Tesco has replaced a system at its data centre in order to improve both the basket analysis and stock wastage analysis it runs.

It has replaced technology from Teradata with a data warehouse appliance from Netezza. The new system is dealing with queries up to five times faster, according to the grocer.

Tesco programme manager Marcel Borlin explained the significance of the switch. He said: “We have around 25 heavy analytical users running large queries on Netezza. They are analysing transactional discrepancies across millions of items and item movements every day, right through the supply chain from stores to distribution centres.

“The application is designed to find wastage such as stolen, destroyed, out-of-date or lost items. It is an important function, as it affects the financial position of the company. On the Teradata platform, we had to allocate time slots for running these analyses, or the system would grind to a halt.”

In addition, Tesco plans to get six staff members within its marketing department using the system for market basket analysis. This kind of analysis looks for relationships between products that people buy – for instance, to identify complementary products.

The change of system has also been designed to save money and ensure energy efficiency. Borlin added: “We were looking to realise savings; not only on the purchase cost, but on the total cost of ownership too.

“The physical footprint and power and cooling requirements in the data centre were also important factors. The Netezza system needs a fraction of the space, power and cooling of our existing systems.”

Tesco installed the system and converted data to it within days. It was fully operational and synchronised with existing systems within three weeks.