Customer story - Holland America Line - SQL

  • Share
  • Share
cruise liner approaching the coast of an island

Making a great cruise experience even better

When Holland America Line wanted to better understand what's driving its onboard revenue, we helped build tools that improved sales and made the guest experience better.

Cruise companies use analytics to provide their guests with personalized experiences at sea. Our client, Holland America Line (HAL), relies on business intelligence (BI) tools to analyze the performance of its revenue-generators and identify best practices that drive sales and deliver a superior guest experience. However, HAL’s BI platform wasn’t delivering desired results. Its on-board revenue team needed a user-friendly alternative that would increase adoption and performance, so it engaged our D&A team to help drive its migration to Microsoft SQL Server 2012.

15 cruise ships
over 500 sailings per year
800,000 annual cruise passengers
“Before, there was no way we could look at five years of data easily.”
Greg Yule, Manager of Data Warehouse Architecture
Holland America Line

Data tells a story

We partnered with HAL to evaluate SQL Server 2012 Enterprise and Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 in a test environment. Together, our teams explored SQL Server 2012 Analysis Services tabular modeling and the ability to present BI results through SharePoint Server. We created SQL Server Analysis Services tabular models (in-memory databases in Analysis Services that deliver fast access to tabular model objects and data) to incorporate into Excel reports.

“Before, there was no way we could look at five years of data easily,” says Greg Yule, Manager of Data Warehouse Architecture at Holland America Line. “The tabular model opens up a whole new world where it’s easy to promote data to the tabular format. Even business users can implement analytical cubes.”

Our team helped HAL create a BI portal with sections for each onboard revenue group using SharePoint Server 2010. All groups post and combine their cube documents to tell a complete story of what happened on a voyage.

“We can tell the story from a guest’s perspective or from a revenue perspective and find out how to replicate that success on other ships,” says Seth Brickman, HAL’s Director of Onboard Revenue and Analytics. “Currently, ships produce their own reports, as do shore staff, and often they tell different stories. We want to increase the usage of this solution … so that everyone is looking at the same data.”

“By using Microsoft BI tools, we can learn behavior patterns by passenger groups and adjust offerings and programs … this increases revenue and gives customers a better experience.”
Seth Brickman, Director of Onboard Revenue and Analytics
Holland America Line

Data-driven results

HAL is using Microsoft BI software to drive revenue and better serve guests. Benefits of this new BI solution include:

Better access to data results in more empowered employees. BI use has increased threefold, and business users no longer rely on IT staff to access the data they need. What once took hours for IT is now just a few clicks away for users.

Data-driven decisions lead to increased revenues and an improved guest experience. HAL employees can pair industry knowledge with robust data to dynamically adjust to customer behaviors and patterns.

IT can spend more time innovating, not reporting. “By having all our BI on SharePoint Server, we can see which reports are being used and that helps us understand which ones are most valuable,” says Lemuel Hebb, Director of IT and Strategic Planning at Holland America Line. “Our Microsoft solution also lowers IT costs, because the IT staff no longer spends time creating reports. We have more time to bring in new data sources and improve the architecture of our BI solution.”

Third-party licensing costs have been eliminated.

3 time increase in business intelligence use
0 dollars, third-party licensing costs eliminated
better guest experience

Proud partners

Our relationship with Microsoft runs deep. As a Microsoft Gold Partner—and five-time Microsoft Partner of the Year—we have we have deep expertise implementing Microsoft technology and a partnership built on years of collaboration. Our teams help some of the largest companies in the world drive innovation, improve their businesses, and win more customers with Microsoft solutions.


Start a conversation

What’s on your mind? Let’s explore the possibilities.