Business Intelligence: Actionable Insights for Brand Management

Business Intelligence: Actionable Insights for Brand Management

Business Intelligence: Actionable Insights for Brand Management

  • Monitoring, analyzing and moderating brand mentions globally
  • Revealing brand recognition and perception trends
  • Measuring customer reach of ads and media content

Context

Our customer, who is among the leading US consulting agencies specializing in brand building, helps its clients to successfully overcome the most sophisticated issues of monitoring and influencing their brands online.

This challenging mission would be impossible without smart software enabling to collect and analyze brand mentions, detect issues and facilitate related decision making.

Influencing Public Image Online

Big B2C players, such as food or consumer electronics manufacturers, constantly face the challenge of managing their brand perception across multiple product lines and target audiences. Along with continuous investments in research, improvement of production processes and quality management, companies have to encourage positive customer feedback while mitigating the impact of negative mentions in social media.

Our customer, who is in the top of US consulting agencies specializing in brand building, helps its clients to successfully overcome the most sophisticated issues of monitoring and influencing their brands online. This challenging mission would be impossible without smart software enabling to collect and analyze brand mentions, detect issues and facilitate related decision making. The customer selected Itransition among other vendors to deliver the solution due to our technical expertise along with the background in BI consulting.

Transforming Professional Knowledge into Software

None of all-in-one software products available on the market adequately met our customer’s highly specialized needs. Working with huge enterprises with hundreds of products often targeted at different consumer segments, our customer required a powerful integrated solution grounded in the company’s unique knowledge and experience.

Objectives

To Benefit from Analytical Process Automation

After working for quite a long time with several isolated software tools and facing delays, workflow interruptions and low consistency, the customer’s executive team decided to invest in business process automation. The underlying business objectives were clearly formulated and aimed at:

  • Eliminating time losses associated with transferring or merging stats from different applications
  • Reducing efforts needed to locate and access distributed data
  • Increasing analytics efficiency with rich visual aids

Once achieved, these objectives were expected to facilitate accomplishing of global business-critical tasks: to boost cost-effectiveness, to support strategic decision making and to speed up brand management issue reaction time.

To Build an Integrated BI Environment

In line with the business goals, the higher-level functional scope of the future system was broken down in 5 major blocks to:

  • Collect brand and product social sentiment across blogs, forums, news, social networks — all through a set of configurable criteria.
  • Identify if mentions are positively or negatively charged (based on a configurable set of keywords) and organize unstructured information into a BI-ready data mart.
  • Add stats from internal or offline sources and map them to the data collected online
  • Enable analytical data processing
  • Provide an interactive presentation layer for analytical output

To achieve these goals, Itransition was entrusted to build a secure BI portal, uniting online data gathering tools, third-party software modules and the internal data processing center.

Solution

End-to-End Processing with Focus on ETL and Visualization

The tailored Business Intelligence portal delivered by Itransition combines 4 solutions that together provide end-to-end data processing.

  • A central data storage enabled with a processing kernel, that also serves as a service-oriented integration point
  • An application integrating and ETL module that attaches data from external solutions and other available data sources to the processing kernel
  • A report designing solution for analysts to execute their on-demand queries
  • A presentation layer for displaying dynamic data and relationships between instances

For better understanding of how the system works, the following diagram depicts a high-level architecture of the entire solution.

ETL and Integration Challenges

Extracting data from multiple sources and loading it to the central BI storage was a fundamental task to be completed to enable further analytical processing. The major challenge for Itransition was to integrate a few modules provided by third parties, which were not initially designed to work in one bundle.

API Integrations

API integration was performed to seamlessly connect two web tools used to collect information from across the web, to the portal. On top of that, Itransition utilized Google API making it possible for the Customer to keep track of Google Analytics statistics and trends via Google Insights.

XML parsing

Another software module brings the data on brand behavior in offline resources such as TV or print publications. The software has poor interoperability so the project team had no chance to work with API and required to find an alternative solution to extract the data from remote servers and upload it into the central BI storage. To overcome the issue, the team came up with a XML parsing solution that can pull data from an external source and rapidly transform it into web content.

Text files processing

A sufficient piece of information was contained only in CSV files. Itransiton’s team incorporated the data from those files into the BI data mart. This was achieved through delivering a connecting module to the file repository. The module can extract and load data to the mart automatically.

Transforming and Aggregating Data

The information extracted from the variety of sources is then to be prepared for analytical processing. This involves not only an advanced Data Manipulation functionality but also Data Quality Management techniques including cleansing, normalization, consistency verification, avoiding duplications, etc. Finally, the data is mapped to the analytical database structure to serve as a reliable, comprehensive and easy-to-work with data mart.

The nature of business data the Customer deals with requires processing of large information volumes gained from multiple sources and updated frequently, so the team had to develop a scalable and highly performing solution for fast dynamic data aggregation and presenting it in a variety of analytical views.

Built according to best practices in database development and OLAP, the analytical kernel allows 360-degree picture of brand behavior in social media and is flexible to configure or customize reports and analytical views to match specifics of the brand under monitoring.

The Presentation Layer

All the efforts spent on data gathering would have no value without providing analysts with the possibility to easily recognize a brand’s state, dynamics and trends via data visualization. Itransition created a rich presentation layer combining traditional data visualization tools with advanced techniques of semantic analysis and instance relationship visualization.

The aggregated information is presented in customizable dynamic grids, drilldowns, charts and visual indicators.

Development Process and Project Results

Smart Development Approach Leading to a Long-Term Partnership

Since the very beginning, the top priorities from the project management perspective were to mitigate project risks and transfer knowledge securely and smoothly between the customer’s in-house and Itransition teams. This focus was perfectly supported by Itransition’s composite iterative approach to Software Development Life Cycle that stands for fixed transparent deliverables of high-level iterations combined with formal Agile development within low-level development phases. By completing tasks one by one and meeting the expectations in every iteration, Itransition’s team gained the Customer’s confidence and, at the final stage was entrusted to deliver the entire system.

By consequently accomplishing compact tasks and meeting the expectations on every iteration, the Itransition team gained the customer’s confidence and, in the end, was entrusted to deliver the whole complex system.

The cost-effective partnership terms together with a very positive collaboration experience secured by Itransition’s mature knowledge sharing practices allowed the Customer to integrate our remote team into the business process, thus cutting TCO without losing control over critical business software. For the time being, Itransition provides continuous support, and maintenance and updates, including developing new modules of the system

Valuable Line-of-Business Software

As the business context makes it clear, the software delivered by Itransition is a core business-critical tool in the Customer’s daily operations. The solution not only boosts the Customer’s operational efficiency, but allows to provide clients with value-adding services. The tool’s additional value is in that it is capable of pointing out to deficiencies in the Customer’s business processes as well, and helps in related decision making about necessary improvements and investment.

Screenshots

Highlights

  • Solutions

    Media Content Distribution

    Collaboration Tools

    Business Intelligence

  • Industries

    Media & Entertainment

  • Technology

    Ruby

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