Din Bil Sverige AB makes the most of its business data through better analytics and TimeXtender

For Swedish car retailer Din Bil Gruppen, making timely data-based business decisions required a modern, agile BI platform. For them, TimeXtender has proved to be an ideal data estate solution.
 
 

KEEPING SWEDES ON THE ROAD
Din Bil Sverige AB – ‘Your Car Group’ – is a customer-facing business that supplies cars and car-related services. As a part of the Volkswagen Group, it specializes in brands such as Audi, Volkswagen, Porsche, Skoda and SEAT. With 37 sales outlets across the country and around 2,000 employees, Din Bil’s auto centers not only sell and lease vehicles but also service them and supply spare parts. Din Bil is the major retail outlet of Volkswagen brands in Sweden.

MAKING BETTER DATA-BASED DECISIONS
Din Bil’s business is spread across numerous sites, with different parts of the company using different systems. This organic growth meant that legacy systems had been added as and when needed, resulting in a complex network with interoperability issues. Creating reports for the whole company using these systems, or producing an analysis of specific areas of the business, was becoming a time-consuming, resource-heavy task.

Din Bil was acutely aware that the years they’d spent asking external consultants to build solutions on request meant that the company’s business logic capabilities were now contained within numerous front-end applications instead of at central points. “This led to different versions of the truth being found in different applications and different parts of the organization,” notes Jakob Zellman, who joined Din Bil as its BI Manager as part of the drive to solve this problem of reliability and data verification of data. With the decision made to drive a single solution forward, Din Bil went looking for a system that would serve their needs not just now, but also far into the future.

TIMEXTENDER’S SOLUTION
In the late summer of 2017, Din Bil started its search for such a system. They looked at most of the available systems on the market, met consultant agencies, looked at cloud-based solutions, and even considered building their own system from scratch – a once-popular approach that has increasingly fallen out of favor. Yet, says Jakob, “Very quickly, the choice became obvious to us, since the key components of TimeXtender really spoke to our needs.” This decision-making process was made even simpler by InfoZone, the Swedish-based BI vendor that demonstrated TimeXtender to Din Bil. Indeed, it was just two months from an initial meeting until the final decision to adopt the system.

One of the primary factors in this rapid uptake was TimeXtender’s obvious ease of use. Since Din Bil doesn’t have the IT staff capacity for constant maintenance and development, they were impressed by how easy TimeXtender was to implement optimized, functional modifications.

Also, with GDPR legislation looming at that time, other key features that needed to be addressed were security and compliance. Since TimeXtender provides data lineage and also automated documentation, the who, when, where and why questions relating to data access can be answered on-demand.

TimeXtender was first used by Din Bil’s finance department in February 2018 and then rolled out into the bigger, more demanding and more unstructured car market afterward.

 

“The intention of this roll-out is that we will lure users across the company over to the additional capacity and data within the new data warehouse,” explains Jakob. “Over time, we are seeing more and more staff recognize the benefits of increased analysis from using our new system.”

 

MAKING THE MOST OF BUSINESS DATA
In TimeXtender, Din Bil is implementing a BI platform that can provide company-wide analysis from a single source of data. Because of how easy it is to clean and integrate data sources with each other, Din Bil now obtain detailed knowledge about their business. They can now do more advanced cross-over analysis on, for example, gross profit on a single make or model of vehicle, such as black VW Polos sold in the last six months. That’s something they couldn’t easily do before. And ultimately, by implementing TimeXtender, Din Bil has enabled a future-proof data architecture and is now positioned well for any future cloud migration objectives.

While that is, in part, due to TimeXtender, it’s also just as much because of Din Bil’s decision to gain a far clearer view of all their data across the business. While working purely in Microsoft Excel could give them the same analysis eventually, doing it with TimeXtender not only creates more secure data, it also gives them ease of access to all of its data.

 

“What has impressed us most is how easy it has been for our small IT department – just ten people or so – operating in a company with a turnover of SEK18bn (€1.7bn),” says Jakob. “We have very little capacity for creating data infrastructure yet with TimeXtender, we have managed to build a platform in around 3 months that is miles better than anything we’ve had in the last 15 years. I think that speaks to the ease of use of the product and the power contained within it.”

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