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Whitbread: Monarch Serves Whitbread PLC a Portion of Crucial Data!

Published 24 May 2010 | By Datawatch Europe

Richard George is a member of the tax team at Whitbread. As part of his job, he regularly has to analyse company expenditure in preparation of the various companies' corporation tax computations. Having accurate data is essential for him in order to successfully and efficiently evaluate spend. Ten years ago, Whitbread was introduced to a report mining application that they would soon find indispensible...

Mention Costa Coffee and majority of people would be able to tell you where their nearest branch is. Mention the Premier Inn and most people will be able to recall staying there for work or pleasure at some point. These are just two examples of popular brands for which Whitbread PLC is responsible.

Whitbread is the UK's largest hotel and restaurant company operating market-leading businesses in the budget hotels and restaurant sectors. Its family of brands, which also includes Beefeater, Table Table, Brewers Fayre and Taybarns is all dedicated to providing budget friendly hospitality.

It currently employs over 33,000 people and offers quality service to some 8.5 million customers every month in its impressive 1800 outlets across the UK. Being an ambitious company with fast-paced growth, Whitbread plans to open over 100 new sites in 2009. And in this turbulent climate they could have as many as 2,000 more people working for them by the end of the decade.

Richard George is a member of the tax team at Whitbread, his ultimate customer being HM Revenue and Customs. As part of his job, he regularly has to analyse company expenditure in preparation of the various companies' corporation tax computations. Having accurate data is essential for him in order to successfully and efficiently evaluate spend.

Ten years ago Whitbread was introduced to a report mining application that they would soon find indispensible. A member of staff re-joined Whitbread after working at Deutsche Bank where Monarch was used, a report mining solution that lets users extract static data from existing reports and turn it into live data on their computer screens without programming. Richard took up the story; "I needed a tool to convert large amounts of data from Oracle financial systems into usable data for analysis. When my colleague re-joined Whitbread she introduced us to Monarch."

Monarch is a desktop report mining application from Datawatch, a leading provider of business intelligence, enterprise reporting and datatransformation. It is currently on its tenth version. Used by over 35,000 organisations worldwide, Monarch allows users to extract, filter, manipulate and export data which was previously stuck in existing reports - giving the users complete control over their data. Monarch Professional has added benefits which include being able to mine data from PDF files and import and combine data from virtually any corporate database, spreadsheet, desktop database, HTML files or other data sources.

Before becoming introduced to Monarch, Whitbread had to go through the laborious process of rekeying data from paper reports processed on mainframe computers. This was always a lengthy chore and cost the company valuable time that could be spent elsewhere. The introduction of Monarch has meant that Whitbread can now transform their reports into actionable data in a fraction of the time, allowing them more hours in the day to concentrate on important tasks.

Richard continues: "Recently Whitbread has upgraded to Monarch V10 Pro for the support centre staff. The fixed assets accounting team also use Monarch to analyse capital spend across our large property portfolio whilst I continually use it to help me ensure we pay the right amount of tax."

Whitbread has enjoyed much success with Monarch over the past ten years with various departments turning to it for their own specific data analysis issues.

Richard concludes; "Datawatch have been very supportive, particularly when more complex model building has been required. Monarch allows us valuable access to our data, without it the process to analyse our records would either be hugely time consuming and costly or in some cases impossible."