Hospitality chain breaks new business intelligence ground

Tattershall Castle Group (TCG)

Formed in September 2005 from the acquisition of 178 managed pubs and bars across the UK, including Bar 38 and Henry's Bar and Caf chains, from the Spirit Group for 177 million, TCG had the advantage of having no legacy systems with which to run the business.

Since the acquisition, the company has worked to roll out and stabilise new electronic point-of-sale (EPoS) and back office technology deployments, according to Robert George, TCG finance's director. But having done so, the company found it had a number of disparate data sources that made it hard to interrogate to get a clear picture of business performance.

"The EPoS system, for example, was churning out a lot of data. We had transactional, stock and time and attendance data that we needed to pull together and use to our advantage," said George.

"We tried writing our own cubes and found we couldn't do so efficiently. That was when we realised we needed to capture the data in one place to get one version of the truth."

TCG is now using Kognitio WX2 analytical database software to implement a comprehensive business intelligence (BI) environment that integrates performance data to give both executive management and operational staff access to analyse the dynamic changes in business performance across the organisation in a comparable manner.

Kognitio now sits behind TCG's front-end BI investment in Cognos 8, which allows users to interrogate the data using its business analysis tools and graphical user interface.

"All the data sources now feed into WX2 and we feed our BI reports out from there through Cognos," said George, adding that quick wins following the installation of WX2 this summer were the analysis of profitability by day or hour, which helped with optimising staff rotas. He also said managers responded more favourably to operational changes backed by cross-referenced data analysis that would not have been possible before the Kognitio implementation.

Miya Knights

A 25-year veteran enterprise technology expert, Miya Knights applies her deep understanding of technology gained through her journalism career to both her role as a consultant and as director at Retail Technology Magazine, which she helped shape over the past 17 years. Miya was educated at Oxford University, earning a master’s degree in English.

Her role as a journalist has seen her write for many of the leading technology publishers in the UK such as ITPro, TechWeekEurope, CIO UK, Computer Weekly, and also a number of national newspapers including The Times, Independent, and Financial Times.