See how Keboola helps one of the largest publishing house in the Czech Republic thrive through business intelligence
Euromedia CZ is one of the biggest players in the Czech book market that runs three businesses in one:
The book market in which Euromedia operates is notoriously challenging, not only because of its niche nature, but also because of the wild economic trends during Covid lockdowns. Post-Covid Europe and Russia's war in Ukraine have both had a huge impact on consumer demand.
From supply chain breakdowns, surging prices for materials (paper), and the ever-falling purchasing power of customers, Euromedia is facing an extremely challenging market.
We talked to Radan Papousek, Head of Business Intelligence at Euromedia CZ, who is responsible for all of the insights that are driving the company towards a profitable future.
He helped us understand how Euromedia manages to keep its dominance in this competitive market and how data is crucial for its success.
Radan oversees all of Euromedia’s business insights which steer the company and its 500+ team members in the right direction.
His four-person team covers the data needs of the whole company. Together, they provide support for all of the physical stores, insights to regional managers, and intelligence for handling the logistics, warehousing, and procurement decision processes for this market leader.
How can such a small team possibly be behind all of the intelligence underpinning the company? Their trick is to work smart - using Keboola and automation - to streamline all data processes.
But the road to being data-driven hasn’t always been so smooth.
Radan joined the company two years ago and was mesmerized by the brainpower behind the Euromedia workforce:
“We have people who have been at the forefront of the publishing industry for the last 20 years, so their instincts and knowledge are amazing. They know the market, they know the prices, they know how the game is played.”
The problem? This knowledge was hard to share across the entire company, and the data operations underpinning business decisions and processes were constantly breaking.
Euromedia used to rely mainly on Excel for all of its business intelligence… and we all know that Excel does not scale. Human errors can quickly turn the spreadsheet software into a data nightmare.
“Every department, every team used Excel and performed their analysis on their own. The company was very fragmented, there was no general overview. We faced problems that a report for a specific book title sales had completely different numbers in one department than another.”
Radan was aware that such an operation could not scale, so he began to clean and make a catalog of the data. Using Keboola and Power BI, Radan and his team changed how data was used across the 500+ people in the company and turned the raw material into profit-generating insights.
Keboola sits at the center of every data process at Euromedia:
“Everything, every analysis, every decision we made is based on data that’s processed in Keboola. So anything I will say that we did, we did thanks to Keboola.”
So, what exactly did Euromedia achieve with the help of Keboola?
Before Keboola, reporting was done in Excel at the beginning of every month. Sales representatives, regional managers, and upper management would gather around to look at KPIs and determine how the business was doing.
The new top management team - who came shortly before Radan’s arrival - views BI as one of the crucial pillars to the company's success.
With this in mind, Radan and his team built data pipelines in Keboola which: automatically collect all the data from sales and the physical bookstores; clean and aggregate the data; compute metrics, and showcase the KPIs and trends in Power BI dashboards.
The management team at Euromedia now has a finger on the pulse of the company’s lifeline and can quickly spot trends that steer their company into non-profitable waters.
Euromedia needed to stabilize and sustain profitability in this difficult market. To better understand what drives purchases, the company decided to improve the tracking of the customer journey.
While they had extensive web and e-commerce analytics, they lacked insight into what’s going on in the physical stores.
To address this, Euromedia implemented advanced cameras in their bookstores. These cameras:
After collecting these data, the data team integrated data with purchases to understand the full conversion funnel: from passerby to visitor, then from visitor to customer.
Radan's team then calculated detailed conversion metrics and created dashboards for regiognal store managers. This highlighted which stores effectively attracted passersby traffic and which best converted visitors to buyers.
With this data, supported branches saw a 12% increase in sales growth and a 51% surge in average sales per receipt, outperforming branches without the same data support.
Physical bookstores often face challenges with book deliveries to their premises.
Sometimes they receive an excess of books, making it difficult to display them all. At other times, customers arrive to collect online orders, only to find their books aren't ready.
The challenge lies in the complexity of Euromedia’s operations. They manage over 9 million books, serve 40+ of their own stores and numerous partner outlets, and must cater to ever-evolving customer needs.
But then, Radan and his team decided to automate the entire process.
Using Keboola, they integrated warehouse data, online orders, and procurement plans into a single system. This system now automatically pre-informs bookstores about upcoming deliveries, allowing them to allocate sufficient resources.
As a result, their fulfilment rate of reservation pick-ups within 2 hours of ordering increased from 80% to over 95%.
Euromedia was already tracking customer feedback online following a purchase, but it was trickier to gain an insight into how customers felt about the user experience at physical stores.
Inspired by the passerby-to-visitor and visitor-to-customer conversion rate success, they introduced a physical bookstore feedback option. This was specifically for customers who bought books online and picked them up in stores.
The feedback tracked the omnichannel sentiment. Radan and his team incorporated the reviews into the dashboards for regional managers and bookstore operators, which helped them to close the feedback loop and quickly understand how to improve their stores.
Historically, data analytics at Euromedia was focused on the past. But the data team saw a way to improve this…
With all of the physical store data (sales, visitor-to-customer conversion, customer feedback), they generated models to predict bookstore trends in the future.
The predictive trend analytics helped regional managers and store operators on two fronts:
With over 9 million books in the warehouse, stock optimization affects the bottom line. Keeping books that aren’t selling eats into the thin margins with storage costs, while understocking titles that are flying off the shelves represents an opportunity cost for Euromedia.
The stock optimization challenge gets even harder when it comes to seasonality. During high-purchase periods like Christmas, Euromedia has to stock more titles to compensate for the peaks in demand.
Radan and his team are tackling the stock optimization challenge on multiple levels:
Radan noticed that a lot of his coworkers spent time on repetitive internal processes that were manual and prone to error.
Let’s take the Accounting team as an example, who computed a lot of financial metrics by hand. One of the financial reports, which reported book titles by mode of selling (direct to consumers, borrow-then-sell, or produce in-house and sell), took a team of five people a whole week to generate.
These processes usually consumed the time (and nerves) of multiple departments, who had to navigate long email chains to share the data between them.
With Keboola, Radan and his team were able to automatically collect the data from selling points, warehousing software, procurement apps, and other endpoints in house. With a bit of pipeline building, the data team automated the end-to-end metric and reporting computation, saving Euromedia coworkers a couple of hours every week that can now be devoted to more interesting and creative work.
Keboola supports all of the current and planned use cases at Euromedia, helping Radan and his team to streamline and automate processes, increase business transparency, and foster company collaboration with data-driven innovation.
With Keboola, Radan and the data team are looking to introduce even more data use cases at Euromedia, such as:
Keboola empowers businesses to transform their data operations and run a hassle-free digital transformation. By leveraging automation, Keboola helps organizations streamline and accelerate their business processes, ultimately increasing the ROI of the data they own.
Read more about how Keboola’s clients have simplified and scaled their data operations, or schedule a call with our Sales team to learn how Keboola can accelerate digital transformation for your company.