PZ Cus­sons
Stories from synvert customers

PZ Cus­sons


"synvert (previously Crimson Macaw) stood-up a proof-of-concept analytics stack using AWS, Snowflake and Tableau and supplied experienced and knowledgeable architecture advisory, engineering and visualisation resource. Importantly, synvert were able to provide consistency of named resource on a flexible basis which fitted PZ Cussons evolving budget as they grew out their proof-of-concept data platform and analytics capability. As such, synvert proved themselves to be a great partner for an organisation, greenfield in analytics that is evolving this new insight and automation capability at speed. synvert’s approach enables PZ Cussons to minimise the upfront investment and risk with building out what can be a cost hungry capability with sometimes slow return as a Business takes time to absorb the new capability into their ways of working, improve decision making and act differently. "

Alex McCallum, Data Strategy Consultant

"I was very impressed at how quickly synvert (previously Crimson Macaw) was able to stand up an environment for PZC to ingest and store its data, and even more impressed at the level of expertise applied to the initiative to help us demonstrate the power and business value the data insights could bring to help define our strategy. I have seen these projects over the years absorb significant sums of money and effort upfront with lengthy complex projects that can take many months/years before the business start to really feel the value, this project was a refreshing change to this. "

Abby Adderley, UK IT Director

Success story

Project description

PZ Cussons - Automation through Snowflake and Tableau

PZ Cussons, a Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) company, had a vast amount of data scattered across various on-premise and third-party systems managed by their overseas subsidiaries; they also consumed a considerable amount of third-party market data to better understand their customers and markets.

Objective of the project

The project objective was to provide PZ Cussons with a solution to quickly ingest and join data from multiple sources, whilst also facilitating cross-analysis between internal data, their retail partners' data, and that provided by market analysis businesses. All this would help them to better understand customer behaviour, market trends, and improve their decision-making processes too.


PZ Cussons opted for AWS to power their proof of concept solution, as they offer all the necessary services and providers to execute the first set of tasks, as well as additional capabilities to support future data-driven use cases.

To optimise their environments strategy, PZ Cussons required a fully scripted end-to-end process that could be easily repeated. To achieve this, Terraform was chosen to create all the native AWS services, including the creation of all database objects.

To maximise automation, AWS Lambda functions were used to verify flat file imports for row counts, column counts, and data types. Once verified, the ETL environment was initiated using SQS, which orchestrated the instantiation of Matillion and other tasks. We chose to use SES (Simple Email Service) to ingest email attachments.

Apart from the native AWS tooling, PZ Cussons also adopted several partner technologies running on AWS to further enhance their solution:

  • Matillion for ETL.
  • Snowflake for the data warehouse.
  • Tableau Online for reporting and visualisation.
Benefits generated

With the help of synvert (previously Crimson Macaw), PZ Cussons was able to quickly bootstrap production, test, and development environments for their proof of concept project. This enabled the project to ingest data feeds and transform them into reports within just a few days. By scripting the process, PZ Cussons had complete control over the deployment of their environments, from the warehouse to the databases and tables. Additionally, user access was provisioned through Terraform configurations, ensuring that access was always granted as necessary.

Data ingestion for the project came from various sources, including zipped flat files, databases, and even files attached to emails. These sources were ingested via SES, and the attachments were scanned and extracted to S3, triggering the ingestion process into the data warehouse. To ensure data quality, synvert was able to validate these files as part of the automated ingestion process, preventing any bad data from being processed into the warehouse.


PZ Cussons employed Snowflake and Tableau to gain new insights and to improve their data analysis processes. They were able to replace existing Excel graphs and charts with a suite of Tableau dashboards, automating much of the manual work and saving time and money. Additionally, these new dashboards enhanced the analyses used by the category team, providing better metrics and insights into both their data and key competitors.

By using Tableau Online, PZ Cussons was able to create and share easy-to-use reports and data visualisations, unlocking a host of slice-and-dice features to get different teams excited and interested in their data. This platform also supplied published data sets, giving users the power to create their own insights. Ultimately, the project was successful in increasing company engagement in analytics and in delivering insights, providing a more comprehensive understanding of their data and enabling them to make better-informed decisions.

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