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Delivering Superior, Data-Driven Customer Service

11.09.2019

Industry: Utilities and energy

Petrol is a Slovenian sustainable energy company that trades in oil derivatives, gas, and other energy products. It has been in operation for more than 70 years and is now one of the largest and best-known Slovenian companies. Today, Petrol’s retail network comprises 500 modern service stations, and the company has more than 5,000 employees. Headquartered in Ljubljana, Petrol has branches across southeastern Europe. 

With its widespread sales network, Petrol has become the top company of its kind in Slovenia. To maintain this position in such a competitive and quickly changing marketplace, Petrol needed to leverage data to serve its customers better.

THE CHALLENGE:  Eliminating restrictions on data, storage, and compute to provide instant access to  comprehensive business analytics

To maintain its competitive advantage, Petrol decided to focus more intently on customer needs and demands. Realizing that data analytics is essential for gaining insights into what customers want,  the company knew it needed to access more data, store it in a single centralized location, and have the power to access and analyze that data in near real  time. Its old operational systems required a lot of manual clustering, were slow and ineffective, and were a source of inaccurate data. In addition, historical analysis and predictive analytics were impossible. A newly installed on-premises data warehouse failed to deliver the desired results. Petrol needed a new solution, a solution it could implement very quickly.

THE SOLUTION:  A data warehouse that instantly scales and provides fast and unlimited data access for all users

Snowflake’s patented multi-cluster, shared data architecture separates storage and compute, making  it possible to scale up and down on the fly without downtime or disruption. Snowflake automatically  scales to support any amount of data, any number of workloads, and concurrent users and applications without requiring data movement, data marts, or data copies.

In addition, Snowflake’s columnar database engine uses advanced optimizations, including automatic clustering, which removes the ally reclustering data when loading new data into a table.

With Snowflake Cloud Data Platform, we don’t have to worry about speed, tuning, or space. We get the performance we need, when we need it. Finally, we have instant access to any data we need for reliable reports, analytics, and predictions.”

AMIR KOMIC, Data Warehouse Architect, Petrol d.d., Ljubljana

THE RESULT: Performant queries on all of their data

Petrol tested three major SQL queries that had caused problems with its old data warehouse. Snowflake processed all three queries in very little time. That convinced Petrol the Snowflake cloud-built data warehouse was the right solution. Petrol migrated to Snowflake in about four months using the data warehouse automation solution DataMerlin, developed by its implementation partner IN516HT. By migrating from an on-premises solution to the Snowflake SaaS solution, Petrol is now saving space, electricity, and human resources. Database administration is minimal. More importantly, everyone in the company can now access their data from anywhere at any time and run queries in minutes or seconds instead of hours or days. According to Petrol’s Data Warehouse Architect, Amir Komic, tuning is no longer required for about 98% of queries and manual indexing has been fully eliminated. Petrol now has access to valuable historic data, which it can leverage for relevant analytics or predictions, thus enabling greater business agility and better focus. Another advantage is that Petrol can now clone its database for development or testing. Due to the flexible scalability of Snowflake, Petrol can easily increase performance during peak usage and scale down afterwards to control costs. Petrol gets the performance it needs, exactly when it’s needed, without having to worry about any compute or storage
limitations.

THE FUTURE

Due to the scalability of the Snowflake solution, Petrol can easily increase performance and clustering at any time while controlling expenses. With the added flexibility Snowflake provides, as Petrol continues to expand its business the team will continue to implement more data warehouse models with no concerns about impacting query speed, performance tuning, or storage space.