In publishing, decisions relating to book acquisition need to be made quickly, with little time for in-depth research. Publishers want to make good decisions but are often restricted in the information they can access – it’s often stored in multiple different places and must be downloaded manually, resulting in a process that is far from efficient enough for the fast-moving acquisition market. It also means that there’s little consistency in the approach to acquisition decision-making.
We built a data lake in Microsoft Azure and used Databricks to automate the data collection process by bringing together multiple internal and external data sets (including 3rd party APIs, web portal downloads, and .csv/.xls files in SharePoint). We then created and deployed a suite of Power BI dashboards focused on supporting acquisition decisions by providing a consolidated view of the relevant data sources and providing key real-time insights. We went through a series of iterative, design-led sessions with users to tailor the dashboard to their decision-making processes.
The dashboard has been implemented across multiple departments. As a result, users no longer need to use multiple logins, look through endless spreadsheets or place requests across different teams to access the information they need. Instead, they have the latest data at their fingertips allowing them to make data-led decisions in a time-efficient manner. Furthermore, demand for more tools and ad hoc insight is now much easier to service through the data lake and Databricks. We’ve turned sceptical, creative-minded people into data evangelists.