The Short Trip To Long-Term Success

There is a moment in the life of any successful business when the company needs and feels it is time to pass to the next level of success. It has a loyal customer base, a constant flow of orders, a sure revenue stream - but how can it upgrade all of these things? How can the company use all the information it has from all its sources to expand its market share? Adrien Charaix, the Business Analyst of Weekendesk, took the bold decision in 2014 to answer this question for the company: go for cloud BI.

Weekendesk is a travel agency operating 100% online and has established itself as the European leader in selling short-term holiday packages, with a turnover of more than $46M in 3 major European countries - France, Belgium and Spain. At the beginning of 2014, their web platform was already receiving more than 2 million visits each month and processing 25,000 orders - with these numbers all growing at a fast rate, internal reporting and performance analysis became too difficult to perform with existing tools.

Orders, reservations, transactions between clients and hotels, web traffic - all of these generate an impressive amount of data. The business analysts at Weekendesk used to analyse the evolution of their web traffic, conversion rates from users to customers, and the online performance of their products and services using Google Analytics. The orders, reservations and transactions were stored in a SQL database and within a proprietary ERP, while other sales and financial data was kept in the Google Drive account of the company.

The reporting process was previously done in Excel through a multitude of interconnected dynamic pivot tables and tabs covering the key indicators from different business departments. Due to the growing volume of data and the disparity of the data sources, reporting rapidly reached the limitations of Excel and it became extremely difficult to generate insights and benefit.

Then, through a joint initiative by the Finance and Business Analytics departments, Weekendesk chose the BIME cloud BI platform to transform their former silo-like reporting into realtime analysis through interactive dashboards. They started with a basic data analysis plan but - due to the increasing business analytics needs - decided to upgrade to a fully scalable Big Data project after only 3 months.

Weekendesk is a modern company. It was born mobile and cloud based. Every employee can work from any place with their full IT environment. It was natural to add BIME and its BigQuery connector on top of it. We work faster and deliver better data analysis but we’re also moving from reporting to dashboarding which increases the collaboration between teams.
— Adrien Charaix, Business Analyst, Weekendesk

This growing heterogeneity of data sources made Weekendesk determined to switch from reporting source by source and department by department to blending financial, sales and web traffic data within interactive dashboards with unique URLs to analyze their performance at an integrated level, to better understand the behavior and needs of their customers.

By using BIME, Weekendesk can recreate their previous reporting schema while greatly improving the fluidity of their connections to the various data sources they use on a daily basis (SQL, Google Analytics and Google Drive). They can thus access all the information in a single location, mix data sources with just a few clicks and, finally, build and share dashboards with the top management as well as with different departments.

Because Weekendesk operates fully online, its main focus is the cloud and mobility, so each employee can access the latest business data anytime and from anywhere. This is exactly why a 100% web-based cloud BI solution such as BIME matched perfectly with their DNA. Thanks to the customizable user rights and user groups, each Business Analyst increased their productivity by undertaking analysis on multiple data sources within the same dashboard, that is shared with the board and the sales and marketing departments in a different way (from a global view to specific filtered views).

The main benefits:

  • exploration and data discovery on the fly on a growing volume of data sources within online interactive dashboards;

  • simplified production of data visualizations which enable a rapid understanding of the acquisition channels’ performance;

  • increased visibility of sales results by region, by channel (internal sales force, client service, exclusively online), and by device (PC, tablet, smartphone);

  • realtime updates of indicators related to the competitiveness of offers, available online for business users to execute queries to get specific answers.

The project started in April and the full process of business analysis through dashboards has been running since August. Weekendesk is now striving to optimize, augment and combine the sales and online transactions for reinforcing the granularity of client analysis. They plan to migrate their CRM data (from Salesforce) and marketing data (attribution data such as C3 Metrics) into Google BigQuery in order to quickly create dashboards on customer profiles and their buying preferences. Weekendesk is following its web DNA by using cloud technologies: working on the BIME cloud BI platform, connected in realtime to all their data sources, their business can now conquer the world as they infinitely scale their analytic power.

The BIME team thanks to Adrien Charaix for his testimonial.

For more information about real-world applications of data analytics, you can contact me through Twitter - @bimeanalytics and @tiberiu_iacomi.