“Onix was engaged to overcome the lack of internal expertise with BigQuery and Looker implementations — and the management of data security.”
About the Customer
Founded in 1988 in Green Bay, Wisconsin, Batteries Plus is the nation’s largest and fastest-growing battery franchise, with 700+ locations throughout the United States. Their stores serve millions of customers and have access to tens of thousands of products, from every day to the hard-to-find. Customers appreciate convenient services such as battery testing, phone repair, key fob programming and much more.
The company wanted to enable real-time insights into sales performance and inventory for their franchise stores. Their highly complex legacy Azure data warehouse and EDW environment for E-Commerce, accounting, CRM, ERP, product and inventory, POS systems and approximately 300 databases, integrations and nightly maintenance jobs presented challenges to produce real-time data. After a disappointing attempt to gain near-real time data using Birst, the company decided to move to GCP. Onix was engaged to overcome the lack of internal expertise with BigQuery and Looker implementations — and the management of data security.
Onix conducted a data strategy and design engagement and led the implementation. Since the data warehouse and real-time data pipeline would include Corporate and Franchise owner stores nationwide to connect to the existing order management process, BigQuery was the best option for data management.
The Data Strategy engagement focused on requirements analysis, design, a roadmap and the backlog — and on governance and creating an operations plan. The implementation centered around the data pipeline, schema, queries, data security — and hooking up a Looker dashboard before a handoff to the customer’s operations team.
Onix used Google Pub/Sub to facilitate asynchronous streaming functions to ingest data from Azure and create publisher and subscriber event streams — systems of event producers and consumers — and Google Cloud Dataflow to facilitate and optimize the streaming pipelines.
Ongoing MSP-managed data operations to help the customer maintain and optimize the EDW environment were also provided by Onix.
Impact and Results
Batteries Plus executive leadership and franchise owners now have near real-time dashboards not previously possible to produce; the organization is positioned to incorporate additional data sources and dashboards such as inventory and CRM. Further, the company IT team now has the tools and skillsets to analyze Looker query results and make necessary changes to the Looker code rapidly if needed. The Batteries Plus data architect reports that user feedback from the launch has been very positive so far. He keeps hearing how it’s so much faster and more intuitive than their last system.