X5 Retail Group Streamlines Data Integration, Governance and Consumption with IBM Watson Knowledge Catalog

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Х5 Retail Group is a leading multi-format retailer in Russia, which creates, develops and manages a portfolio of retail brands like Karusel, Perekrestok and Pyaterochka, each with a distinct value proposition. One of the key priorities of the company is customer-centricity based on a deeper knowledge of the client by using big data and implementing advanced technologies.

At X5, the Data Governance processes ensure that the data across the retail brands and formats, on the one hand, is of high quality and with clear description, while on the other, of high availability.

It is known that many businesses struggle to achieve business-ready data due to a lack of an end-to-end fully integrated platform. The pandemic made this task even of higher priority – a recent poll by IBM Institute of Business Value showed that 52% of respondents from the retail industry are investing in analytics to improve speed and quality of decision making.

In 2019, X5 decided to unify the use of business terms, data and sources across the organization. We chose IBM Watson Knowledge Catalog on IBM Cloud Pak for Data, thanks to its coverage of all aspects of data governance from data curation through to data consumption, and made it the primary choice for IT as well as the business units.

The IBM solution was used to create a data catalog that provides a single trusted version of the data, its source, origin, and quality. We are now introducing self-service analytics tools based on this data catalog. A special dashboard displays key indicators like data quality, quantity and quality of services, as well as infrastructure stability.

The project was implemented by BSSG, an IBM Business Partner, who have also designed the required connectors for metadata integration and created a custom authentication mechanism.

There are over 300 users of the new service, including Business Analysts and Data Stewards. There are more than 1,200 glossary terms and 1,500 datasets. What’s most important is that the IBM solution helped us free up time to spend on data analysis and gain insights for the business.

In 2020 X5 sales grew, especially in the digital segment, and this shows that we chose the right strategic path several years ago, when we began to focus on digital transformation of our business in which availability and quality of data play a vital role.



Chief Data Officer, X5 Retail Group

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