Even Santa Needs BI

Even Santa Needs BI

By Severina Yordanova

March 11, 2022

No doubt, there is no man as busy as Santa Claus around the Christmas holidays. Having to visit over 842 million households around the globe and bring presents roughly the weight of 15 Great Pyramids of Giza to the excited children, is no easy task. Only someone with a great love for what they do and a clear vision of how to achieve it can make it happen. Yet, Santa knows that to cope with the dynamic environment of today’s world, his traditional tools such as magical dust and tons of ledgers are just not enough. Therefore, his last New Years’ Resolution was to implement a Business Intelligence (BI) Solution and the results are in.

Let’s explore what Santa’s Dashboard has to say.

Return on investment Report

Santa’s decision to invest in 2 more reindeers and improve his sledge has brought a 23% return on investment.

Nabbing gifts and sliding down chimneys all require a bit of speed, double the speed of light to be precise. His two new fast-twitch, magically enhanced reindeers Qliky and Planny are just the right thing for making a speedy-presents to ensure that all presents are delivered on time. But that is not all, thanks to sophisticated analysis, he discovered that by investing in a brand new sparkly coat of paint for his magical sledge, it can go even faster. As a result, the households covered by Santa for 4h have increased with 23%, making it possible to cover the Nordics AND the Baltic countries for the same time he was able to cover only the Nordics last year.

Happier families and more satisfied elves 

Based on his elf satisfaction report, Santa has found that the overall percentage of satisfaction with their job has increased from 78 to 92%. The main reason stated is the fact that elves were empowered to do their job faster and deliver presents in a timely manner – resulting in higher job satisfaction. While before this was hard to measure, after implementing BI, the results from a simple survey were incorporated into a dashboard that can be used by the management, um … we mean Santa, not Mrs. Claus. What is more, Santa managed to increase productivity significantly by finding a relationship between the days Mrs. Claus makes cookies and his elves’ health condition. On cookie days there was a 15% drop in productivity due to the elves suffering from stomach ache (except for Tasty, but he was always a strange one). Also, families were able to have a peaceful and non-stressful Christmas as their kids received their presents on time. Happy kids, happy families! Yay!

Goodbye to the manual data checks

By implementing a cutting-edge BI solution with automated data discrepancy reporting, Santa could finally retire his manual system of data verification, which he was using since the 4th century. Until now, together with his elves, he had to go through tons of papers, recording children’s letters, summary tables with toy demands, manufacturing orders, packing lists, etc. This was not just time-consuming – the data was often inaccurate. He vividly remembers one case when he delivered a pet whale to a kid who asked for a pet snail. The cost of return in this and similar cases was excruciating.

Tastes and preferences – supply chain 

Manufacturing or assembling the right presents at the right time is not an easy task especially when the raw materials and components come from all different corners of the world. Before implementing the new BI solution, often the workshop could not create all the presents needed and Santa had to resort to a certain practice – randomly distributing excess items to kids, whose requested presents were not available on time for shipment. After implementing the new BI solution, Santa was able to analyze and predict how many presents of each product category would be needed. Then, he purchased all the raw materials and components needed, considering different lead times per supplier. He was also able to optimize and streamline his purchasing, eliminating some low volume and higher-cost suppliers.

Nowadays, kids are likely to prefer techy gifts, while conventional wooden toys have been in decline for many years. Dynamic shifts in demands for presents have always created unpredictability and chaos in Santa’s workshop. High scrap rates and high supply chain costs have always been plaguing his enterprise. Predictive analytics has brought this to an end. Another use of predictive analytics is in good vs. naughty kids reporting. Santa can now predict the amount of coal he will need for naughty kids. However, from next year he plans to go green and instead of coal start using Mrs. Claus’ burnt cookies (it would be a punishment enough, he said).

Caffeine consumption report

Santa and the elves are likely to drink more coffee than average on the days around Christmas. Last December, Santa exhibited a 22% increase in his caffeine consumption and this trend is likely to continue. With an increased world population, heavy preparation underway, and deadlines approaching, everybody in the workshop tends to consume much more caffeine – the necessary fuel for a jam-packed day of bringing holiday cheer.


BI has allowed Santa to not only better plan Christmas but also, and more importantly, have peace of mind that all kids and families will receive the right presents on time. Santa can now make a fair estimate of how much return on investment buying one new reindeer or new equipment will bring, and what will be the effect on job satisfaction, and eventually in elves turnover. Although it is still negotiable with Mrs. Claus, thanks to increasing productivity and cutting costs, he can finally afford to hire a Snow Maiden like Ded Moroz.

He can also keep his data in check, plan much better, and create high demand presents in advance, because he has an insight into children’s tastes and preferences at a glance through his dashboard. He knows exactly who was good this year and who was naughty and he can plan the distribution of gifts and coal efficiently. Overall, Santa is so happy with his experience with Business Intelligence that in 2019, he will take the next step and invest in a  Modelling and Planning platform in order to further increase the efficiency of his enterprise.

But the greatest benefit for him is that by using BI and optimizing his own processes, he can finally finish his trip around the world faster and be home before the celebration is over. After all, even for him, the true meaning of Christmas is to spend it with his loved ones.


Radostina Abadzhimarinova & Katya Damynova