CooperVision drives regional growth by identifying opportunities from data
7x increase in time spent on analysis
Reduced cost by minimizing exchanges & returns
Saved reporting time with automated data refresh
CooperVision is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of soft contact lenses, with products sold in over 100 countries around the world. Business Analytics Manager at CooperVision Singapore, Jinghui Loh, uses data analytics to identify growth opportunities for the business across eight markets in the Asia-Pacific region. He introduced Tableau in 2016 to increase market penetration with data-driven decision-making. By training “Tableau champions” in different teams and markets, CooperVision Singapore empowered business users across the region with self-service analytics and achieved a major leap in productivity.
One thing I love about Tableau is its interactivity – users can explore their data to find what they need. I don’t believe in telling people what their data is about, for they are the ones who know the business best.
Identifying business opportunities in data
As a Business Analytics Manager, one of Jinghui’s roles is to spearhead the use of analytics in the organization, and he works closely with sales, marketing, logistics and finance to optimize their operations and identify growth opportunities in data. Tableau’s superior visualization capabilities gives the user both a macro view of various data sets in a single view, and the ability to slice and dice data for more in-depth analytics.
“One thing I love about Tableau is its interactivity – users can explore their data to find what they need,” he shares, for he does not believe in telling users what their data means.
He adds, “Business users are the people who really know the business and are in control of their own business outcomes. So if they are able to explore their data and react to it, they can change the way they work.”
He gives an example of the logistics team, who drill down into their data with a heat map to identify geographical areas with the highest demand and products that are most well-received by customers. By delivering sufficient supplies of popular items to areas with high demand, the logistics team can minimize returns and exchanges and save freight costs.
We used to spend 90% of our time in report creation, and 10% in understanding insights. Now with Tableau it’s become 30:70, and that has helped us find more opportunities in our data.
Boosting productivity with self-service analytics
By cultivating a culture of self-service analytics, CooperVision increased the time spent on analyzing business insights and opportunities by up to 7 times as compared to the days before Tableau.
“We used to spend 90 percent of our time in report creation, and 10 percent in understanding insights,” Jinghui shares. “Now we spend 30 percent of our time in report creation, and 70 percent in driving business insights.”
On a mission to empower people to do their own reporting on Tableau, Jinghui tackled the problems of a team that spends a bulk of their time generating reports – the finance department.
“The first thing I asked them was how much time they took to create a report. Most of them said one to two weeks, so I showed them how to create a part of their report in just a few minutes with Tableau,” he says.
With Tableau’s automated data refresh function, the finance team simply needed to create a template once, and input new data into the Excel source file, which will be automatically refreshed on Tableau.
Tableau is a very powerful tool if you know how to use it. So for every country, I appoint and train a Tableau champion. These people are going to be masters of Tableau, and they are going to start teaching others.
Training champions of Tableau
Initially, the Business Analytics Manager was more hands-on in helping different teams create templates on Tableau, but it turned out to be an inefficient way of working. Jinghui’s solution was to groom a Tableau champion in each country and department so they could support their own functions and pass on their knowledge to more users.
Emphasizing the importance of training, he says, “For non-technical users, any new tool like Tableau or even Excel can be intimidating. It’s a really powerful tool if you know how to use it, but it takes time to get used to it. This is where I come in to support them.”
He has an appointed Tableau champion for every country, and one for each team at the Asia-Pacific headquarters in Singapore. He conducts training personally for English-speaking markets, and works closely with the Tableau team to deliver localized training for the other markets.
What’s really fantastic about Tableau is not the visualization, but the company's dedication to innovation. There are many applications that can do visualization, but the reason why I chose Tableau for CooperVision was the constant improvements they have rolled out over the years.
Sharing a vision of constant innovation
CooperVision and Tableau share a common vision – to improve the way people see, and to help people see and understand data respectively. Apart from the strikingly similar mission statement, what CooperVision values about Tableau above all is their shared belief in innovation.
“What I like about Tableau is how they make an effort to release an update every quarter, making sure that there are new features and always some improvement,” shares Jinghui.
“There are many applications that do visualization, but the reason why I chose Tableau for CooperVision was their dedication to constant improvement over the years.”
And this something Jinghui can testify on, for he has personally known and used Tableau since 2008, when the software had limited capabilities and speed, and there was no way to present a viz on PowerPoint.
With the latest 2019.1 update this year, the CooperVision team can look forward to PowerPoint exports and new features that enable even more advanced self-service analytics with natural language processing, and self-service data prep at scale.
I’m an absolute fan of Tableau. If there’s one thing I would introduce to any company I am at, it will be Tableau.
A supportive environment to see and understand data
Jinghui concludes that Tableau solves the business challenge of getting people well-versed in seeing and understanding data. “I would say it is solved by not just Tableau's software, but the organization.”
“The amount of work they put into sharing best practices and organizing community events like Data Day Out – it has really helped us see what other companies are doing to solve similar challenges to what are facing,” he shares.
A self-professed “absolute fan of Tableau,” he says with a smile, “If there’s one thing I would introduce to any company I am at, it will be Tableau.”