Information Resources Increases Revenue by US$5 Million—Is Set to Save US$1 Million Annually with Simplified IT Architecture
 
 

Information Resources Increases Revenue by US$5 Million—Is Set to Save US$1 Million Annually with Simplified IT Architecture

Information Resources, Inc. (IRI) delivers powerful market and shopper information, predictive analysis, and foresight that helps consumer goods, retail, and over-the-counter healthcare product organizations to dramatically increase revenue, build brands, and drive growth. It provides market, consumer, and shopper intelligence; retail tracking information; online and offline marketing return-on-investment strategy; pricing, trade promotion, brand-portfolio optimization services; and store-level and merchandising insight and consulting.

IRI has worked with more than 95% of the Fortune Global 500 in the consumer goods and retail sectors. The average length of relationship with its clients is approximately 17 years.

 
 

 
 

Challenges

A word from Information Resources, Inc.

  • "Oracle Exadata Database Machine helps us win on several fronts. It delivers extreme performance, allowing us to conduct ad-hoc analysis not possible with our legacy environment—boosting revenue by roughly US$5 million annually. At the same time, we reduced IT complexity and the total cost of ownership for a multi-US$100-million line of business.” – Trevor Mason, Vice President, Technology and Analytics Research, Information Resources, Inc.

  • Ensure high performance and scalability for the company’s data infrastructure, which powers its information and analytical services for large retailers, consumer-goods organizations, and healthcare-product companies
  • Ensure that the data infrastructure and analytical applications can support a growing number of internal and external concurrent users without performance degradation
  • Standardize on a single vendor platform to streamline IT management and reduce total cost of ownership
  • Ensure data protection and recovery from unforeseen events through best practices in backup operations
  • Accelerate time to value with an easy-to-install and maintain data-infrastructure solution

Solutions

  • Improved ability to deliver rapid insight on customer behavior to retail and consumer-goods companies with Oracle Exadata Database Machine, bolstering its competitive advantage
  • Realized an additional US$5 million dollars in revenue annually through ad-hoc analytics projects, not possible with the legacy environment
  • Consolidated and replaced multiple databases, including DB2 and Netezza, by standardizing on Oracle Exadata Database Machine, using a centralized data warehouse repository, improving performance with an engineered system, and reducing IT costs and complexity
  • Improved accuracy of point-of-sale data and expanded analytics capabilities for more informed recommendations to retailers and consumer-product manufacturers to improve marketing and product promotions
  • Accelerated time to market for new retail and consumer goods analysis services, allowing the company to react more quickly to opportunities and improve competitiveness
  • Enabled more than 50 internal users to access the data warehouse concurrently and more than 1,000 external users to access external-facing data marts concurrently, without performance degradation, elevating customer service and achieving scalability that other solutions, including Netezza, could not deliver
  • Used Hybrid Columnar Compression to realize as much as 7x to 8x data compression on occasions, optimizing technology investment for a data warehouse that is growing at roughly 100 TB per year
  • Improved throughput performance even as the company manages 1.5x to 2x more data than before, amounting to billions of rows of data and terabytes of data per day
  • Completed customer segmentations that would have taken three to four months in just hours, gaining flexibility to analyze new combinations of stores, products, and market segments, and bolstering the competitive advantage
  • Used Oracle Advanced Analytics to scale analytics as data volume increases by bringing the algorithms to where the data resides—in the database
  • Gained ability to run multiple and mixed workloads in the same environment to optimize investment
  • Consolidated the data infrastructure, reducing costs and freeing up data-center floor space while gaining scalability to support the rapidly growing company
  • Enabled fine-grain management of resources used for queries, which other solutions, such as Netezza, could not deliver
  • Streamlined data-infrastructure management with one database to manage instead of five
  • Began to conduct regular backups on Sun ZFS Backup Appliance that were not practical with the legacy environment—benefitting from Sun ZFS Backup Appliance’s extreme throughput performance; the speed of InfiniBand connectivity; and Hybrid Columnar Compression, which significantly reduces the amount of data to be backed up

Why Oracle

“Oracle Exadata Database Machine provides the industry’s best option in terms of performance, scalability, reliability, manageability, and value,” said Trevor Mason, vice president, technology and analytics research, IRI. “We wanted a solution that would enable us to reduce our total cost of ownership by running multiple workloads in the same environment and one that also could support thousands of users concurrently accessing our data-mart solutions. Other solutions, including Netezza, could not deliver effectively on these requirements.”

Implementation Process

IRI first deployed one full rack for its production environment. Based on initial results with Oracle Exadata Database Machine, it deployed another full rack in its production environment and rolled out a quarter rack for development and testing.