How an Entertainment Giant with More than 20 million Subscribers Streamlined Reporting & Analytics
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MultiChoice Group is a media and entertainment giant from South Africa that provides satellite television service with brands such as DStv and GOtv. With its Showmax brand, it also operates in the online subscription video-on-demand segment and competes with international video streaming services like Netflix, Disney+, and Amazon Prime. MultiChoice has a viewership of more than 20 million people across 50+ countries.

Large Volumes of Data – Tremendous Effort and Limited Value

Data has always been critical to understanding the performances of MultiChoice services in different countries, regions, and cities. However, with a huge customer base and widespread geographical distribution, though data was always available in bulk, it was often inconsistent and incompatible with other related datasets.

Historically, MultiChoice had different service providers in different countries, and the process that it had implemented involved direct interaction with the service provider to get data for enterprise-wide BI reporting and analytics. Each individual country manages the process through country-specific teams, a highly inefficient process for data consolidation and contextualization. To tackle this, MultiChoice implemented an enterprise service bus (ESB) to automate the process. However, much to the team’s disappointment, MultiChoice was still operating with data silos and manually verifying and consolidating data. Also, the different reporting services were providing data in different formats. As more and more countries adopted MultiChoice services, the data volumes grew. The business users, who were getting overwhelmed by the increasing data volumes, choose the easier way out of the problem by increasing the number of dashboards for different business requirements, essentially snowballing the fundamental problem of efficient data consolidation, contextualization, and governance. As a result, MultiChoice was soon spending over 80 hours per month just extracting, consolidating, preparing, and aggregating the data for monthly reporting purposes. Despite tremendous efforts, the operational team saw no real success in automating the process, which prompted the team to turn towards data virtualization.

Journey from Data Paralysis to Data Analysis

Using the data virtualization capabilities of the Denodo Platform, MultiChoice can now easily connect to all kinds of data sources, standardize the data, and pull in reference information by region or country. Additional datasets can be added and removed as required, such as when a new country comes on board. MultiChoice can also set up schedules and automate data delivery to reduce the chance of any structural changes in the data. MultiChoice can standardize business terminologies and remove the noise from the information. If there is insufficient data, the Denodo Platform can augment and enrich the data, in flight.

MultiChoice was able to create an enterprise-wide dashboard with the data virtualization approach within four weeks, which has become a go-to dashboard for operational and management business users. Earlier, MultiChoice had dashboards by countries, but now it has a single dashboard that can be sliced and diced according to the country and region, making it easier to do the enterprise wide and country or domain specific analysis. 

The end-end reporting process now takes less than a day, compared to the 80+ hours that this would take using a traditional approach. With the self-service capabilities of the Denodo Platform, business users can now connect to the data sources and pull information in without having to wait for the operational team to extract the data that they need. The new approach empowered MultiChoice data consumers, as they can now immediately connect to the datasets and do the analysis they require. The time saved in data preparation can now be used to analyze data and improve performance and processes, and the holistic data can be leveraged to improve customer experience, a critical factor for media and entertainment companies to boost audience growth, reduce churn, upgrade advertising strategies, and innovate new products.

For more information about the MultiChoice story with data virtualization, watch this session in which Lauren Churcher, head of Data Enablement for Enterprise Business Services at MultiChoice Group, talks about MultiChoice’s journey from data paralysis to data analysis, and how MultiChoice, with the Denodo Platform, improved the timeliness, accuracy, and frequency of the company’s reporting data.

Sutender Mehta