The data warehousing solution used by Ramirent was no longer able to meet the challenges posed by the company's growth and internationalization. The system was laborsome to maintain, and development was slow. Kaito implemented a state-of-the-art data platform for Ramirent that brings data to cloud-native Snowflake using the best practices of modern software development and open-source solutions. Ramirent now has a platform that scales as needed and does not lock the company to any individual supplier or technology.
Like many growing and international companies, Ramirent must solve the challenge of harmonizing financial information and processes. Core systems in different countries and subsidiaries are always slightly different, making it challenging to provide unified financial information. Head of Group Finance Jyrki Karihtala's solution is to monitor the financials using modern data warehouse-based reporting. The data of various subsidiaries are unified in the data warehouse. Modern data warehouses allow a wide range of detailed information to be used in the reporting instead of only the key figures and KPI indicators.
The project was launched swiftly and aimed to first transfer the existing data warehouse's logic and contents to a new platform. However, instead of simply duplicating the old one, the entire platform and related development processes were first renewed to allow future development to be rapid and systematic. The open-source dbt system centralized the commands for importing, transforming and building business logic (www.getdbt.com). With dbt, data editing and modelling work are done almost entirely with SQL commands familiar to many. Therefore, many existing experts can quickly access the system, and no additional special expertise is required.
All development was done using methods familiar in modern software development. The code was modular and version-controlled in GitHub. The use of dbt made sure that the work was automatically well documented, and that testing was a built-in, integral part of the development. The iDW service architecture that Kaito has developed on top of the dbt continues to accelerate development and benefits from a ready-made code base. It also enables the modern development of analytics services, from business reporting to AI-based applications.
Jyrki Karihtala considers it essential that partners have a good understanding of the customers' business. In this way, you do not always have to go through the basics carefully to make the solution fit for purpose. He considers the collaboration with Kaito to have been smooth and flexible. The project started quickly, and the go-live was reached within the agreed timeframe. Despite remote work and the pandemic, the cooperation worked, and the daily short meetings kept everyone well aware of the situation.
Jyrki Karihtala says that the new platform's scalability is one of the most significant benefits for the company. Snowflake, chosen as the data warehouse solution, makes sure that speed and capacity are available when it is needed, but you don't have to pay in advance for capacity just in case.
Karihtala noticed that the sluggishness of the old system caused bottlenecks in practical work. Overnight hours were not always enough to import the latest data, which meant that the most recent data was not always available on reporting days. Data loading used the same resources as reporting runs, so it was impossible to load data during the day because it caused reporting usage problems.
In the new data platform, the different processing needs are entirely separated from each other so that no similar challenges can occur. Also, performance can be increased quickly whenever necessary. It tells something about the new solution's architecture that the old data load time of several hours has dropped to a couple of minutes.
Jyrki Karihtala believes it is important that the selected systems and processes also support the company's internal growth and building of expertise. It is not always a good idea to outsource all the minor edits and modifications. Ramirent has already achieved this with PowerBI, which is used as a reporting system. Implemented by Kaito, Ramirent's new modern data platform will provide a good starting point for future internal expertise growth.