Case studies Ikea

Adastra implements a Data Warehouse as a service for IKEA CZ, HU and SK

Why don't IKEA FAMILY members need to keep their receipts? The answer is easy: they are always available online. IKEA has a new Data Warehouse (DWH) that saves all purchase transactions. You can check yours via the IKEA FAMILY web site so you don't need to worry about losing the original paper receipts from the cash desk. The new DWH solution implemented by Adastra for IKEA enables much more. The solution operates in a cloud environment accessible via VPN, i. e., secured, and we provide it to IKEA as a service.

Problem we had to face

There is no need to introduce IKEA. Nevertheless, you might be interested in knowing: As of August 31, 2015, the IKEA Group had 328 stores in 28 countries featuring a range of approx. 9,500 products amongst which around 2,500 of them are renewed and redesigned every year. In FY2015, 771 mil. people visited IKEA stores, an increase of 7.7% over FY2014. 155 thousand employees served IKEA customers worldwide. In FY2015, the IKEA Group had 978 home furnishing suppliers in 50 countries. Total sales reached €31.9 billion.

Building a data warehouse (DWH) for IKEA Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia continues the customer data quality project. The new DWH collects and centralizes data from 4 stores in the Czech Republic, 2 stores in Hungary and 1 in Slovakia. IKEA requested Adastra to deliver a DWH as a service to avoid maintaining of servers, licenses, solution operations and others.

Customer requested to deliver a DWH as a service

Our suggested solution

MS SQL Server technology was chosen for the designed solution. The solution runs on hosted servers, i.e., from the customer point of view in the cloud. Selecting a hosting partner was also a unique challenge for Adastra as it was our first foray into such a partnership. Based on a short tender and many discussions we opted for Cloud4com. The hosting partner was rigorously tested and reviewed by both IKEA's IT department and Adastra and it successfully passed all security tests.

A Data Warehouse contains data from multiple areas: purchase transactions, returned goods, the product catalogue, customer data (incl. personal data, contact data, addresses and socio-demographic data), marketing campaigns plus responses and more. As you can imagine from the list above, the DWH is huge. It covers 3 Central-European countries and 7 stores. Source system data are loaded from IKEA network storages (purchase transactions for example) to the DWH as well as from external partners who upload data on the SFTP server in our cloud. All data are delivered to the DWH as text extracts on a daily basis.


Scheme: Design of IKEA DWH solution

Solution benefits and uses:

The final cloud solution supports the client in the following ways:

  • Predefined reports in MS Reporting Services accessible in a web browser or distributed by email (e.g., KPI reports, sales reports for selected products and product groups, campaign and event evaluations, sales geography, visitation, customer base analyses and others)
  • A data cube for ad-hoc analysis accessible via Excel (analysis of sales, receipts, customers etc.)
  • Electronic receipt (transaction history of IKEA customers was a requirement of the client) – for IKEA employees via a web application and for IKEA customers (IKEA FAMILY members) as a part of a newly implemented IKEA FAMILY web site
  • Targeting customers in campaigns via Adastra Campaign Management (another part of the final solution)
  • SQL querying via the SQL Server Management Studio via a remote desktop (ad-hoc reporting etc.)
  • Regular and ad-hoc analyses of customer purchase behavior at IKEA (frequency of purchases, average receipt, customer life-cycle etc.)

department stores in 3 Central-European countries are covered by the new data warehouse

What was the outcome of the project

Adastra successfully completed the project and it is working now. Go ahead, have a look. Those of you who are members of IKEA FAMILY (or their wives J) can now find their purchase history at the new IKEA FAMILY web site. The deployment of an Adastra's Campaign Management was another key feature of the project.


months only lasted the realization of the full solution at IKEA – from data warehouse design to the customer web portal

The key to implementing this project quickly and successfully was our partner Adastra. Adastra prides itself on the same values as our specialist teams at IKEA. Cooperating with them was absolutely great. We carried out the full solution from data warehouse design to the customer web portal in only seven months. The customer portal with purchase history is highly visited and IKEA employees can handle customer requests faster if they are IKEA FAMILY members. If there were more companies like Adastra, there wouldn't be any failed projects.

Iveta Kutišová, Country Ikea Family manager, Ikea CZ/HU/SK


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Jan Medek