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  • 30 September 2021 09:10

Flybuys Builds Sophisticated Data Sharing Platform to Improve Retail Experience

The platform offers interoperability and can readily enable data sharing between multiple cloud platforms.

Sydney – 30 September, 2021 – Snowflake, the Data Cloud company, today announced it has created a powerful new data sharing platform for Australia’s most popular loyalty program, Flybuys. The platform allows the company’s ecosystem of retail partners to share data and obtain insights for better data-driven business decisions to improve customer service.

Established in 1994, Flybuys is jointly owned by Coles and Wesfarmers. The Flybuys program enables members to collect points by shopping with its network of retail and service partners.

“Flybuys has been working closely with Snowflake to build a data sharing platform which combines data collected from multiple sources such as in-store and online transaction data from program partners,” said Arul Arogyanathan, Head of Architecture and Engineering, Flybuys.

“The data sharing platform then makes this data accessible to its ecosystem of partners through Snowflake’s Secure Data Sharing capabilities which acts as a data marketplace only available to Flybuys’ ecosystem of partners.”

“Prior to Snowflake, we had been working with a large, on-premise database which had grown to the point where it contained more than 750 terabytes of data,” said Arogyanathan.

When Flybuys became a separate operating company in 2018, it adopted a ‘cloud-first’ strategy for its IT infrastructure and part of this involved migrating the legacy database to the cloud.

Flybuys also needed to find a more effective way to manage the flow of data from numerous sources to then share the data to its retail partners in near real time to run analytics on. This was when Flybuys examined the value that Snowflake could deliver.

Arogyanathan said, “Snowflake was particularly attractive because it had been designed from the ground up for the cloud, rather than being an on-premise application that was redesigned or rearchitected”.

“The platform offers interoperability and can readily enable data sharing between multiple cloud platforms and we also like the way Snowflake has decoupled compute and storage resources which enables us to scale both independently.”

Improved customer service

By using the Snowflake-powered data sharing platform, Flybuys can provide data to improve the retail experience offered by its partners.

“It enables us to achieve a 360-degree view, which ensures numerous perspectives are factored in to deliver better retail experiences,” said Arogyanathan.

The data sharing platform has delivered a range of significant business and technical benefits to Flybuys and its partners. These include:

- Effective data governance: Because Flybuys has data sharing agreements with each of its retail partners, compliance of agreements is important.

- Improved data security: Arogyanathan said Snowflake was able to deliver powerful security features “out of the box”, including dynamic data masking and role-based access control. Flybuys leveraging Snowflake’s security features resulted in time saved as well.

- Better performance: Data queries and batch processes that previously needed to be run overnight can now be completed in just minutes.

- Lower storage costs: Once Flybuys’ legacy database had been migrated to the cloud, the IT team discovered they could achieve a data compression rate of as much as 70%. This reduced the company’s data storage costs by almost 90%.

- Support for multiple environments: To allow the creation of new tools and capabilities, Flybuys needs to have multiple environments to support development, testing, and production. Previously, separate hardware and copies of data were required for each environment, however with Snowflake’s zero-copy cloning capability, a single unified view of data can now be used by all environments.

Data regarded as a corporate asset

The creation of the Snowflake-powered data sharing platform has reinforced the cultural mindset within the company and its ecosystem that data is regarded as its most significant corporate asset.

“We now have much faster access to the data, which means we can be confident we are basing our analysis and insights on data that is as current as possible. Rather than often having a lag of up to 48 hours, retail data can be accessed in near real time,” said Arogyanathan.

Continuous exploration to further business insights

Arogyanathan said, “Flybuys would continue to work closely with Snowflake to further extend the data sharing platform in the future, to help the company and its ecosystem of partners to obtain further insights from data and continue to improve the retail experiences.”

“We plan to explore how data sets in Snowflake’s Data Marketplace can enrich our insights and we will also continue to take advantage of the ongoing rollout of new features in Snowflake,” he said.

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About Snowflake

Snowflake enables every organisation to mobilise their data with Snowflake’s Data Cloud. Customers use the Data Cloud to unite siloed data, discover and securely share data, and execute diverse analytic workloads. Wherever data or users live, Snowflake delivers a single data experience that spans multiple clouds and geographies. Thousands of customers across many industries, including 212 of the 2021 Fortune 500 as of July 31, 2021, use Snowflake Data Cloud to power their businesses. Learn more at snowflake.com.

About Flybuys

Established in 1994, Flybuys is Australia’s most popular loyalty program, helping Australians enjoy a wide range of rewards and benefits when they shop. Flybuys is committed to serving its more than 8 million active members with new and exciting ways to engage with the program. Flybuys points can be collected across 21 partners including some of Australia’s largest retailers like Coles, Kmart, Target, Catch.com.au and Optus. Members can also collect points using the Klarna app, completing surveys through the Flybuys website or app, and via Flybuys’ financial, insurance and travel services partners. Flybuys is a joint venture between Wesfarmers and Coles. For more information, visit flybuys.com.au

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