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Thursday, 30 September 2021 12:42

Flybuys creates new data sharing platform

Flybuys head of architecture and engineering Arul Arogyanathan Flybuys head of architecture and engineering Arul Arogyanathan

Loyalty program Flybuys has built a new Snowflake-based platform for sharing data between participating retailers.

Flybuys has had a cloud-first strategy since it became a separate operating company in 2018 due to the Coles-Wesfarmers demerger.

Even so, the company's on-premise database recently contained more than 750TB of data. It also needed to improve the flow of data from and to the retailers participating in the program.

Consequently, Flybuys considered Snowflake's data platform.

"Snowflake was particularly attractive because it had been designed from the ground up for the cloud, rather than being an on-premise application that was redesigned or rearchitected," said Flybuys head of architecture and engineering Arul Arogyanathan.

After due consideration, Snowflake was selected, and "Flybuys has been working closely with Snowflake to build a data sharing platform which combines data collected from multiple sources such as in-store and online transaction data from program partners," said Arogyanathan.

"The data sharing platform then makes this data accessible to its ecosystem of partners through Snowflake's secure data sharing capabilities which acts as a data marketplace only available to Flybuys' ecosystem of partners."

Another advantage identified by Arogyanathan is that Snowflake decouples compute and storage resources, allowing more granular scaling.

Benefits from the project include more effective data governance in line with the data sharing agreements, improved security including dynamic data masking and role-based access control, better performance with some processes that previously ran overnight now completing in a matter of minutes, storage costs reduced by nearly 90% thanks to data compression, and support for development, testing, and production environments from one copy of the data.

"We now have much faster access to the data, which means we can be confident we are basing our analysis and insights on data that is as current as possible. Rather than often having a lag of up to 48 hours, retail data can be accessed in near real time," said Arogyanathan.

Plans for further development include the possibility of purchasing data sets from Snowflake's Data Marketplace, and taking advantage of new Snowflake features as they arrive.

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Stephen Withers

Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences and a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies.

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