KellyOCG® delivers insight into billions of dollars of labor spend



KellyOCG® is the outsourcing and consulting group of Fortune 500 workforce solution provider, Kelly Services®. With more than $7 billion annual labor spend under KellyOCG’s management, leaders have access to a great deal of valuable data. However, the data lived in many internal and external systems including a SQL Server database, salesforce.com, Google Analytics and more. Kelly Services' Talent Supply Chain team began searching for a business intelligence solution that would give them the flexibility to allow for truly game-changing analysis. They needed a robust, scalable, and enterprise-ready platform that would permit them to embed analytics directly into a portal.

John Healy, Vice President and Managing Director, Global Talent Supply Chain for KellyOCG said, "KellyOCG made a deliberate investment in analytics because we understood that companies lacked the insights to make decisions about the right way to use talent."

With Tableau, they found the solution they were looking for—and their efforts have delivered impressive benefits to customers, suppliers, and to the company itself.


Delivering more insight to customers, suppliers, and internal stakeholders

“We manage several billion dollars worth of purchased labor spend on behalf of our strategic customers globally,” says John Healy, Vice President and Managing Director, Global Talent Supply Chain, KellyOCG. “This crosses 43 countries and 18 different languages. Our customers have entrusted us to help them acquire and utilize talent in the most efficient and effective manner to execute their business strategy.”

Of the more than one million worker openings that the company fills each year, approximately 550,000 of these workers are directly employed by Kelly Services; the rest are placed via a network of suppliers.

KellyOCG has five years’ worth of this transactional data stored in a Microsoft SQL Server database. The company also has CRM data from Salesforce.com, vendor data from several vendor management systems, and website information—such as job post-search behavior and psychographic information—via Google Analytics.

Company leaders wanted to use this data to guide internal decisions. They also knew that customers and suppliers were craving the insights needed to make more data-driven decisions.

In addition to this internal data, KellyOCG had access to some customer, partner, and supplier systems. Finally, there are third-party sources including market and industry data that the Talent Supply Chain team knew they would want to incorporate into analyses.

Company leaders wanted to use this data to guide internal decisions. They also knew that customers and suppliers were craving the insights needed to make more data-driven decisions.

The problem was the amount of time and technical savvy it took to pull together this disparate data. Beyond the centralized services teams and the existing “reporting” utilized from the existing tool sets, the operations manager spent an additional 10 hours every week putting together data sets culled from up to four different reporting systems.

For example, KellyOCG delivered performance metrics to these suppliers through quarterly supplier scorecards. This quarterly pace meant that suppliers couldn’t use this feedback to make timely changes to their business processes.

Tom Tisdale, Vice President of Talent Supply Chain Analytics for KellyOCG says, “The scorecards were a reactive process and focused on only communicating the ‘who, where, what.’ They failed to drive collaboration and innovation. We needed a real-time delivery platform of the ‘why’ and the ‘how’—that is, the insights. This platform needed to be flexible such that it would become a foundation pillar of a much more encompassing supplier enablement strategy.”

KellyOCG also provided reports to their customers. Account teams delivered annual business reviews. These were delivered to customers via static PowerPoint presentations. A few strategic customers approached KellyOCG with a request for deeper insight.

Tableau is allowing us to visualize a significantly complex business problem in a way that allows our operations team, our customers, and our suppliers to make business decisions that drive their collective business forward.

John Healy, Vice President and Managing Director, Global Talent Supply Chain for KellyOCG.

Moving beyond ‘who, where, what’

The Talent Supply Chain Analytics team put together a focus group of select customers. They asked detailed questions about the type of information that customers needed to make better decisions.
Once the requirements were defined, the next step was identifying an analytics platform that could handle the sheer quantity and diversity of data they wanted to include.

They turned to the Gartner Magic Quadrant for business intelligence solutions. In addition to the ability to handle big data, the team evaluated prospective solutions on the following areas:

  • Ease of use and intuitiveness.
  • Data connectivity
  • Ability to embed results into web pages
  • Flexibility in licensing models to minimize upfront capital investment

“We went through every vendor in the ‘Leaders’ segment of Gartner’s Magic Quadrant to evaluate the right choice. Tableau came out on top,” says John.

The team worked closely with Senior Vice President and CIO, Judy Snyder, to vet their final choice.

We looked at Tableau to make sure it would meet our needs for scalability, governance, and enterprise-readiness. Tableau has been able to meet the rigor of our complex data and IT ecosystem.

“We looked at Tableau to make sure it would meet our needs for scalability, governance, and enterprise-readiness. Tableau has been able to meet the rigor of our complex data and IT ecosystem,” says Judy.

Today, a core group of teammates create visual analyses in Tableau Desktop for many different audiences. The largest table that the team connects to in Tableau is 25 to 30 million rows of data.

They are pleased with the sophisticated analysis that they are able to produce within Tableau, such as forecasting, probability analysis of outcomes, and prediction using simulation and correlation models in conjunction with Michigan State University. They are leveraging connecting to R for this comprehensive predictive analytics.

