Business Intelligence Strategy at Canadian Tire

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Business Context and Issues Canadian Tire Corporation is a network of businesses including retail, financial services and petroleum operations with more than 1,000 stores and gas bars across Canada. The business is divided into five major groups: Canadian Tire Retail (CTR), Canadian Tire Financial Services (CTFS), Canadian Tire Petroleum, PartSource (stores of specialized automotive parts), and Marks’ Work Wearhouse (retailer of casual and work wear). In 1994, the CEO attempted to change the image of CTR from that of a wholesaler to a retailer, which led to the development of Information Warehouse (IW) for analyzing data. Slowly, IW has evolved into a highly complex and costly environment. The problems faced currently are: a. Information Systems at IW have developed into system with “niche” (exception to current standards) and “sunset” (outdated) technologies, leading to higher IT costs. b. Because of the lack of sustainable coordination, “Shadow IT groups” have been developed within the business units resulting in substantial IT resources that were neither being managed nor considered in the high costs under scrutiny within the IT function. c. Due to lack of standard data definitions, “several versions of truth” could be extracted from the IW depending on the way of extraction. d. The data model in IW did not reflect the data requirements of business, and some data was simply not available as many independent data sources were not included in IW. e. The staff didn’t have the right skills for the future programs. The corporate goal to “become a top quartile performer in the market sector as measured by total return to shareholder” led to the development of IT strategy in February 2003. The three strategic IT imperatives identified were better alignment to business, Cost control and Standardization. The solution suggested was a new BI environment to provide

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