Maui Jim Creates Enterprise Data Hub with iOLAP and AWS
iOLAP is an AWS Advanced Consulting Partner
Maui Jim set out to become a data-driven organization. A key enabler for its business was to modernize enterprise data landscape and enhance analytical capabilities. iOLAP and Maui Jim partnered together to define and execute a multi-phased data and analytics transformation roadmap. Project Akamai was formed. Akamai, meaning "intelligent, smart, or clever," serves as the inspiration for Maui Jim's journey.
Maui Jim’s legacy reporting systems had reached their end of life and were built upon rigid and inflexible frameworks. These difficulties created multiple legacy systems that were spread out across many technology stacks.
Reporting solutions were use-case based and consisted of many custom solutions and processes that were not tightly integrated. These challenges created an environment that was difficult to maintain, scale, and enable Maui Jim to easily support its data-driven growth aspirations.
Craig Rich, Managing Partner of iOLAP, said, "We value the strong partnership we have with Maui Jim. We engaged with them early to understand their business and vision and worked together to help define and design an enterprise data platform that will scale and grow with their business. Having cutting-edge technology was a key enabler to achieve this vision at Maui Jim. AWS is one of our key technology partners and has been instrumental to the success of Project Akamai and the future viability of the Maui Jim enterprise data platform." Maui Jim CIO Jim Ferolo added, “We wanted more flexibility and functionality with our reporting systems, iOLAP and AWS helped us achieve exactly what we were looking for.”
Defining the Vision
In early 2019, iOLAP and Maui Jim set out to define the vision and strategy for the new data and analytics capabilities across the organization. Utilizing iOLAP strategic alignment methodology and approach, iOLAP and Maui Jim personnel gathered feedback and requirements from more than 70 surveyed recipients and over 30 sessions with key business leaders across all core functional areas including Sales and Marketing, Finance, Supply Chain, HR, and Customer Care.
These sessions and surveys produced insights into business priorities and critical analytic needs allowing iOLAP to create a detailed multi-phased strategy and roadmap for Maui Jim.
The roadmap was segmented into three core phases:
- Phase 1 – Foundation: Establish the enterprise data hub (EDH) platform and integrated pattern-based data pipeline architecture to enable core sales and financial analytics/reporting. Additionally, the goal was to retire the legacy reporting systems
- Phase 2 – Operational Reporting: Integrate additional operations data and reporting, and also provide better insights and flexibility into warehouse management, supply chain, customer service, and other core operations
- Phase 3 – Advanced Capabilities and Analytics: Integrate additional data sources (both internal and external), and use advanced analytics to provide additional insights and segmentation of customers, products, and accounts
During the Foundation Phase, the new Maui Jim EDH was deployed to the business. The overall solution was well received as it:
- Implemented an EDH following a lake house architecture utilizing modern technologies and frameworks
- Simplified and optimized the data management process to reduce data duplication and acquisition/storage inefficiencies
- Redesigned and deployed legacy Sales and G/L siloed reporting into the new EDH, which promoted consistency and accuracy across the enterprise
- Involved a cross-functional business team for requirements, testing, and validation to align requirements and develop consistent standards
- Modernized the sales commission and incentive compensation management solutions
AWS-Based Architecture Modernization
Maui Jim required a modern architecture that could consolidate its existing disparate warehouses into a single enterprise data hub. Key capabilities were identified and aligned with the following AWS technologies: Amazon Redshift for data warehouse database; Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS) used for job and database object metadata; Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3) for raw storage for landing data; and Amazon Redshift SQL used to support business ELT transformations.
Maui Jim also invested in Talend for source data ingestion and overall pipeline orchestration to supplement the AWS components.
iOLAP partnered closely with Maui Jim throughout the program from the initial data and analytics strategy, through the design and development of the EDH, and finally to post-go-live support and ongoing managed-partner services. iOLAP worked in conjunction with key business stakeholders to document and analyze the business requirements to ensure the core data model and solution would meet current analytical requirements and provide flexibility for the future. It was critical that the EDH provided the capabilities to harmonize data from multiple data sources and source systems. iOLAP utilized a pattern-based data extraction approach to enable flexibility and reusability for the future. iOLAP also developed a light-weight application for managing data that would become native to only the EDH. iOLAP will provide long-term managed services to keep the platform running and responding to alerts.
Results and Benefits
Maui Jim worked with iOLAP to create documentation for every inbound source. This solution is implemented on a scalable and cost-efficient AWS based platform to allow for expansion as Maui Jim grows and adds more data sources and consumption points.
The tight coordination and coupling of teams from Maui Jim and iOLAP resulted in the successful implementation of the enterprise data hub with a number of benefits:
- Highly-structured, organized, scalable, and reusable platform enabling low friction ingestion of future data sources
- Integrated and homogenized data from eight sources providing conformed enterprise reporting to all business units
- Automated inbound pipelines and EDH processes to enable 12 refreshes per day providing the business with near real time insight
- Efficient and low-footprint data extraction to cloud using Talend techniques which had very little source systems impact
- Outbound data pipelines consolidated to four consumption points which streamlined business processes and removed many manual processes that interfaced with external vendors
- Enabled role-based and row-based security to ensure users have access only to approved content
By the numbers:
- 14 self-service datasets for power users
- Over 400 users on go-live including all channels of the sales team
- 23 interactive dashboards launched for sales and GL reporting
- 86 design specs detailing source, transformations, and outbound processes
Data and analytics are key focus areas and present a significant opportunity for Maui Jim. Maui Jim required a foundational platform that modernized its analytics landscape and aligned technical and business requirements. The company was seeking a partner to develop an analytics strategy and roadmap. It needed a partner like iOLAP that had well-defined BI and analytics strategy methods and approach and a deeply experienced team that had successfully delivered similar projects for other clients.
Jim Ferolo, CIO of Maui Jim had this to say about the results that iOLAP provided: "iOLAP's collaborative guidance across our strategic and foundational initiatives has transformed our business. Additionally, we have entrusted their managed services team for ongoing operational support so that we can focus on driving business value from our analytics platform."
About Maui Jim
Maui Jim is an American luxury sunglasses company based in Peoria, Illinois. Maui Jim is the 3rd largest sunglasses producer in the world.
- Conformed enterprise reporting by integrating 8 data sources
- Near real-time business insights through 12 daily system refreshes
- Improved vendor experience by reducing outbound data pipelines and streamlining business processes
About iOLAP Inc
iOLAP is a big-data and advanced analytics consultancy operating at the forefront of technology for more than two decades.
The company is an AWS Advanced Consulting Partner and AWS Service Delivery Program Partner. With a client-centric and business outcome perspective, the company is completely focused on data technologies to create solutions that bring efficiencies, security, and scale to its clients.
Published December 2020