Beiersdorf Leverages HANA and SAP Demand Signal Management To “Tell Stories from their Data that Marketers Love to Read”

Amr El Meleegy

Posted by Amr El Meleegy on November 27, 2013

Sr. Director, SAP S/4HANA Product Marketing

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Data driven organizations pride themselves on making decisions that are rooted in undisputable facts and figures. They strive to measure and quantify the impact of everything they do on customer satisfaction, churn rates, revenues and margins. While these internal looking metrics provide a strong benchmark of the incremental progress of an organization they fail to measure how that organization is doing relative to others in the market leaving it vulnerable to its competitors.

It is no surprise then that Beiersdorf, a leading global provider of skin care consumer products, takes its market share analysis and reporting very seriously. They constantly strive to gain deeper and faster insights into their market share development so they can stay ahead of their competitors. Speaking at the DSAG annual conference in Nuremberg Germany in September, Mr, Andrew Chapman responsible for Business Intellligence Solutions at Beiersdorf explained the objectives, challenges and benefits of using HANA and SAP’s Demand Signal Management application to gain deeper insights into their market share evolution and present the insights in a compelling story that marketers would love to read.

Below is a quick recap of their presentation. You can watch the video recording of their presentation here.

The Objective: Achieve Leading Edge Analysis of Market Data

Beiersdorf wanted to accelerate and automate their global market data reporting processes so they can better track and measure the competiveness of their global brands and respond to threats and market changes in real time. They also recognized that their current underlying technologies restricted their analytical ability to leverage the wealth of granular data that is provided in syndicated research reports and wanted to develop capabilities to unlock new insights from this information.

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The Challenge: Real-Time Cleansing and Harmonization of Big Data

In the past, putting together a simple report that gave Beiersdorf’s board members a view into how their market share was developing across their different products, brands and countries was a manual time consuming process that was prone to errors. The process required continuous adjustments with frequent manual data quality checks and the realized analysis and reports suffered from time lags that could not explain discrepencies between global and local market share views.


Data had to be collected and consolidated from over 500 Databases across 60 countries spanning over 2 Billion source records per month. Between 600,000 – 800,000 different product IDs had to be harmonized and 120 million lines of data had to be transformed into Beiersdorf’s specific categories and views . For example, a single Nivea product could have a different product description depending on the country the product was sold in. Moreover, mapping competitor products to that of Beiersdorf so they can run an “apple to apple” market share comparison proved to be very challenging. Competitive data is supplied by external research companies such as Nielson, meaning that Beiersdorf’s market intelligence department had little control of the structure of this data requiring them to do extensive amount of data processing.

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The Benefits: Telling Data Stories That Marketers Love to Read

With SAP DSiM powered by HANA Beiersdorf will be able to automate the data harmonization process dramatically reducing the time lag between global and local market reporting. What used to be a very long and laborious process will be done automatically with more accurate and real time results allowing Beiersdorf to move beyond the logistics of gathering and cleansing data to analyzing the data, developing insights and making effective data driven decisions. In addition, the underlying HANA platform will allow Beiersdorf to gain new analytical viewpoints into product attributes,such as gender, pack size, application form, benefits, …etc. enabling them to collect more market intelligence and detect key reasons for market share developments and new trends in real time.

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Future Direction: Bringing the Storyteller Alive

The ultimate goal of Beiersdorf is to expand their DSiM project’s scope by adding more countries, products, analytic reports and new syndicated data sources. Their first target is to leverage the solution to run global market share reports on 10 countries and 4 product categories. Moving forward Beiersdorf will add new reporting capabilities to fulfill their marketing requirements including tracking of new product launches and market positions. In the long term, Beiersdorf aims to start using the solution not only for Global Market Share reporting but also for local country level reporting and expand the product coverage to include more products and syndicated data sources.

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