30% time savings through standardization and report automation
Although Lufthansa has been a very analytical and data-driven company for a long time, there was no uniform group reporting in 2016. Heiko Merten, Head of BI Applications in Sales at Lufthansa, remembers: “Each department had its own reporting system and there were no uniform standards. The development of each new analysis had to be formally applied for in the IT department and often took a long time because of the high workload, which resulted in a constantly growing backlog.”
In addition, the individual effort for data preparation was very high, so that comparatively little time remained for the real information analysis: “The original ratio between data preparation and analysis/interpretation of the results was about 80:20,” explains Heiko Merten.
At the instigation of the sales department, Lufthansa began searching for a new Group-wide reporting solution. This was a good time to do so, because at that time Swiss and Austrian Airlines also had to be linked to the Lufthansa umbrella brand under uniform reporting standards.
The new solution was intended to make the departments more independent of the IT department and to enable extensive self-service reporting. Fabian Schmick, Senior Manager Corporate Strategy at Lufthansa, explains: “Our main focus in selecting the solution was on user-friendliness.” And the company's typical data sources should be easy to connect to.
“Lufthansa is in a comfortable position because we have many useful data sources in different technology infrastructures,” explains Fabian Schmick. “We have Teradata, we have SAS, we have Oracle databases that we analyze, but also simple Excel spreadsheets and sometimes—from time to time—we also add external information such as from social media or Flightradar24.”
Reporting at Lufthansa used to be mainly paper-based. Reports were distributed and consumed in PDF format. As soon as new questions arose from an analysis, it was necessary to develop a new report. This took a lot of time and cost a great deal of time and effort due to the amount of data preparation.