Case Study

CPG Enterprise Partners with phData & Data Coach to Develop an Analytics Center of Excellence

The Customer’s Challenge

The CFO & CIO of a global consumer packaged goods company were looking to drive measurable value from their analytics platform.  They were consistently struggling with inefficiencies and low-quality reporting. The data products frequently created by analysts at the company were unhelpful, detailed Excel-style crosstabs. Insights from the data were missed or identified too late in order to take action.

phData’s Solution

The phData and Data Coach teams partnered with the customer to develop an analytics enablement program. The new training program focused on enabling analytics within three competencies: agile project management, analytics and data visualization best practices using Tableau, and business-side data preparation and automation prototyping using Tableau Prep and Alteryx.

The Full Story

A Fortune 500 consumer packaged goods company had a problem with its analytics departments. The efficiency and quality of their analytics outputs were poor, transparency and visibility into the reporting from other teams was non-existent, and low-level tasks were taking developers days to finish each month. 

Executives and managers were often confused by delays in reporting progress because they were provided little communication regarding the development lifecycle. This often led to duplicated work and a frustrated leadership team. Because the time to develop analytical tools and content was extended, by the time the tools were completed, they were no longer relevant. 

This led to analysts spending countless hours completing low-level tasks such as creating Excel and PowerPoint reports. To make matters worse, no standards for data visualization and analytics development existed or were enforced at this company.

The customer had four main goals: 

Why phData?

The customer had introduced Tableau as a visualization tool, built a state-of-the-art data warehouse in SAP, and established a data lake in Hadoop. But they weren’t seeing the adoption that they needed for robust analytics. 

Leaning on boutique 3rd party service providers can only go so far, often resulting in surface-level insights and dashboards. After a year of working with generalist service providers that built Hadoop frameworks and Tableau dashboards to spec, the company knew they needed a partner that could bring in-depth analytics expertise with a granular understanding of data needs across the organization.

Working with phData gave the customer the best of both worlds: a partner that could both build the data dashboards they needed and create a sustainable data culture within the company.

phData & Data Coach get to work building an analytics enablement program

The phData and Data Coach teams ultimately developed an analytics enablement program for the customer’s Analytics Center of Excellence. The program included four core pillars:

From a Centralized to a Federated Data Analytics Model 

Even with its new, ostensibly accessible tools, the company still had a centralized data analytics model. Data analysts sat within the IT department, translating and acting on requests from individual business units. 

This led to slow response times, unscalable reporting, unclear expectations, and specific needs getting lost in translation.

By introducing data analytics training across the company, phData shifted the perception of IT as a last-mile service provider. While IT focused on data cleaning and maintenance, automation workflows, and hosting solutions, phData and Data Coach enabled the company to work with Tableau as a self-service analytics product. 

Results

With an emphasis on agile and change management processes and best practices, analysts were able to improve communication on the status of projects, work more iteratively, and incorporate stakeholder feedback more effectively. Additionally, phData created data products alongside analysts in order to showcase best-in-class analytics. 

phData delivered over 100 analytics projects, as well as a handful of data science projects designed to bring the company up to speed with data analytics best practices. We created these data products alongside analysts to continue building capability within the company. By shifting from a centralized data analytics model to a federated one, lead times for data analytics projects dropped from months to days.

With Data Coach, phData set the customer up with the data literacy they need for continued success. The phData and Data Coach teams mentored and coached analysts through the analytics product development cycle, ensuring accuracy, efficiency, and quality along the way. 

To date, over 1,500 people have participated in the analytics training. Over 800 of them have completed the Data Explorer course, which is a comprehensive course on how to navigate and use Tableau Server. The customer team has earned over 1,200 Tableau Desktop training certifications. These certifications represent over 1,000 new Tableau Desktop dashboards that were actual use cases on the customer’s development backlog. The customer faced 19% employee turnover annually before this training; now, they’re seeing 4% turnover for employees who have gone through the Data Coach training. 

phData, Data Coach, and Tableau all worked together to develop the analytics capabilities for this customer. 

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Introducing
Data Coach is our premium analytics training program with one-on-one coaching from renowned experts.