Plug and play with Grafana
Real-time performance monitoring
Optimised query performance
Cost-effective hardware usage
Dynamic data analysis
Central Group is a retailer originated from Thailand. Today, they are the largest retailer in Asia with businesses across the globe. The organization is fast-growing and owns business in various sectors including department stores, hospitality, restaurants, mobility as a service, logistics, and fintech solutions.
In this article, Central Group's Head of R&D, Clovis Warlop, and MarTech Product Owner, Damien Dupont, take us through Central Group's requirements for real-time data analytics processing. They also explain why they decided to incorporate QuestDB at the core of their architecture.
Central Group consists of a couple dozens of business units across industries such as fashion, property, supply chain, and logistics. We aggregate data from online and offline data points and our ultimate aim is to deliver the data as actionable dashboards to specific teams in each business unit. The real-time trends are broadcast on big screens in our offices, so that each business unit can monitor and react promptly when any unusual data is detected. This solution is our Business Control Tower.
We started with developing the solution for just one business unit, the Central Department Store.
This business unit collects intelligence from its e-commerce platforms, physical stores, as well as business analytical tools. Sales metrics such as product category, brand as well as discount are collected into our data pipelines and our solution displays the information as analytical dashboards on Grafana. Real-time monitoring means that the business unit can take corrective actions promptly if any abnormalities are detected.
Ultimately, the real-time statistics enable business modelling and data-driven marketing strategies. Monitoring online search terms, order progress, and promotion over time also means that we can track and react to consumer behaviors dynamically, in order to automate marketing campaign triggers.
Real-time performance marketing: This dashboard monitors the effect of marketing campaigns in sales and the corresponding product stock, highlighting products low in stock. Tracking discount and order allows quick analysis of revenue and stock distribution (screenshot altered to protect sensitive data).
QuestDB powers the marketing performance tracking dashboard, allowing dynamic comparison between various advertisement platforms across a selected time span (screenshot altered to protect sensitive data).
Since we aggregate data from both online and offline sales, our Business Control Tower can correlate online sales with the physical presence of the department store geographically. More recently, we have implemented a dashboard analyzing offline business performance: we are working with different teams to understand the presentation of our footfall, that is, the number of people in a building in real time.
We deploy a dedicated Change Data Captures (CDCs) process to collect endpoints from various source:
High-level overview of the Business Control Tower solution at Central Group.
Grafana dashboards querying QuestDB database.
Our key requirement is to process data and generate multiple dashboards, all in real time. Time-series databases (TSDBs) are optimized to process large amounts of timestamped data efficiently, so it was clear that we should be looking in this direction.
As the Head of the team, I was in charge of comparing different options based on my experience and research: InfluxDB could not accommodate the input scale our APIs demand. Similarly, our in-out requirement was higher than the capacity provided by Google Suite. SingleStore did not provide any sensible recovery mechanisms when the system crashed, and it was also costly.
In the end, QuestDB stood out for the following reasons: