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The Golf Channel - Data Integration & Reporting Support Customer Loyalty Programs and Other Marketing Campaigns

The golfing community consists of some of the most affluent purchasers among any demographic. So it comes as no surprise that Comcast, the cable giant that owns the highly popular The Golf Channel (TGC), sought ways to increase revenue by cross-selling and up-selling to its substantial viewing audience and customer base, not only through its cable network reach, but through new marketing efforts extending to key web site properties including “e-tailers” Golfnow.com and LastMinuteGolfer.com.Golfnow.com offers the best in tee times through easy and convenient booking methods. Using leading edge technology, GolfNow.com enables golfers to stay connected to their favorite courses and tee times through the web and via email.

Overview

Several years ago, Comcast acquired Golfnow.com with the intent to merge the online property with LastMinuteGolfer.com and The Golf Channel. The business goal was to drive increased web traffic, expand market reach and increase revenue. What became clear at the outset of the project was that in order to be the “single face to the customer” with highly targeted and optimal promotional campaigns, a new CRM solution was necessary.

Goals

E! Entertainment, the company heading up the new marketing initiatives and campaigns engaged Systech, a data integration consulting firm to:

  • Help implement a comprehensive business intelligence platform to source customer information
  • Build customer analytics that effectively targeted customers on a “just-in-time” basis

Challenge

Integrating and consolidating the disparate data and applications of TGC, Golfnow.com and LastMinuteGolfer.com proved to be a challenge because of the inherent system variance of three distinct organizations. In order to transform the existing SQL Server and Oracle system into a hybrid Operational Data Store on Oracle that provided some data mart functionality, data redundancy between the systems had to be removed. This was compounded by the fact that data sources had different data models. Data quality issues and conflicting data and semantics across data sources posed an additional level of complexity. Consequently, defining a data consolidation strategy was a considerable challenge. The lack of data quality metrics prevented the implementation of a flexible customer analytics platform that business could trust.

Solution

Systech delivered a solution that separated the redundant systems and infrastructures and delivered more effective data reconciliation. This solution was designed to scale and support a multi-user development environment and the highest levels of data volumes and process complexity.

Systech built a comprehensive Operational Data Store (ODS) on Oracle. The design of the Data Foundation was based on the business requirements to support a CRM solution and preliminary analytical reporting. The Data Foundation was created as a first step towards building a comprehensive BI environment at TGC.

By choosing Talend Integration Suite (TIS) as an open source tool ETL tool Systech managed both the budget and requirements. The ETL process was built to efficiently source data from the various source systems, perform adequate data cleansing and transformation prior to organizing the data in the ODS schema. Systech organized the data into hierarchies that allowed efficient and fast selection and aggregation of selected data to guarantee analytical accuracy.

The solution provided a high degree of integration with SVN, Oracle and the rest of the client environment. Versatility and ease of maintenance were very important aspects of the integration solution.

Systech also installed and configured a MicroStrategy Reporting Environment. By building a complete data dictionary of the various data elements in ODS Systech down streamed business reporting.

Customer Segmentation user interface was created using MicroStrategy and periodic customer Segmentation Reports were scheduled in MicroStrategy.

Systech’s Intelligence Cube for Customer Segmentation Reports empowered users to easily add or remove report objects (such as attributes and metrics), new metric calculations and filter views of the data — in an ad hoc fashion while maintaining speed-of-thought response times.

The project was done in an onsite – offshore team model with team members working round the clock for speedy execution.

Result

Systech’s rapid-to-deploy, solutions-driven approaches helped E!-Golf Channel quickly consolidate and resolve data issues accurately. The data integration strategy eliminated data discrepancies across systems and data sources by resolving conflicts and creating a central, shared repository. The end result was reliable, unified views of customer data that could be shared across disparate systems and business functions.

E!-Golf Channel achieved an easy-to-manage and consolidated view of customer for up sell and cross sell opportunities that would drive increased revenue. The integration made it easy to filter through various customer interactions. For example, with one simple query E!-Golf Channel could learn what services they subscribed to, what cross sell-up sell opportunities existed and what campaigns should be targeted.

Systech created a comprehensive series of reports and analytics built on the MicroStrategy Reporting platform to serve as a web portal to do customer segmentation of data for the planned CRM solution and provided downstream complex analytical reports and dashboards.