Coca-Cola European Partners empowers sales team and fosters data centric culture with Tableau


Greater efficiency and accuracy in product distribution to over 300m people
Self-service analytics fosters data culture across departments
Tableau Mobile helps sales team provide better customer service in the field

Coca-Cola European Partners is the largest independent bottler of Coca-Cola beverages. The company operates more than 50 bottling plants in Western Europe, serving 300 million customers in 13 countries and generating annual revenues of around €11 billion. By replacing its outdated analytics and reporting tools with a comprehensive Tableau and Alteryx solution, Coca-Cola has saved significant amounts of time whilst eliminating many of the errors resulting from manual analysis. With Tableau Server and Tableau Mobile, employees can also now access powerful dashboards and visualizations from anywhere at any time, empowering the field sales team and encouraging a new data driven culture throughout the organisation.

Many of the things that we do today would not have been possible three years ago and that's easy to forget.

From repetitive, manual reporting to fast, accurate insights across the organisation

Coca-Cola European Partners employs more than 23,500 staff to make, sell and distribute the world’s most loved drinks brands to over 300 million people in 13 countries. Such large scale operations rely heavily on accurate reporting and analytics. However, prior to Tableau, the combination of outdated tools and growing data volumes was impacting overall productivity.

“We really had some challenges in terms of the amount of data running through our systems, our ability to quickly make sense of it, and how we could distribute key insights to our stakeholders in a consistent way,” recalls Johannes Sæthre, Strategy and Insights Manager at Coca-Cola European Partners.

Previously, reporting was predominantly conducted manually using basic tools such as Excel and PowerPoint. The difficulty of analysing data in Excel, combined with the effort of repeatedly generating and distributing reports via email, meant the process was both labour intensive and time consuming.

To address these issues, Coca-Cola European Partners decided to install a comprehensive new data analytics and reporting solution consisting of Tableau Desktop and Server, alongside Alteryx for data prep and enrichment. This new approach allows a wide range of disparate data sources across the company to be analysed together through a single platform for the first time, resulting in much faster and more accurate reporting.

“A lot of our data is currently running from Redshift (AWS),” says Johannes Sæthre. “We also have supporting databases, where we use CSV files or Excel files, along with some native connectors to applications like Salesforce, all of which are now connected via Tableau.”

Tableau Server allows Johannes and his team to publish live dashboards and reports across the entire organisation at the touch of a button rather than sending mass emails. Employees can then access the information at any time and be confident that what they are seeing is always up-to-date, helping avoid conflicts or confusion.

Critically, Tableau has also enabled the team to automate some of the more time consuming aspects of reporting throughout the company, saving significant amounts of time and eliminating many of the errors resulting from manual analysis.

“We've gone from this ad-hoc, manual approach to an automated solution where I just drink my morning coffee and by the time I’ve finished, everything is up to date,” says Johannes. “Not only can Tableau handle the vast amounts of data we now have to deal with each day, its ease of use and powerful visualisations mean everyone can use it and key insights are never overlooked.”

We've gone from this ad-hoc, manual approach to an automated solution where I just drink my morning coffee and by the time I’ve finished, everything is up to date.

Fostering a data centric culture throughout the workforce

The introduction of Tableau has encouraged a new, data-centric attitude throughout Coca-Cola European Partners that didn’t previously exist.

“A lot of things have happened in terms of our data culture since we implemented Tableau,” says Johannes. “When people learn to interact with data and use it more in their daily activities, it becomes insanely impactful. Many of the things that we do today would not have been possible three years ago and that's easy to forget.”

As a result, the role of data analytics has grown tremendously throughout numerous key departments including sales, marketing and product development, with more and more employees looking to self-serve their own analytics needs in Tableau.

“Anyone who receives a data point or any kind of analytics via Tableau always wants to learn more about what they can do with it,” says Johannes. “So establishing a data culture is truly an exciting journey to be a part of, but it also comes with a great responsibility in terms of constantly being able to add more value to the business wherever possible.”

A great example of this is how the recent introduction of Tableau Mobile has helped empower the field sales team by putting crucial information directly into the hands of employees whilst they are on site with customers and prospects.

“Using Tableau Mobile, our sales guys can now access all this great data about their customers directly on their iPads, just before they go into meetings,” says Johannes. “They can then use this information to put together a great sales pitch and establish really close relationships with customers that will pay dividends in the future.”

When people learn to interact with data and use it more in their daily activities, it becomes insanely impactful.