Les Mills fit for the future with Qrious

Fit for the future with Qrious: Les Mills International's modern data approach to Working Out From Home.

Covid-19 lockdown saw an overnight shift to Working From Home – but also Working Out From Home. With the nation’s physical and mental health and wellbeing at risk, iconic Kiwi brand Les Mills quickly delivered free and easily accessible exercise options via TVNZ.

On a global scale, Les Mills International quickly began to ramp up its digital workout solution known as LES MILLS On Demand. Having recently partnered with Qrious to design and implement a modern data solution, Les Mills International was in a prime position to use its new data platform as a competitive advantage.

According to Casey Toia, Head of Analytics, Les Mills International, while they had a clear concept of how data could deliver a competitive edge, Les Mills International was hampered by a legacy environment and platform: “We have a fantastic team of analysts, but knew we needed a modern data approach to empower them to readily access our data, and deliver the value and insights we need to respond to this growth market.

“Without a modern data platform in place, it would have been impossible to react as quickly as we did as the demand grew exponentially, quite literally, overnight,” says Toia.

According to Nathalie Morris, Qrious CEO, Les Mills International was experiencing a problem shared by many organisations, and one further exacerbated by the ongoing impact of Covid-19 on the New Zealand economy: “Many companies want, and know they need, to improve their data infrastructure - but struggle to know where to start.

Morris describes the modern data approach as revolutionising the way that Kiwi companies can store, manage and use their data: “It’s about future-proofing your business, increasing return on investment, and uncovering a new edge to your data capabilities. It gives you speed, agility and reliability – all those things that enable companies to gain a competitive edge,” says Morris.

“At Qrious we help Kiwi businesses to create a modern data roadmap to accelerate their digital transformation – something that has never been more important as we, hopefully, begin to enter a Covid recovery period,” she says.

The first step, according to Toia, was getting the foundations right: “Qrious was able to help us identify the best platform for our business and then bring in their BI and data specialists to establish and develop it with us.”

Qrious recommended a platform built on Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Snowflake, using WhereScape RED automation. It performs all the data processing, consolidation, and advanced analytics Les Mills International requires - but Toia is quick to point out that it is less about the platform itself, and more about what it enables Les Mills International to do, that is the game-changer: “Data projects used to take us months, and now take just weeks,” says Toia.

One of Les Mills International’s key growth areas is the digitising and syndicating of workout events, something that involves billions of records of valuable, but until now, unusable semi-structured data. The modern data approach means that Les Mills International can combine and contextualise multiple data sources from across different business teams, and deliver a multi-dimensional analysis of their performance that can be acted upon.

Advanced historical and predictive analytics are now a possibility. For example, Les Mills International now knows exactly how much it spends on Facebook advertising for its direct-to-consumer app, how many customers acquired, the cost per acquisition, and can determine whether to invest more in this area.

With a modern data approach Les Mills International gained control over their ability to deliver exceptional online customer experiences. For example, they can check the success of new videos released on their LES MILLS On Demand platform with metrics on when, for how long, and how many times they are watched. They are now working on the ability to identify and analyse the video features that best capture customer interest.

With less time spent on gathering and structuring data and more time spent on generating insights that Les Mills International can act upon, it’s a matter of watch this space: “We now make smarter, faster decisions which allow us to achieve our ultimate goal of understanding, creating and optimising our customer experiences. You’ll see the results of that with a number of data-driven projects we’ll launch in the next few months.”

To read more on LMI’s transformation via the Modern Data Platform, read the case study here.

For more information on taking a modern approach to data, read here.

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