Making use of data for business reporting is a part of everyday business for several companies, and many are already beginning to design applications to forecast the future. One such company is Veho, Finland’s leading car dealership group, which wanted to move its use of data up a gear.
According to Salla Kuula, Development Manager, Data & Analytics at Veho, the company had strong foundations in place for its venture into new analytics.
“We have been working on data warehousing and reporting using visualisation tools for quite some time, so the data was already in good order. This was helpful when we began considering the types of advanced analytics we may need.”
Discussions between finance and business managers swiftly led to ideas for advanced analytics projects. Veho eventually decided to conduct a trial project on a service for which it was challenging to estimate the costs and profitability.
“We had an enormous amount of data that were not utilising to the full in order to make the service more profitable. It was difficult to understand and forecast the costs of the service, which is why this was a good choice for an advanced analytics project,” Kuula says.
The company began working with Digia on the trial project. Several service providers were involved in the preliminary phase, but Digia’s expertise won the day.
“In the initial phase, Digia’s experts provided us with a roadmap of how they would address our challenge. When we entered into more detailed discussions, we could see that Digia had done similar projects before. And, of course, Digia’s personnel made a good, professional impression,” Kuula describes.
Aiming for greater understanding
The goal of the trial project was to produce a model to help Veho with its pricing by forecasting the costs and profitability. Kuula says that in addition to achieving the stated aims of the trial, the personnel benefitted from the learning experience.
“We had accepted the idea that the trial may not be fully successful – we specifically wanted to put a new idea to the test. Perhaps a more important objective was to broaden the expertise and understanding of the business personnel in the field of data and analytics.”
Kuula says that the initial challenge was to set the boundaries of the trial.
“Depending on the person, everyone has slightly different perspectives and aspirations. From the outset, we ensured that the goal of the project was clearly delineated in order for us to get going. The trial was made easier by the fact that data was only needed from one source system.”
Veho and Digia worked closely together. The progress of the project was monitored weekly, and the next steps were agreed. After about three months’ work, Veho had a model providing sufficiently accurate forecasts to inspire further development and productisation. Next, Veho intends to put the forecasting model to use as an everyday business tool with Digia’s help.
Kuula expresses her thanks to Digia’s experts.
“Digia’s experts spoke the same language as our business managers, and they were able to transform a business need into a functional model. It was fantastic to see how well the dialogue went, even though this was a new industry for them,” Kuula says.
“The project activities were well organised, the work proceeded according to the timetable, and the objectives were monitored.”