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Sodimac democratizes access to data with Google Cloud

About Sodimac

Sodimac is a company in the Falabella group, one of Latin America’s main retail conglomerates and one of Chile’s largest corporations. The brand is present in seven Latin American nations: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Peru, and Uruguay.

Industries: Retail & Consumer Goods
Location: Chile

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The company improves data management by processing over 2 TB of data per user every week through a process integrated in the cloud.

Google Cloud results

  • Quadrupled impact of several data efforts
  • Over 8,000 machine learning models trained every day
  • Improved productivity for teams
  • Guaranteed high availability for its platform
  • Automated processes

Runs over 522,000 queries every month

Sodimac, a building materials and home improvement product retailer, is undergoing a transformation by deploying and using Google Cloud’s tools.

With more than 250 stores and 40,000 employees in seven Latin American nations, the company decided to take another step on its innovation journey by deploying Google’s cloud solutions to solve two of its main business challenges.

The first one was organizing every solution into one place without needing to diversify apps. The second was unifying, leveraging, and democratizing data without disrupting Sodimac’s productive processes.

Google Cloud met the company's expectations with scalable, reliable solutions that accelerate data management, improve its availability, and democratize the information shared between technical and functional teams.

According to Arturo Polo, Sodimac’s Corporate Data & Analytics VP, the company urgently needed to standardize work environments to share best practices with its engineers and analysts.

The beginning of the deployment

Two years ago, Sodimac realized it needed to process large data volumes with high availability to increase, empower, and democratize data exploration and querying.

Before deploying Google Cloud’s solutions, processing those volumes was really complex, resulting in an ineffective management of the company’s resources, as many processes were manual.

Further complicating matters, the data was leveraged mostly by technical teams. End users had to follow a workflow where a request was placed into a backlog, forcing them to wait - sometimes for a long time - to access relevant information for decision-making.

Arturo Polo explains that the company solved this issue by designing a strategy based on three aspects: availability, use and integration, and democratization.

The company had to automate and orchestrate processes to make data available. This helped ensure data consistency and integrity, and minimize manual, redundant tasks. The benefits included improved delivery times, better team efficiency due to eliminating redundant features, and optimized underlying costs for data management.

"One of our main challenges was that we process a huge volume of data, and that was taking too long. We were also unable to connect everything and automate certain processes," explains Ignacio García, Sodimac’s Management Control Analyst.

"As a result of digitalization, every department has access to information so we can base our decisions on data rather than instinct. It also gives us a chance to spend more time on analytical tasks and less on manual ones."

Gonzalo Nacrur, Digital Optimization Engineer, Sodimac

The second aspect, leveraging data and integrating it with every app and system available at Grupo Falabella, is a cornerstone of the synergies powering the conglomerate’s position in the market. The company wanted platforms with tools to leverage data and make it easier to distribute it transparently, reliably, and, most importantly, securely.

"One of Google Cloud’s main benefits is that it robustly and seamlessly integrates several mutually incompatible information systems in a relatively short time."

Arturo Polo, Corporate Data & Analytics VP, Sodimac

Lastly, data democratization, driven by the recent launch of a novel project called SODONE, created by Sodimac using Google Cloud, has transformed the company’s culture by guiding functional users to leverage data with efficiency and guidance. Not only did this require minimal training and the development of abstraction layers, it also streamlined the work of more technical-oriented teams to make them more specialized.

José Tomás Rodríguez, the company’s Digital Commerce Intelligence Manager, highlighted the project’s benefits: "Using SODONE makes me feel more independent, and helps me trust and understand indicators better. I can also now tackle subjects that were previously beyond me, so I can understand certain business cases without needing to ask another team, as I had to in the past."

The benefits of cloud management

Sodimac’s use of cloud technology has reached an advanced phase. Most teams have already completed their assessment and training on Google Cloud’s tools and are fully leveraging them after a quick adaptation period.

The company has successfully deployed and uses tools, such as BigQuery, to leverage data; Looker Studio, to build dashboards; Cloud Composer, for task orchestration; Cloud Storage, as a file repository; Pub/Sub, to consume events; and Dataflow, to transform and consume streaming data.

By delivering advanced analytics products through BigQuery and integrating with other systems, Sodimac has managed to cut costs and reduce friction in the deployment of its data-related initiatives. With the tools at hand, the more technical-oriented teams can do exploratory and advanced analytics work at scale, without cost control issues, ensuring a shorter time to market with more likely high-impact results. For example, using BigQuery, Sodimac’s data scientists can increase and improve iteration before reaching a productive model thanks to the ability to run tests in virtual machines instead of their local computers.

"Every time I use Google Cloud as a data computing tool, I’m now relieved and pleased to see how fast everything is processed."

Andrés Felipe Ruz, Senior Risk Analyst, Sodimac

Sodimac can also increase its ability to launch, run experiments and analysis, and share results in an agile way with its business and operational teams. This kind of integration has changed the way data is integrated into the value chain and supports critical aspects in the delivery of value for customers. For example, Sodimac can train more than 8,000 machine learning models every day, compared with no more than 500 in the past.

The productivity of Sodimac’s business teams has also been significantly increased. Thanks to BigQuery and Looker Studio, and together with SODONE, the company’s data self-service policy has reached non-data native areas and it has even found new talent inside its business teams, dubbed "Data Champions." Sodimac is also honing recruiting policies, so new hires have analytical skills, and developing a company-wide internal training program on how to use data. Currently, a functional user consumes around 2.2 TB of data every week at less than USD 0.05 per query.

"Access to data depended on a handful of technical teams. Now, thanks to SODONE and Google’s tools, functional users, those who best know and understand the business, can directly access data with security, guidance, and control, and above all else, simply and intuitively. This changes the notion that functional users lack the skills to leverage data by themselves. With proper training and monitoring, and making adequate work environments available, this is absolutely feasible," says Arturo Polo.

Google Cloud allowed Sodimac to redesign and accelerate the execution of its entire strategy to leverage, integrate, democratize, and make data available through coordinated, collaborative work. In the future, the company aims to add more tools to enhance security and auditing, ensuring a scalable, consistent solution.

Tell us your challenge. We're here to help.

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About Sodimac

Sodimac is a company in the Falabella group, one of Latin America’s main retail conglomerates and one of Chile’s largest corporations. The brand is present in seven Latin American nations: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Peru, and Uruguay.

Industries: Retail & Consumer Goods
Location: Chile