Visual Studio:
Building a Data Cube


Data Cube - Northwind Traders
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Northwind Traders is a company that imports and exports specialty foods from around the world. The specialty food import/export industry is characterized by a highly competitive landscape with a large number of small/medium-sized vendors. A vendor’s reputation is one of the most important criteria that customers consider when making a purchase order, and thus, reputation is key in the growth of an import/export business.

In order to establish a good reputation for Northwind to thrive in the industry, it is important for the company to maintain (or better, improve) customer satisfaction. Customer satisfaction can be measured in many ways. Without initiating new forms of data collection (e.g. customer satisfaction survey), in another words, given the present data collected by Northwind, customer satisfaction can be measured by: (i) order response rate; and (ii) number of repeat orders.

The order response rate refers to how fast an order is shipped after an order is made by a customer. This is measured by calculating the number of days between shipping date and order date. On the other hand, the number of repeat orders refers to the number of repeat orders from the same customer in a given year.

Aside from the two key performance indicators (KPI) identified above, profit making is essentially the goal of a business. Therefore, it is important to identify Northwind’s biggest customers (in terms of sales revenue) and the types of orders made to better manage relationships with these customers.

In order to increase customer satisfaction in the next year, we need to improve order response rate. This essentially results in a higher number of repeat orders. To do so, we can do a seasonal forecast based on past sales. Based on historical trend of top products sold, sorted by month, in the past 3 years, we can anticipate what orders to place from our suppliers to prepare our monthly inventory for the upcoming year. It would also be useful to identify the country where the order is going to be shipped to for us to come up with a contract agreement with our shipping company, thus improving reliability of our shipment.

Project Documentation