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Fueling Expansion with Self-Service BI

Petroleum Retailer


Background

Petroleum retailers across the US are moving beyond gas sales, diversifying their products to create a one-stop-shopping experience for customers to buy fuel, food, home supplies, and other necessities. The unique challenge for petroleum retailers to be competitive in this space is to attract consumers into stores with the right products and an incredible customer experience. However, attracting customers inside gas stations grows increasingly difficult with advancements in credit card and digital purchasing technology. This large petroleum retailer was an early adopter of diversifying products to influence customer behavior, bringing an array of 4,000 items in-store and investing heavily in customer service training to better entice buyers. They now needed visibility into the performance of their new diversified sales approach to continuously improve product offerings and customer interactions. 

Challenge

The petroleum retailer wanted better visibility into key sales and operational performance metrics at the regional, area, and store level to better predict and respond to customer needs. However, like many retail organizations, they suffered from analytic immobility. The company had deployed an enterprise BI tool, but it did not easily support self-service which limited its utility. Requests for analytics from all departments went through a single team, delaying insights and crippling data-driven decision-making. The company’s legacy data warehouse added insult to injury with a dated interface that limited data exploration capabilities. The retailer recognized the need to quickly modernize their analytic capabilities to gain visibility into these key sales and operational performance metrics, so they enlisted the help of CCG to explore more user-friendly technologies and implement self-service reporting. 

Solution

The ideal solution would provide reporting capabilities at the regional and store level, allowing non-IT users to easily drill into reports for everyday decision making. The petroleum retailer already had a robust data infrastructure using Microsoft SQL Server so the challenge was not in aggregating the data, but in getting that data in the hands of the users by visualizing it in a self-service tool. Recognizing this, CCG elected to prove the functionality of self-service while testing a new, modern reporting tool, Power BI, through a six-week RapidDash engagement. This RapidDash would allow the petroleum retailer to test out the new reporting platform before making investments in the software while gathering key requirements from business users for future dashboard development.

CCG worked with several stakeholders at the organization to gather the highest-value sales and performance metrics, then started work on a RapidDash prototype that addressed their complex set of requirements. Over the course of five weeks, CCG leveraged agile techniques to design, develop and deploy a functional dashboard to the business. The completed RapidDash allowed users at all levels to gather insights into key areas of operation such as food margins, labor costs and guest experience. CCG then provided hands on training using the dashboard prototype to ensure adoption of the new application.

This RapidDash project helped to support the organization’s innovative sales strategy of diversifying products to increase customer engagement by providing visibility into customer behavior and product interest. Following the success of this project, the organization has adopted Power BI as their primary end-user reporting tool, leveraging CCG to support the continued roll-out of self-service analytics to new departments and lines of business. 

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Quick Facts

  • Industry - Retail
  • Solution - RapidDash
  • Technology -Microsoft Power BI
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