Professional services firm, Aon increases speed to value by 20% with Tableau

Complex data streams analyzed in minutes

20% improvement in company speed to value

Powerful insights delivered direct to customers

Aon is a leading global professional services firm providing a broad range of risk, retirement, and health solutions. Its 55,000 employees in 120 countries empower results for clients by delivering business insights that reduce volatility and improve performance. With Tableau, Aon has significantly improved its data analysis capabilities and enabled employees to collaborate more effectively on a day-to-day basis. With Tableau, important insights can be identified in minutes rather than months, resulting in a significant improvement in speed to value across the company.

I think in terms of data, bringing it to life and telling stories with it is fundamental and that’s exactly what Tableau does.

Analyzing big data in minutes

Aon relies on fast, effective analysis to deliver the right insights to its customers. But with growing quantities of information coming in daily, making sense of it all requires more than spreadsheets and bar graphs.

“The quality of data we receive via some of our more traditional channels is not always what we’d like it to be,” explains Eddie Short, Managing Director of People Analytics at Aon. “Effectively blending the different types of data is also extremely challenging without the right tools.”

With Tableau, Eddie and his team can analyze all types of structured and unstructured data through one platform. Not only does this improve overall business intelligence by centralizing all incoming data in one location, but Tableau helps drive better collaboration throughout the business by bringing data to life in ways that spreadsheets could not.

Aon often collects survey data for clients. For example, Eddie shares the example of Aon’s recent work with compensation surveys, analysing salaries to determine the standard of fair pay based on demographic information. With Tableau, Aon consultants can effectively communicate these baselines to clients to consider a variety of factors and spot pay gaps. With this actionable information, clients can quickly take action to close pay gaps within their companies.

“I think in terms of data, bringing it to life and telling stories with it is fundamental, and that’s exactly what Tableau does,” says Eddie.

Aon consultants are seeing results. Clients often comment on the improved analysis quality and the more intuitive data exploration.

The ability to present data in new and exciting ways both internally and to clients has helped Eddie and his team to align their operations against Aon’s main business strategy.

“Maximizing the value of data for our clients is a key component of our overall business strategy,” says Eddie. “Tableau is a great enabler of this, putting the capability to blend data and tell real stories into the hands of everyone.”

Maximizing the value of data for our clients is a key component of Aon’s business strategy. Tableau is a great enabler of this.

Speed to value improved by 20%, reporting cut from months to minutes

The ability to deliver fast analysis and insight has significant benefits for Aon’s customers around the world.

Using Tableau, Aon has cut lead times on its annual survey analysis from several months to just hours, or even minutes. This improvement has helped to accelerate the company’s revenue collection cycle and deliver a 20% improvement in terms of speed to value.

Eddie attributes much of this improved performance to Tableau’s visual functionality, making trend analysis much more efficient compared with manually trawling through spreadsheets.

“It's visual in terms of the great presentation, but also in terms of preparation of data,” explains Eddie. “It means we can interact with the data however we need to and uncover insights much faster than we could before. The level of visualization Tableau offers is just unparalleled in the marketplace.”

Delivering powerful business insights both internally and directly to customers

Internally, Aon is using Tableau to bring its own data together in ways never previously possible.

“For a long time we've been the classic management by spreadsheet kind of organization,” explains Eddie. “Now we're starting to use Tableau to explain to our own people how the business is operating, and we’re doing it in a much more visual and easily understandable way.”

After seeing what Tableau is capable of, multiple divisions within Aon have also made it a core component of their operations, resulting in a significant upsurge in internal usage.

“We've now got considerable demand across the business, from teams that want to bring more of their data together and use it with their clients,” says Eddie. “They're seeing the benefits of Tableau in terms of analytical power, but also visualization and storytelling power.”

Realizing the significant potential of Tableau beyond the company’s own four walls, Aon has also started using it to deliver greater insight directly to customers via its web portals.

“We want to put more data and more tools in the hands of our people, but also the hands of our customers,” says Eddie. “So now we’re using Tableau to deliver more insight in packaged applications directly to customers.”

“Many of our clients and customers have already commented on the improved quality of data analysis they are seeing, how it's easier to quantify the value that we deliver,” concludes Eddie. “As a result, we are getting a compounding benefit across the whole organisations. That's the key success of Tableau for us.”