Louvre Hotels Improves the Proficiency of its Analyses Using Talend Data Integration

The second largest hotel group in Europe overhauled its data warehouse loading system to increase responsiveness and proficiency.
With the power of Talend Data Integration, we have transformed our loading procedure in the context of providing users with the latest data. Every day, at a set time, the activities of each hotel are "closed". This closing is now automatically detected to start the loading jobs. This allows us to run the load smoothly and obtain a satisfactory response time.
Nabil Elmernikh, BI Manager


Louvre Hotels, an affiliate of Groupe du Louvre – owner of the Concorde luxury hotels, and the Baccarat (crystal manufacturer) and Annick Goutal (perfume company) brands – is the second largest hotel group in Europe and the eighth largest hotel chain in the world with more than 1000 hotels in 41 countries (a total of more than 81,000 rooms). Since it merged with Golden Tulip Hospitality Group in July 2009, Louvre Hotels has a portfolio of hotels ranging from 1 to 5 stars, represented by seven distinct brands (Première Classe, Campanile, Kyriad, Kyriad Prestige, Tulip Inn, Golden Tulip and Royal Tulip). Boasting a global revenue of 2.2 billion € and 19,000 employees, Louvre Hotels was acquired by the U.S. private equity firm Starwood Capital Group in 2005.

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Analysis to control growth and innovation

Louvre Hotels is a group characterized by very rapid growth, which has been driven by both acquisitions and internal developments – the repositioning of its brands has given economy hotel standards a real facelift. After forging an alliance with Golden Tulip Hospitality in July 2009, the Group rose to claim its position as the eighth hotel company in the world with the most rooms. Meanwhile, it embarked on an ambitious strategy to exceed 100,000 rooms worldwide, sticking to its motto: innovate to improve the customer experience.

In this context of combining both rapid growth and strong competition, Louvre Hotels has long recognized the importance of analysis to manage its activities. In consideration of this, the group has a data warehouse that has been steadily expanding over the years. “In reality, we manage a number of data marts developed to suit our business needs: management control, yield management (room price management), HR, CRM or catering management,” explains Nabil Elmernikh, BI Manager at Louvre Hotels. “Approximately 150 people access this data warehouse every day – mainly from the headquarters located in La Defense – to construct analyses for managing operations or for marketing.”

Upon his arrival to the group in 2009, Nabil Elmernikh has been working on the data mart loading system (Oracle technology, Windows environment). “The data marts were loaded via SQL scripts developed in the past to respond to different user needs. Maintaining a dozen scripts doesn’t pose too many problems, but to manage more than one hundred quickly turns into a complex puzzle… On the one hand, we were confronted with redundancy issues and on the other, we didn’t have a scheduling function that would enable us to automatically streamline script management. Lastly, the data obtained was unreliable, making our analyses unsatisfactory,” he explains.

Talend Data Integration to industrialize data mart loading

Recruited by Louvre Hotels to organize the group’s BI projects, Nabil Elmernikh first downloaded Talend Open Studio for Data Integration to quickly solve the loading problem.  “We developed a prototype with Talend Open Studio for Data Integration to prove the suitability of the open source product to the IT organization. Then we migrated to the enterprise version – Talend Data Integration – to take advantage of monitoring, planning and development automation features, all while simplifying the documentation of our jobs. Lastly, Talend Data Integration enables us to perform these jobs on multiple servers and parallelize loads; the data used in the data marts are based in the data warehouse in Frankfurt.”

With a strong background in BI, Nabil Elmernikh is an expert in different data integration technologies. “Unlike proprietary solutions, which are particularly expensive, Talend offers cost-optimized technology that is easy to install and test with a performance equivalent to that of proprietary solutions,” he adds. “In addition, Talend provides many components and connectors that cover about 95% of our loading needs. We have made further developments with Manapps, our systems integrator partner, which expertly handles Java technology. Finally, we draw on the Talend community for support information to facilitate customization and developments.”

“Manapps is a well-established player in CRM, BI and offshoring, with a strong knowledge of open source products. As one of Talend’s Platinum Partners, we have the expertise to help our customers improve their integration process and the quality of their information systems,” specifies Philippe Thomas, Partner at Manapps. “We encouraged Louvre Hotels to use Talend’s solutions because they can adapt to all sorts of projects – from the smallest to the largest – leaving room for the group to respond to any changes in its activities.  In terms of Data Management, Talend’s solutions are arguably the most successful on the open source market.”

Better updated data and controlled developments

Today, most of the old SQL scripts have been included in Talend Data Integration. Meanwhile, any new developments are made using the Talend solution.

“With the power of Talend Data Integration, we have transformed our loading procedure in the context of providing users with the latest data. Every day, at a set time, the activities of each hotel are "closed". This closing is now automatically detected to start the loading jobs. This allows us to run the load smoothly and obtain a satisfactory response time,” says Nabil Elmernikh. “Previously, all the scripts were launched at the same time, creating bottlenecks and consistency problems since we weren’t sure if all the hotels had closed on time. Today, we have this certainty and can therefore guarantee business users that they are working with the latest data.”

Additionally, Louvre Hotels emphasizes how easy it is to use Talend Data Integration. “The tool is easy to learn, deploy and maintain. With its simplified error management functions, we completely control the loading chain of our data marts and its developments. Plus, the ability to zoom into a job enables – even people who aren’t technical experts – to really understand the job and improve it,” continues Nabil Elmernikh. “Talend Data Integration also offers Business Models to streamline developments (often made by different people), while facilitating their documentation.”

Finally, Louvre Hotels stresses the productivity gains made possible by Talend’s solution. “Although our project is not yet complete, we are already assessing the gains that we will benefit from: for example, when the loading system is finalized, we will have time to devote to other projects, such as metadata management and archiving, both of which are particularly useful when changing the version of our business applications or rebranding a recently acquired hotel,” concludes Nabil Elmernikh. “This is the first step in implementing an MDM strategy, which will enable us to further improve the proficiency of our analyses and to increasingly and effectively support our growth strategy. With partners like Manapps and Talend, who have both showed continuous availability and a high capacity for innovation, we are perfectly equipped to meet the ambitions of our management.”