Read how Eficode helped Finnish national lottery Veikkaus become more efficient with DevOps.

Collecting data for better customer knowledge and service

Veikkaus is Finland's national betting agency, owned by the Finnish government and exclusively licensed to conduct legal betting on 20 different games, including the national lottery and sports. Managed by the Ministry of Education, Veikkaus has annual turnover over €1500 million annually and earns well over €500 million, with proceeds allocated for the arts, sports, science, and youth work. Veikkaus is a company with a special mission. We want people to play our games safely and with moderation. Thereby, Veikkaus has a dual role in providing legal gambling while ensuring responsible gaming including protecting citizens from spending too much on gaming.

Veikkaus’ primary need was to implement a real-time analytics system to better understand the behavior and patterns of their target market, which is 75% of all Finns over 18 years old at least once a year. Among other things, they needed to run their SAS-based analytics on a fast, reliable platform.

Primary challenges

  • Previous Oracle system unable to scale to current needs
  • Unable to provide analysis in real time
  • Need to handle a modern analytics environment, with the ability to handle granular data, not just aggregated data

As a response to these challenges the requirements of the project came down to this: they needed data storage, which could receive data from multiple sources, store, report on, and analyse data in real time. This needed to be continuous delivery (a DevOps term), available 24/7 with a minimum level of maintenance while being cost effective, scalable and spontaneously adaptable to business requirements. The main purpose for collecting the data was to achieve Veikkaus’ goals for better customer knowledge to provide better service.

The whole process was divided into three phases

The first phasewas the need for a consultant to dig out their challenges which needed changing and determining what their data warehouse infrastructure should be like.

The second phase was to match the technology with the case. In this case, Vertica was the obvious choice even though it was not very well known in Finland at the time.

“Vertica was not on the radar for Veikkaus at the beginning of this project. We have been working with Veikkaus for several years as a supplier. We were able to get Vertica onto their short list, which was part of the victory.” says Heikki Hämäläinen, Sales Director, Eficode.

The objective of the project was to fulfil Veikkaus’ data storage and reporting needs for the future. The existing infrastructure did not allow them to get the necessary information in real time. Therefore, the goal was to create a solution which incorporated their Big Data with faster reporting, analysis and usage of their business information. With new technologies such as Hadoop, Vertica and Pentaho ETL in place, we managed to build a powerful and scalable environment.

The third phase was implementing all of this in order to meet their needs.

Veikkaus as a first-mover within the gaming industry

Veikkaus is using Hadoop as a ‘landing area’ for incoming data. Pentaho is implemented for ETL, and HP Vertica is in the center. Pentaho is implemented for ETL, and HP Vertica as the center, serving the needs of the data warehouse. Veikkaus collects data in Hadoop, and simultaneously collects a portion of data in Vertica for real-time analytics.

“This is almost a textbook example of modern architecture thanks to DevOps”, says Juha Lanki, Technical Sales Manager, Eficode.

They moved off Oracle as they began their move to Big Data. Unlike many other organizations, Veikkaus is not secretive in how they are using Vertica. Furthermore, this was also the first time that the complete conversion of legacy EDW architecture to very modern architecture has been done in the whole of Finland.

“The Eficode consultants were very competent and helped us a lot. Now we have a spotless and working Vertica database, which serve our reporting and data analysis. The main benefits we are getting from the data is the insights on how our customers play our games and their behavior on our websites.”, Elina Leppänen, IT Design Manager, Veikkaus

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