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BI setup in industrial gases

Discovering the power of data combining a central platform serving local use cases
Challenge
Creating a BI environment to align daily operations with strategic KPI’s

One of our clients is an international supplier of industrial gases. Our client was struggling to swiftly generate the right analyses and dashboards to base their strategic and operational decisions upon. Apart from the limited amount of accessible data within the organisation, no data processing tools were at hand, leading to a lack of automatization. The few dashboards that were available were maintained and updated manually in Excel, which of course resulted in a lot of man-hours, risk of manual errors and little efficiency. On top of that, the board wanted to merge the measuring of the organisation’s strategy performance management towards the use of a balanced scorecard instead of using financial forecasts. The data to measure the KPI’s defined in our client’s balanced scorecard were not at hand or appeared to be non-accessible.

Approach
Mapping out a data-driven approach with BI roadmap and Proof of Concept

When altering or setting up a BI environment, it is vital to first identify a client’s level of ambition regarding the use of data to improve performance management and to get a good understanding of the ‘as-is situation’. That’s why we initially conducted a series of interviews and workshops with different stakeholders from our client’s HQ and Western-Europe department to map out their current reporting situation, business goals, expectations and requirements and to demonstrate the potential of a data-driven approach. This resulted in the launch of 2 projects: the roll-out of a BI roadmap for our client’s entire business group and the development of a proof of concept (POC) for the Western-Europe department.

When setting up a BI roadmap, it is crucial to always keep the business goals and expectations of your client at heart. That is why an important part of the BI roadmap was our advice to work use-case driven. This way, the data driven approach serves the business by answering specific questions or problems defined by the business side.

To put our words into action, we also developed a proof of concept in which we used real data from our client to create three interactive Tableau dashboards: a pricing, logistics and acquisition dashboard. These topics were determined in consultation with our client, as they would generate the greatest immediate impact.

Impact
High quality decision making through better insights into data

As a result of the workshops, the board of directors became convinced of the short and long-term benefits of a data-driven operating system. For a reasonable budget, the roadmap provided our client with a lot of useful information and a number of important recommendations on how to tackle the merge towards a data-driven way of working.

Next to that, the Proof of Concept with the interactive Tableau dashboards continuously present operationally useful and up-to-date information, which gives our customer better insights into their data in a very time-efficient way. In parallel with the elaboration of the first proof of concept on group level (technical set-up, start of (virtual) internal data team on entities, etc.), we now also work together with the local entities on 2 additional proof of concepts on crucial topics for the business.

Ultimately, our client decided to intensify our cooperation and commissioned us to work with them on the implementation of this plan.

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