We’ve recently been talking about what goes on behind the scenes with SQL Server. While we love to share stories about the nuts and bolts of what we do, our favorite stories are those showing how customers are using our technology to tackle business challenges and achieve their goals. A great example is Hy-Vee, one of our newest Parallel Data Warehouse (PDW) customers.

Hy-Vee is a Top-25 grocery retail chain listed among the 50 largest private companies in the US. To get an edge on its competitors, Hy-Vee analyzes all of its shopper purchase data every morning to pick the most effective in-store specials for that day.

Unfortunately, the amount of data Hy-Vee was handling -- two years’ worth, with 800,000 rows being added daily – couldn’t always be analyzed in time for employees to review the results when creating new promotions. And, Hy-Vee realized it could get better insight on customers (and therefore design more effective promotions) if employees were looking at trends from seven years of customer data, instead of just two years’ worth. Since processing data on time was already an issue, the company recognized it needed a data warehouse solution with more capacity.

To meet the challenge, Hy-Vee turned to SQL Server 2008 R2 PDW on HP Hardware. Hy-Vee developed a solution that scales up to hundreds of terabytes of data, and increases query performance by up to 100X. Hy-Vee can now consistently deliver reports each morning early enough to inform the decisions that each store makes about the specials for the day. The increased reporting speed also means employees can run new queries against data captured just the day before, providing an even deeper level of analysis on shoppers and store-specific items. In addition, Hy-Vee was able to take advantage of Premier Mission Critical Support from Microsoft Support, with HP and Microsoft working together to ensure Hy-Vee had around-the-clock problem resolution and a single number to call for questions about HP and Microsoft Solutions.

According to the assistant vice president of Hy-Vee, their PDW solution helps them recognize changes in customers’ buying habits, giving them a competitive edge and a huge business advantage to boot.

In addition, with PDW, Hy-Vee can make data-driven decisions more quickly, providing the company with the agility it needs to stay ahead of the competition. That’s the kind of success story we’re proud to be a part of!

For more information about Hy-Vee’s solution, check out the case study.