More Effective Financial Analysis for a Student Business


Customer Profile

Flyer Enterprises, the student-run business program at the University of Dayton, is the fourth largest student-run business in the nation, with seven divisions and approximately 200 employees. The organization manages various retail, convenience and food businesses on campus while also researching and planning for the establishment of new businesses.

Customer Case Description

In order to most efficiently and effectively run its various on-campus ventures, as well as to demonstrate success to its Board of Directors, Flyer Enterprises relies heavily on financial analysis and reporting. However, its traditional methods of analyzing data—manually entering numbers from flat files generated in internal operating systems—were extremely time consuming and often resulted in errors. And because of the high turnover rates typical for a student-run business, the organization couldn’t devote adequate time toward training employees on its complicated analytical processes. Even as Flyer Enterprises took steps to consolidate its data into a Data Warehousing environment, it was still lacking a method of viewing and analyzing its business information.

“Our old methods made it impossible to get what we needed out of our data,” said Jordan Barth, CIO at Flyer Enterprises. “Visualizing and comparing data sets required a significant time commitment. Since our staff work on an hourly basis we needed a tool that could reduce the time needed to review our data.”

The quality and value of our reports has enabled us to demonstrate our unique value to our board and partners better than we’ve ever been able to before. As a result, we’ve become a more profitable, better run organization.

The Solution

Since deploying Tableau in each of its seven divisions, Flyer Enterprises has benefited from a significant increase in the quality and effectiveness of its analytical reports and uncovered several errors in previous reports that were not evident without Tableau’s powerful visual data analysis capabilities. Financial managers in each of the divisions now use Tableau to analyze real-time sales data by hour, menu item, location, etc., enabling them to make more informed business decisions and more effectively demonstrate financial success to Flyer Enterprise executives, its Board of Directors and strategic venture partners.

“With Tableau, it’s extremely easy for our board to not only see our value as an organization, but also to ask their own questions and draw their own conclusions from our reports,” said Barth.

Additionally, due to Tableau’s intuitive nature and easily accessible on-demand training courses, Flyer Enterprises is able to significantly decrease time spent training employees on its analytical processes, enabling more people to benefit from Tableau. The organization has also seen an increase in productivity since automating its financial worksheets with Tableau—analyses that used to take three or four hours now take 30 minutes, and Flyer Enterprises estimates that it’s saving approximately $300 per report created.

“Our employees have been constantly impressed by Tableau’s ease of use and powerful analytical capabilities, and—now that analyzing data is as simple as a few clicks of the mouse—we’ve been able to become more knowledgeable about our business, which in turn increases our success,” Barth continued. “The quality and value of our reports has enabled us to demonstrate our unique value to our board and partners better than we’ve ever been able to before. As a result, we’ve become a more profitable, better run organization.”

For More Information About This Case

Contact: visualanalysis@tableau.com or call (206) 633-3400 x1

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