Driving an effective data transformation (FatFace BI)

Driving an effective data transformation- Here are some key tips and insights we have gathered along the way, click the link to follow.

Searchlight drives robust data transformation for FatFace 


Searchlight Consulting has a long-running working relationship with high street retailer, FatFace, having worked together since 2015. FatFace operate in over 200 brick-and-mortar stores and online in the UK, Ireland and North America with over 30 years in the industry. Over recent years Searchlight has provided support for the transformation of the firm’s application and technology strategy, eCommerce structure, delivery approach and management of portfolio programmes. Ultimately, Searchlight is guiding FatFace on a journey to upgrade their business and digital capabilities to place their customer at the heart of their proposition.  


Zona Smith, Director of IT at FatFace notes, We have always enjoyed working with Searchlight, as the team provides the hands-on, practical experience we need to drive long-lasting change. Searchlight really focused on guiding our team throughout every step of the transformation process.” 


The Challenge  


FatFace turned to Searchlight to help establish a single view of data, moving away from data processing, towards consuming data to make better, more informed business decisions. This required multiple data sources, databases and reporting solutions to be rationalised and for business super users to be engaged, to move the business towards a self-service style information management culture. 


What Searchlight Consulting did  


Established a self-service reporting and decision-making framework 


A Microsoft Azure Data Lake solution was selected as the strategic information management platform, using Power BI as the reporting layer for business users to consume data and to create different views/reports as required. 


Multiple raw data sources and databases, were migrated into a single data model, maintained in a Microsoft data lake using standard Microsoft Data Factory integration. This provided a standard and consistent automated data loading processes and ensured the efficient and secure storage. In turn data quality was improved which enabled multiple options to present the data, making it easier for business teams to consume. 


Delivered robust data analytics capabilities  


To streamline operations and ensure strong data analytics, Searchlight facilitated the migration to cloud analytics alongside the delivery of three business transformation releases, focused on optimising the process for: 


  • Self-management for efficient financial order management – completed in 2020 
  • Intelligent reporting of electronic point of sale – completed in 2021 
  • Real-time data analysis to support buying and merchandising decisions – commenced in 2022 


Overnight data refreshes were automated to enable near real-time data analysis, supported by a monitoring and alerting capabilities. This allowed FatFace to easily identify if any data refreshes had encountered issues and were able to be proactive in rapidly addressing and preventing any risks in potential data gaps.  


An initial suite of Power BI reports were introduced, replacing multiple legacy reporting solutions, to turn data sources into coherent, relevant and interactive insights.  


To ensure the effective adoption and use of these tools, Searchlight facilitated super-users training to enable the ongoing delivery and management of data analytics needs. 


Facilitating targeted customer communications and enhanced WSSI management  


Searchlight led the delivery of a single-data model, to improve customer communications and optimise stock management. The team initially worked with a new partner More2 – this supported the transformation of eCommerce analytics and ensured more targeted communications to customers. Subsequently, Searchlight led the selection and delivery of a Board platform to provide the tools required to analyse and improve the weekly sales stock management and intake (WSSI) oversights  


Zona Smith, IT Director at Fat Face notes, “Searchlight provided us with the expert data delivery management capability, to introduce and optimise our Azure Data Lake, which is now enabling us to drive more value and insight from our data.” 




Following the initial stage of the data transformation, Searchlight have successfully supported FatFace in securing the following: 


  • Enhanced visibility of data into the business, enabling greater responsiveness to trading conditions and better-informed decision-making 
  • Data stored in a modern and secure architecture 
  • Business teams able to focus on making-decisions rather than manipulation of data 
  • Proactive alerting and monitoring to identify any data issues, prior to business team interaction  
  • Single cloud-based data lake established, removing multiple legacy database 
  • Single data and reporting platform supporting multiple business teams, using one data set, simplifying and reducing effort to create management information 


Contact us today to learn more about how Searchlight Consulting can help with your digital transformation.  


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    Searchlight are experts at aligning business and IT strategy, shaping business transformation programmes and helping our clients build business and IT capability throughout the transformation journey. Contact us today to find out how our independent advice could help you grow, develop new capabilities and future-proof your organisation.


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    Oliver CookDriving an effective data transformation (FatFace BI)