Freescale takes a modern approach to enterprise analytics

Freescale regularly creates thousands of reports. To relieve the strain on IT, the company adopted Tableau to bring self-service analytics to end users. But balancing self-service and data governance was a challenge. Business users needed the data to be accurate and interactive, while IT needed it to be secure and scalable. Today, a set of guidelines frames Freescale’s Tableau Desktop and Server solution—allowing them to successfully scale analytics across the enterprise.

Freescale Semiconductor, Inc. produces a range of chips that control functions in automobiles, computers, consumer products, and more. In 2015, Freescale joined forces with NXP Semiconductor to offer complete solutions to their customers.

Before scaling self-service analytics, the IT team established guidelines, best practices, and checklists for business users. IT curates data sources in Tableau Server—providing the business with a central source of truth.

With this new system, ad-hoc report requests take 10 minutes—and IT can focus on “providing the right answer for the right business.”

Tableau: Why is data important to you?
Hector Lavalle, Business Systems Administrator: For me it's really a passion to enable business intelligence, because data tells all. Data, it's all over the world. If you start graphing this data or numbers, then patterns will emerge for sure.

Tableau: What made you want to adopt Tableau at Freescale?
Hector: Basically, what we were doing at Freescale with our Tableau implementation and our governance model is we were saying, “Okay, since we're going to implement a BI self-service strategy, why don't we share our role with our end users?”

Tableau: Can you talk about why you focused on data governance?
Hector: When we started with this self-service BI strategy thing, we were facing—we’re going to tell our end users—to change that mindset of doing everything before IT and now the [business users] need to do it. Well, we need to govern that, right? We need to put a little bit of organization here.

So that's what we did. We implemented a governance model by adding guidelines, best practices, checklists, things that will help them. If they follow them, they will have that feeling, that performance, and that level of interaction and accuracy that they are looking for—but they don't need to rely on IT.

Tableau: How has Tableau changed your workflow at Freescale?
Hector: We’re doing things that they didn't have, or we're finding things that they didn't use, they didn't need it. So now we're providing the right answer for the right business.

So that's how really Tableau it's changing my life. I mean, I can do a report. If I'm running our report, right now in 30 minutes, and my boss tells me that I need a report for sales in Africa, for example, and I have 30 minutes. I know exactly where to go, and which data source to search. And if I don't know, I'll go to Server, and I'll search my tags in my data sources in my Server. I'll get the data source, and build a report in 10 minutes.

And it's so fast. And I can really make it fancy. Just three visualizations and that's, boom, that's the answer.

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