Kantar Worldpanel

Kantar Worldpanel Boosts Global Web Application Performance by 450% While Reducing Hosting Costs by 40%

“Now we can serve multiple geographies from a single data centre, and deliver better performance than ever before. And we’re doing all this more easily and at lower cost than before.”

Richard Bond , Global Team Architect , Kantar Worldpanel

The Situation

Kantar Worldpanel , the leader in consumer panel insights, provides its clients with accurate and continuous information on market trends for brands and retailers in markets such as FMCG, personal care or fashion among others. Every day, thousands of clients and Kantar Worldpanel employees access this insight via the company’s proprietary, web-based consumer panel data delivery and analysis tool called WorldpanelOnline.

The Challenge

WorldpanelOnline is the company’s primary method for disseminating data to its clients around the world. Through this tool, clients and employees can analyse a wide range of panel data and build and generate reports in real time. Originally WorldpanelOnline was deployed in data centers in both the UK and Singapore, supported by a content delivery network with limited reach that cached static content. Due to poor Internet and CDN performance on a global basis the application was slow to respond and, in some cases, did not reach target performance standards.

At the same time, Kantar Worldpanel was struggling to duplicate data in its two data centres. According to Richard Bond, Kantar Worldpanel’s Global Team Architect, “We wanted to offer our users a unified experience without taking on the headache and expense of synchronising our data, which would have required us to rewrite the WorldpanelOnline application. This, combined with the need to ensure optimal performance for users around the world, led us to explore our options.”

The Goals

Kantar Worldpanel needed to meet three key requirements to support its objectives:

  • Improve global performance. The company wanted to accelerate performance of its web-based application for clients and employees around the world.
  • Manage a single data centre. Kantar Worldpanel hoped to eliminate use of a second data center to reduce complexity and costs.
  • Provide a single view of data. The company wanted to make it easy for users to access its consumer panel data.

Why Akamai

Impressed by a Whole-Site Acceleration Approach
After researching its options, Kantar Worldpanel engaged Akamai to run a test of its Akamai Ion, Akamai IP Application Accelerator, and China CDN services. The tests showed that Akamai solutions could improve performance in target geographies by 450% on average. “We liked that Akamai took a different approach than the other CDNs we had worked with, namely that it accelerates applications and whole sites, rather than simply caching static content,” explains Bond.

Seeing Impressive Results from the Start
Kantar Worldpanel found the implementation process to be quite straightforward. Once the Akamai services were live, Kantar Worldpanel continued seeing impressive results. Clients and employees who were previously unable to access WorldpanelOnline were now able to use it. Plus, in some areas, users were able to access data five times faster than before. As Bond says, “Now that the experience of using our application has been so greatly improved, our clients and employees are much happier using it. Akamai helped us eliminate failed data uploads and reduce errors.”

Reducing Data Centre Complexity and Costs
Kantar Worldpanel had deployed two data centers to serve local clients and users. But because the content was not synchronised between the two locations, users had to access WorldpanelOnline via two different sites to see different content. Multi-national and larger companies often want to see high-level reports across regions, and found it frustrating to access the application twice.

Because Akamai improves global performance, Kantar Worldpanel was able to cease using its data centre in Singapore, enabling the company to reduce its hosting costs by 40%. In addition, Kantar Worldpanel was able to terminate its contract with the previous CDN provider. Moreover, these changes removed the complexity of maintaining multiple data centres with duplicate data. “Akamai enabled us to consolidate all our data in a single location, taking a great weight off our shoulders,” explains Bond.

Imagining a Streamlined Web Architecture
With Akamai in place, Kantar Worldpanel can think differently about its web architecture. For some time, the company had assumed it would ultimately need to deploy a third data center and handle complex data synchronisations to support clients and users in another geography. “Now we can serve multiple geographies from a single data center, and deliver better performance than ever before. And we’re doing all this more easily and at lower cost than before,” concludes Bond.

About Kantar Worldpanel

Kantar Worldpanel is the world leader in consumer knowledge and insights based on continuous consumer panels. Its High Definition Inspiration™ approach combines market monitoring, advanced analytics and tailored market research solutions that inspire successful actions by its clients.

Kantar Worldpanel’s expertise about what people buy or use – and why – is recognised by brand owners, retailers, market analysts and government organisations globally.

With over 60 years’ experience, a team of 3,500, and services covering 60 countries directly or through partners, Kantar Worldpanel helps brands grow in fields as diverse as FMCG, impulse products, fashion, baby, telecommunications and entertainment, among many others.

For further information, please visit us at www.kantarworldpanel.com.
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