They publish vizzes and dashboards to Tableau Server and share the insights further by embedding analytics within their Center of Excellence portal which is the collective analysis platform for customers, suppliers and program teams.

“With this platform, for the first time, everyone is seeing the same analysis and insights real-time,” says Richard Fisher, Director of Talent Supply Chain Analytics, KellyOCG.

“We embed the dashboards into the .net framework using iframes,” explains Rich. “We have a carousel of thumbnails at the bottom of the screen. When you click on a thumbnail, the full image in the iframe pops up.”

To meet European data privacy laws, all personally-identifiable information has been stripped out of published analyses.

The team has begun evaluating a cloud-based solution—Microsoft Azure, specifically. They’ve already begun testing Tableau in an Azure sandbox environment.

“Tableau is allowing us to visualize a significantly complex business problem in a way that allows our operations team, our customers, and our suppliers to make business decisions that drive their collective business forward,” says John.

Our talent is rising to the next level...Even those employees we would consider ‘beginner’ are solving very sophisticated business problems. It’s enabling them to move up the training maturity growth framework faster than a traditional technology would allow.

Saving time and creating rock stars

“As companies are trying to address the changing dynamics of the workforce, our customers have been demanding the kind of innovation that we are delivering through Tableau,” says John.

The team at KellyOCG has captured both internal and external benefits from its efforts with Tableau:

  • Capturing a 25% productivity improvement in operations. One of the earliest benefits that KellyOCG has seen is eliminating 10 hours per week from the previous manual reporting process. Once a dashboard is set up, the team can schedule it to refresh the data—creating an essentially evergreen report.

    “Now our operations manager is able to focus on more value-generating efforts,” says John.

  • Accelerating supplier scorecard pace by months—leading to supplier innovation. Today, instead of delivering the scorecards each quarter, KellyOCG is providing weekly insights to its suppliers.

    “Now our suppliers have visibility into the marketplace, into their performance, and into the clients’ true demands in a more broad way—that is leading to innovation,” explains John.

    For example, suppliers have been able to use this more timely insight to do market assessments such as identifying optimal pay rates to attract the right talent, identify the best number of sub-suppliers, and other benchmarking efforts.

  • Delivering valuable insights that customers want. Today, KellyOCG is able to provide customers with the sort of data-driven views that they requested.

    For example, the team is forecasting labor trends within a company or providing comparative analyses against other companies looking for similar employee profiles within an industry or geography.

  • Wowing customers during business reviews. KellyOCG has made their business reviews more dynamic—and more exciting. They simply log into the .net site and customers can review information and drill down into areas they need to understand.

    “We know what’s going to happen—at a certain point during a customer review, the formal presentation just stops and everyone gathers around the laptop looking at the dashboard. The customers are saying, ‘What is that jump there? Why did that happen? How can we repeat it?’ or ‘I knew we were doing great over here, but I had no idea that there was a quality problem over here,’” says Tom.

    “And somewhere during that review, there is a collective realization that the stale customer review has moved from a reporting on the efficiency of the program exercise to a collaborative session on improving the effectiveness of the program and on discussion move to developing a go forward maturity model based on the insights of the Talent Supply Chain Analytics Platform.”

  • Unlocking untapped potential within the team. The biggest surprise has been how the decision to deploy Tableau has changed the Talent Supply Chain Analytics team.

    “Our talent is rising to the next level, frankly,” says Tom. “Very quickly, with Tableau, even those employees we would consider ‘beginner’ are solving very sophisticated business problems. It’s enabling them to move up the training maturity growth framework faster than a traditional technology would allow.”

    Not only has this changed the productivity of the existing team, but they believe it has delivered a recruiting advantage. According to Tom, working with Tableau has allowed KellyOCG to focus the technical expertise on the team with the data scientists, and the visualization efforts with a team that brings the business knowledge, passion and high energy.

    “We realized very quickly then we could change the profile of the talent that we look for. We don’t need to invest in someone with many years of technology experience. We are able to move away from a technical proficiency and skills based recruiting profile which limited the talent pool and can now look for individuals with high energy, drive and passion above technical proficiency. Technically, we know we can get them where we need them. What that does? It gives us rock stars.”

Speaking of rock stars, Rich Fisher was recently awarded the Golden Circle award from Kelly Services, an honor presented to a select number of the company’s most significant contributors each year. The Tableau-based analytics project was cited as a core factor in the award.

And the accolades have not stopped there. The Talent Supply Chain Analytics Platform has been recognized by industry analysts as a top innovation and an industry product far ahead of the competition as well as by suppliers and customers.

For example, in a blog post titled, “Key Practices in Talent Supply Chain Management,” Brandon Hall Group’s Talent Acquisition Analyst, Kyle Lagunas, wrote, “KellyOCG gave a live demo of its analytics and reporting tool that I would say ranks among the top five solutions I’ve seen to date."



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