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Swoon Case Study
Case Study


Building a data warehouse to drive complete operational measurement: Swoon
Operational reporting cycles are now fully automated to run on a daily schedule
Timely and accurate reporting is automatically distributed to suppliers
Swoon can now focus on analysis and insight, with renewed trust in the data


Swoon is a London-based, design led furniture business that's on a mission to give home-lovers beautiful décor at fair prices.The Swoon team create original pieces, deriving inspiration from the world around us, while keeping costs and therefore prices low via a direct to consumer (D2C) offering, without physical shops and middlemen.
Industry: Retail & FMCG
Employees: 50+
Like any other startup, we ran on Google sheets. And like many other businesses, you get to a point where Google Sheets runs out of space, literally. So you then have documents that are for periods of time rather than a database that stores data in perpetuity. Automation through Kleene accelerated our reporting cycle and hugely improved our data accuracy.
Rachel Ha - Head of Finance, Swoon

The Challenge

Swoon had identified the need to develop a sophisticated approach to data and reduce their reliance on manual processing using spreadsheets. Reports and insight were generated from scratch each time, requiring significant manual effort while being tightly restricted on data volumes.

They had always prioritised customer facing projects and initiatives ahead of internal measurement and business intelligence and had tended to allocate resources accordingly. The impact of this on understanding and optimising their operations was being felt more and more across the business.

One example was product trend forecasting. This was critical to inform buying cycles but impossible with the existing infrastructure. Another such instance was with their analyst team. Due to their limited utilisation of data and insights, Swoon had struggled to attract, hire and retain analyst skillsets.

With the Kleene platform in place, Swoon was able to set up automated data pipelines to power both daily operational, and supplier facing product quality reporting.

The Solution

The team at Swoon knew the time had come to invest in getting their approach to data right. Initially, they wanted to focus on their core operations and build a platform that could scale to enable reporting and analytics across all functions. Automating otherwise manual reports with a robust platform was the first step. It would give the team time back, increase metric accuracy and unlock the ability to engage with their B2B partners in increasingly sophisticated and informed ways. That automated data platform needed to be cloud based, cost effective and scalable with ever increasing data volumes. The solution should accelerate time to insight and remove the potential for human error while enabling deep analysis and data driven decision making. Importantly, the underlying technology needed to allow Swoon to attract and retain top class analytic talent in a competitive market.
“We wanted a partner who understood the end to end data journey - architecture for storage, data modelling and visualisation - following a recommendation from a respected industry insider, we chose Kleene.”

The Results

Manual processes automated
Operational reporting at Swoon previously involved the manual copying and pasting of data from numerous sources (Orderhive, Google Sheets, Magento, Zendesk, Trustpilot, Xero) into spreadsheets. This was then manually processed for critical reporting and analysis on supply chain, On Time In Full order tracking, cancellations, returns, customer care, stock levels and more. Utilising the out of the box connectors within the Kleene app, the Kleene data pipelining functionality and working closely with the Kleene team, these slow and laborious processes were removed and replaced with automated, robust, daily scheduled runs. Reports are accurate and on time, with no human input required.
I love the Kleene app - it is the best app on the market for what we need to do. It is saving me alone 8 hours a week of data manipulation” Matt Thornton - Operations Analyst
Trust restored
Trust in the data being used to make important decisions across operations has improved significantly. Legacy metric calculations that were buried in spreadsheets had not evolved and developed as the business adapted to the market. The exercise of building the modern data platform with Kleene exposed these areas and allowed the analyst team to put in place automated data quality checks and feedback into operational processes.
“Having Kleene has enabled Swoon to build a structure that empowers the analysts to own data quality.”
Exciting future
The scalability of the Kleene platform and the cloud data warehouse excited Swoon with all the potential avenues for data exploration. The foundations have been laid and the operational use case has proven the efficacy. The team has been assembled and the output being generated from data is driving value and buy in across the business.
The time it takes for an analyst to pull together a data set now is much quicker but we haven't hit the peak, there is so much more we can do.”
Reporting automated - analysis unlocked
Attracting analyst talent and empowering them with modern technology was a clear goal for Swoon. Tasking bright analysts with manual report creation was not only demotivating but also limited the output and value from deep analysis due to the time being spent on building and checking the reports. Now analysts can spend their time and skills forecasting and providing product insight from data to the design team.
Reporting from Weekly to daily
The reporting cycle was previously weekly. Now the metrics can be viewed on a daily basis, with complete confidence in the underlying data. Our analysts are now focused on demand forecasting and product attribute analysis, creating a forward looking view on the industry and identifying growth trends.”
Partner engagement
Rachel noted that previously, the hugely important B2B side of Swoon (the manufacturing partners and suppliers) was simply not integrated via the data produced from operations. Now, Kleene has automated the data flows to give clear visibility on partner and product performance. In turn, this empowers accurate insight into what is selling, where stock levels are and customer satisfaction at a granular level.
Metric driven feedback
"Before Kleene, this simply wasn't possible because of the volume of data and manual processing. We now automatically email supplier performance reports out to the suppliers with their metrics and performance ahead of supplier meetings."
Data best practice and upskilling
With the Kleene platform and Professional Services team, Swoon were able to to rely on Kleene to provide SQL training, data warehouse architecture and data modelling best practice guidance as Swoon ramp up their usage of their modern cloud data platform
Intelligent support
“Kleene's analysts are clear experts on this stuff. hey've been really, really helpful and generous with their time as well.. I've been really impressed."

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