on facts. And to get the facts, I need quality data, and I need to make it accessible”, explains Maimuna Mosser, Chief Business Development Officer at IKEA Austria, who oversees both the marketing and eCommerce departments
Lukas Dittmer, Marketing Performance Manager at IKEA Austria, clarifies the underlying challenges: “We had multiple data sources, and were using the services of several agencies, which led to much of the data becoming siloed and unavailable to us.” This also affected the data requests from global teams at IKEA, as they would have to wait for days, even weeks, for the information they needed.
Data quality was also a significant issue. Different KPIs and naming conventions were used for campaigns on different channels, which made reporting on campaign performance extremely difficult. “As in most companies, we used Excel a lot, our folder structure was complex, and there were often reports missing. Also, our email inboxes continued to grow because we were sending large report files. At a certain point, it became clear that we could not go forward with this approach,” clarifies Dittmer
IKEA was looking for a solution that would fit easily into its existing technology stack, consisting mostly of Microsoft’s products. For data visualization it uses Power BI, with data stored in a cloud-based SQL Server database, hosted on Microsoft Azure. Now, their BI solution is supplied with high-quality data collected and transformed in the Adverity platform.
There was also a need to resolve the challenge of an ever-increasing number of data sources, and getting started in a short timeframe – Dittmer explains how: “We were ready with the setup within two weeks, and we had the first 14 data connectors connected to our database. Now we use about 20 connectors, and I am continually discovering new ways we can connect our data sources through Adverity.”
Data integration + Data visualization + Data storage (Icons)
He stresses the importance of using a versatile platform, given the constant rise in the number of requests for data across the company: “I decided to go with Adverity because it is very flexible, not only when it comes to collecting data, but also to pushing data to the databases we currently use. Even if we decide to change our core platform, Adverity supports all major platform providers, so we would remain very flexible.”
All relevant data is now accessible across the organization, so colleagues outside the marketing department can also make use of the data processed through Adverity. “Through the dashboards we have created in Adverity other departments can also access this data, and we are educating them on the potential of the information presented in these dashboards”, reveals Maimuna Mosser, Chief Business Development Officer at IKEA Austria.
At a global level, IKEA is transforming into a multi- channel retailer with data playing a key role in this journey. “Data is a tool to reach our vision of being a company that truly serves the needs of our customers. For me, data is also a vehicle, helping us on our way to become more efficient as a company,” adds Mosser.
IKEA also got access to an even more detailed level of information than before. For example, Adverity provides a greater level of data granularity than the default reporting tools offered by Facebook. “This enabled the team to not only gain additional insights into the performance of our Facebook ads, but also into the customers’ behavior on this platform”, emphasizes Lukas Dittmer, Marketing Performance Manager at IKEA Austria
According to Mosser – a member of IKEA Austria’s management team – implementing Adverity has brought many advantages to the business: “Adverity has helped us to really start working with our data, to connect our data silos and to create stories out of these, now connected silos. We are now able to connect more data touchpoints and create data insights from them. This makes our operations in working with data much more efficient.”
Mosser highlights how IKEA Austria was able to structure future media investments based on these data insights: “We did data modelling for the marketing department, and were able to optimize our media mix and our budget investments based on the results from this investigation and the data we collected and analyzed through Adverity.”
When I started working at IKEA a couple of years ago, not even 10% of what we can achieve now with our data was possible. I believe that Adverity was one of the key contributors to this improvement. There have been many cases where we based our decisions on facts we uncovered from data processed by Adverity,” concludes Maimuna Mosser, Chief Business Development Officer at IKEA Austria
The more I know about our data, the more I can understand our customers, and serve their needs better.
Information sharing within the company has been largely enhanced through fully automated data integration
Consolidated data from various sources uncovered brand new insights into business and marketing performance
With a better overview of up-to- date data, management can now make decisions faster and with greater confidence
Adverity has helped us to really start working with our data. We are now able to connect more data touchpoints and create data insights from them, helping us to save time and valuable resources when creating reports