Use Case study by BI-SPEKTRUM: C&A using Datavault Builder on Snowflake

BI-SPEKTRUM published an article in issue 2023/3 how one of our clients is using the Datavault Builder to integrate its SAP Data. If you want to get a reprint of the article you can request it here. To give you a first insight I’m paraphrasing the content. This is my personal recap based on a German article highlighting the key findings.

About C&A

C&A, one of Europe’s leading fashion retailers, is currently undergoing a significant digital transformation. Their goal: To streamline and optimize their myriad of¬†business processes. With a high demand for analytics capabilities within the company, they’ve embarked on a journey to establish a Greenfield Data Warehouse as a foundation for analytics, business intelligence, and reporting, right from the start.

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Choosing a Unique Path

In contrast to traditional SAP environments, C&A made some unique choices for their data warehousing strategy. They opted for a Best-of-Breed Data Warehouse Architecture built on Data Vault, Data Warehouse Automation (DWA), and a Data Lakehouse architecture, all powered by AWS, Snowflake, and Datavault Builder.

Achieving Key Objectives:

The objectives of their Greenfield Data Warehouse project included:

  • Flexible and High-Performance Reporting: They achieved this by leveraging scalable cloud technology, Snowflake on AWS.
  • Consistent View of SAP-ERP Landscape: C&A utilized SAP-BW extractors to provide a consistent view of SAP data for analysis, resulting in significant cost savings. However, custom interfaces were required for areas without SAP-BW extractors.
  • Supporting Agile Practices: The combination of a Data Lakehouse approach with Data Vault proved advantageous for short iterative development cycles. This allowed rapid access to existing data in the Data Lake and simplified technical debt management through model adjustments and reloading.


Cloud’s Crucial Role:

It’s important to note that without a cloud-based platform, a broad Data Lakehouse approach would not have been economically feasible. Automation also played a significant role in achieving agility, especially in managing Data Vault interfaces through Datavault Builder.

Embracing Developer Sandboxes:

The concept of Developer Sandboxes introduced a new way of thinking and required some adjustment. While the idea is promising, the project is still in its early stages, and the full benefits are yet to be evaluated.

C&A’s data warehouse journey showcases a forward-thinking approach to data management, combining the power of SAP, AWS, and innovative architecture to fuel their digital transformation and analytics capabilities. As they continue to navigate this exciting path, we’ll be keeping an eye on the valuable lessons learned and the benefits gained from their unique data warehousing strategy.

Order the full BI-SPEKTRUM article (German)