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Canadian Tire: Business Intelligence in 2006

Business Informatics Assignment

Submitted By:
Rakhi Verma(SMBA11022) Vatsala Ratanpal(SMBA11032) Abhishek Shukla(SMBA11033) Akriti Agrawal(SMBA11035) Amit Kumar(SMBA11036)

Anjana Carri(SMAB11037)

Introduction:
In 1922, John and Alfred Billes, two brothers, opened a garage and auto parts store in Toronto, Canada. By 2003, their enterprise had grown into CTC, a network of businesses including retail, financial services and petroleum operations. More than 45,000 individuals worked at CTC operations across Canada in more than 1,000 stores and gas bars. CTC businesses were divided into five main groups: 1. Canadian Tire Retail (CTR) was one of the best-known Canadian retailers, with 390 associate dealers owning and operating 430 stores.1 Each store was effectively three specialty stores under one roof: automotive, sports and leisure, and home products. An associate dealer was the owner/manager of a CTR store. As a group, they were important within CTR as it was through their investment and community involvement that CTR had grown throughout its history. This structure also made CTR an unconventional retailer in the retail industry since the associate dealers were CTRs main customers. 2. Canadian Tire Financial Services (CTFS) was the financial services arm of CTC and was primarily responsible for managing the Canadian Tire Options MasterCard program with over two million cardholders. Additionally, CTFS managed the auto club, offered a variety of insurance and warranty products to more than six million customers and provided integrated support to CTC stores, automotive service centers and online and telephone shopping businesses. Located in Welland, Ontario, and Burlington, Ontario, CTFS employed more than 1,300 people. 3. Canadian Tire Petroleum (CTP) consisted of more than 200 gas bars, 20 Simonize car washes and 14 Pit Stop locations. Considered an important, integrated component of the overall strategy, CTP partnered with CTR to give customers discounts on store merchandise through the popular Canadian Tire Money loyalty program. 4. PartSource was a 30-store chain of specialized automotive parts that catered to avid home mechanics and professionals.

5. Marks Work Wearhouse was acquired in early 2002 and was a large retailer of casual and work wear for men and women at over 300 locations across Canada. (Source: http://cs.furman.edu/~pbatchelor/mis/additional_cases/CanTire.htm)

Case Scenario and Issues:


In order to become a top quartile performer in the market sector, Canadian Tire Corp. came up with a BI strategy, which was implemented in 2003. However, in 2004, a key business sponsor of the project left the firm, and the project was put on hold for a few months. The project was resumed in late 2004 till a risk assessment was conducted. The assessment concluded that technology risk had the potential to affect CTCs reputation and its ability to service customers. The progress against risk management was reviewed regularly, and Michael Eubanks (Divisional VP, IT) initiated the Phase II of the BI program in 2006. During Phase II, data governance was becoming an important issue because of inconsistencies in the manner in which data was collected and managed. Thus, IT department had to ensure that the people who fed in the data were able to fix inconsistencies and also, educate people with respect to additional analyses that would be possible in the new EDW environment. A Data Stewardship program was, thus, implemented during the same year.

Questions:
1. Define BI as a computer-based system with its various IT components. Give an example of an industry-standard BI system.
A. Business intelligence (BI) mainly refers to computer-based techniques used in identifying, extracting and analyzing business data. It is the consolidation and analysis of internal data (e.g., transactional POS data) and/or external data (e.g., purchased consumer demographics) for the purpose of effective decision making.

Assembling and merging data from various sources is a complex task, and analysis requires the use of highly sophisticated skills. At the core of all BI initiatives is a data warehouse to hold the data and analytics software. The data warehouse stores data from operational systems in the organization (e.g., inventory, POS, accounting, marketing, etc.) and restructures it to enable queries and models to extract decision support reports.

Eg1 : The Business Intelligence and Reporting Tools (BIRT) Project is an open source software project that provides reporting and business intelligence capabilities for rich client and web applications, especially those based on Java and Java EE. Eg2 : Cognos 10 (from IBM) helps organization drive better decisions, achieve better results, and gain a deeper understanding of trends, opportunities, weaknesses and threats. Cognos 10 let one explore any data, in any combination and over any time period with a broad range of analytics capabilities: Query and Reporting Analysis . Scorecarding . Dashboarding Real-time Monitoring Statistics Planning and Budgeting Extending BI Collaborative BI

2. Discuss how Canadian Tire deploys BI for their operations, the phases of the deployment, and the difficulties faced in the process.
A.

3. Discuss a comparison of a Business Intelligence system and a collection of systems comprising of TPS, MIS and DSS, and comment on the similarities and differences.