Case Study: Data and Analytics
SITUATION & BUSINESS CHALLENGE
A multinational manufacturer of products for a wide variety of industries needed to streamline its sales and marketing analytics tool-sets and strategy. The company was devoting too many resources toward integrating a maze of sales and marketing data from applications including Eloqua, Webtrends, SAP, and Salesforce. Multiple tools, including Wave Analytics, Domo and Tableau were used to analyze this data.
The teams’ most consistent method to process and analyze its data was to pull data via a Microsoft Excel adapter and individual product APIs into Excel on shared workstations, a heavy time- and resource-intensive effort that often led to siloed data throughout the organization. As the processes grew more complicated with the addition of more tools, the teams developed a massive backlog of report development tasks.
One backlog item exemplifying the issue was the integration of Eloqua and Webtrends data. Eloqua allows for the sourcing of the total number of campaigns and emails that were generated and bounced back, while Webtrends can track data on page visits, such as time spent on a web page, number of pages visited, and so on. The teams were gathering and merging both data sets independently, so they wanted a way to manipulate the data automatically.
AIM Consulting’s Data & Analytics team had just delivered a comprehensive sales and marketing analytics roadmap. As the first step of implementing the roadmap, the company chose AIM to streamline the clutter of sales and marketing data into a more cohesive product that better served its analytics needs.
The analytics roadmap developed by AIM Consulting called for the use of a cloud-based platform as part of the company’s move to the cloud, blending a combination of services to store, merge and manipulate sales and marketing data. A logical development from this roadmap was the use of Microsoft Power BI to consolidate the numerous tools in use by the sales and marketing teams.
AIM wrote a short Proof of Concept (PoC) for the use of Power BI on the project, covering a two-month period to prove the capabilities and show how strongly it would integrate with existing source applications like Webtrends and Eloqua. The PoC detailed how to leverage Power BI to build a variety of reports in a faster, more automated fashion than Excel.
AIM worked with key marketing and sales stakeholders to quickly reduce the reporting backlog through the use of Power BI, removing Excel from the equation.
Power BI represents both a short-term and long-term solution for the sales and marketing teams. For the moment, it helps connect data and automate presentations and visualizations from the tools that the sales and marketing stakeholders will decide to keep. In the long term, with the sales and marketing data lake in place as part of AIM’s analytics roadmap, the teams’ data will be manipulated and prepared by cloud-based services, but Power BI will still be leveraged as a robust presentation tool.
Feedback from the company reflects its appreciation of AIM Consulting’s insight to use Power BI as an interim tool to reduce the backlog and produce numerous business-critical reports and data visualizations, reducing resources and data silos in the process.
Developing and following through on an analytics strategy is overwhelming, particularly for large companies with toolsets that have been cemented in place for years. Quick wins such as the Power BI solution provide immediate relief and tangible results while the company pursues its long-term, cloud-based platform roadmap.