CUSTOMER STORIES

jö Bonus Club Multiplies Its Performance at Half the Cost

With Snowflake, Austria's largest multi-partner program across retailers and industries has laid a solid data foundation for faster performance and happier customers.

KEY RESULTS:

50%

Reduction in data management platform license costs

10x

Maximum performance factor increase

Two people in a distribution center looking at a tablet
jo bonus club logo
Industry
Retail
Location
Vienna, Austria

Delivering benefits to millions of shoppers

Founded in 2017 as part of the REWE Group, the jö Bonus Club is Austria's largest multi-partner program across retailers and industries. Currently, 4.4 million club members can collect "Ös" when shopping, with just one loyalty card (also available as an app), and redeem them for benefits at 16 participating partners across 5,000 locations and online shops. This partnership with companies like Allianz, BILLA, BIPA, PENNY and beyond makes jö Bonus Club the most important customer club in Austria.

Story Highlights
  • Higher performance at lower costs:  Thanks to Snowflake, computing capacity has significantly decreased in price as performance has improved drastically — all while adding scalability for flexible workloads.

  • Happier customers, happier employees:  Better performance provides more possibilities for customers, while employees spend less time waiting for queries and developers spend less time trying to rewrite queries to ensure they run properly.

  • A solid foundation for the future:  Data can be made available to network partners in aggregated and anonymized form, and in compliance with data protection regulations.

Lack of scalability drags down performance

Data insights are at the heart of jö Bonus Club’s value proposition. The organization needs data about products, shopping frequency, store inventories and more to identify which product categories shoppers prefer — such as vegan meat alternatives or organically grown fruit and vegetables — and whether they frequent stores with a wider product variety more often. Through insights like these, jö Bonus Club helps its partners make data-driven decisions about everything from whether to adjust their product range to the best time to roll out specific offers.

To discover such insights, jö Bonus Club must integrate and evaluate significant amounts of data on a daily basis, which has been a core challenge with cascading effects. Before migrating to Snowflake, jö Bonus Club relied on a hosted solution that was not sufficiently scalable. Its costs increased in proportion to the amount of data being analyzed, including aggregated data for performance optimization.  

Due to these cost and performance pressures, older data sets could no longer be included, which prevented more comprehensive analysis and insights. Meanwhile, jö Bonus Club had to deal with long query duration times during peak hours, with daily loading and aggregation taking up to 24 hours. It became clear that this solution did not offer the necessary performance jö Bonus Club required for long-term growth.

Gaining higher performance at lower cost

When jö Bonus Club first heard about Snowflake, they were about to develop a new reporting portal for their partners. Completing this development with the previous solution would have required rebuilding the system from scratch and would have taken a great deal of time to complete. But even then, due to the lack of scalability, the result probably would not have met the company’s needs. "Instead of sticking to the old approach, the new project gave us the chance to try a new one,” says Robert Neundlinger, head of analytics and data at jö Bonus Club. “We were immediately excited by the possibilities of Snowflake.”

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“The migration to Snowflake was an excellent choice. We now get more than twice the performance for less than half the cost.”

Robert Neundlinger
Head of Analytics & Data, jö Bonus Club

Decreasing delays and increasing efficiency

The Snowflake migration served as a catalyst for jö Bonus Club’s day-to-day business. Processes such as the compilation of reports and analyses previously took a lot of time and regularly pushed the physical server for the hosted solution to its limits due to a lack of scalability. The team now carries out these activities in a fraction of the time. In addition, they implement new processes directly in Snowflake, helping jö Bonus Club gradually modernize its infrastructure and continually extend its analytical services.

All this results in a better experience for partners and a basis on which to develop new jö Bonus Club solutions. A concrete example of this is a reporting suite that was hardly used previously due to longer report run times. Now, the same suite provides added value in the form of insights and data — all in near real time. Knowing its partners’ needs will grow over time, jö Bonus Club has laid the necessary technological foundation with Snowflake to meet the demands of the future.

Improving employee satisfaction through expanded opportunities

Easy data migration was another major plus point for the Snowflake platform. Although the IT team at jö Bonus Club had no previous experience with it, they were able to execute the migration smoothly.  

And thanks to the reduced maintenance requirements, the entire data analysis process was brought back in-house. This has given jö Bonus Club’s IT team the chance to work in a more self-determined way, with more control over current and future data projects.

Speeding data analysis

Not only does jö Bonus Club’s IT team benefit from the opportunities offered by Snowflake; workloads of others across the organization have also become easier. With the old solution, it wasn't always possible to compile raw data for customer analysis without significant query redesign efforts. But due to the vertical and horizontal scalability of Snowflake, pre-calculations can now be done easily — in some cases within 24 minutes, whereas up to 18 hours were needed before. As a result, analysts can now focus on analyzing the data rather than optimizing data queries.

Meeting a high bar for compliance

The decision to migrate to Snowflake is proving to pay off in the immediate and long terms, as jö Bonus Club plans to strategically implement new possibilities offered by Snowflake over time — informed by ongoing learning.

Governance and compliance with legal standards such as General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) are key examples of areas where it is essential for jö Bonus Club to account for the future, knowing its partners’ data analytics needs will continue to evolve in this realm.  

The company now ensures partners can fully comply with GDPR requirements because jö Bonus Club performs the majority of analyses for partners internally, and shares aggregated data (without personally identifiable information) to customers via secure dashboards. Optimizing the Snowflake platform, jö Bonus Club can offer and continually extend analytical services to partners while fully complying with GDPR requirements — a bar that would be high to clear for its partner companies on their own.

Uncovering deeper insights with full privacy

As the company helps partners become more data-driven, it will grow increasingly important for jö Bonus Club to analyze information from different sources in a way that complies with data protection regulations. Thanks to features such as data masking or data clean rooms, Snowflake makes it possible for customers to consistently meet legal standards while extracting the greatest possible value from their available data.

Another longer-term advantage jö Bonus Club is eyeing Snowflake to support is developing analytical applications based on Snowpark for Python. This would enable partners to access live predictions and other analytical models via dashboards, and represents the iterative advantages that led jö Bonus Club to choose Snowflake.

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