Siemens gains deeper understanding of IT service costs, consumption and user satisfaction with Tableau


Rapid analysis of 7 billion+ rows across 200+ data sources
Integration with ServiceNow allows better understanding of IT services
Transparent, interactive dashboards support management decisions

Siemens AG is a global technology powerhouse that has stood for engineering excellence, innovation, quality, reliability and internationality for more than 170 years. The company is active around the globe, focusing on the areas of power generation and distribution, intelligent infrastructure for buildings and distributed energy systems, and automation and digitalization in the process and manufacturing industries. In fiscal 2019 (ending September 30, 2019) Siemens generated revenue of €86.8 billion and net income of €5.6 billion. At the end of September 2019, the company had around 385,000 employees worldwide.

Tableau supports Siemens IT to analyze and harness data. Insights are available on demand, which previously consumed a lot of the IT Controlling team’s time and resources. Trusted data and drill-down capabilities support numerous teams for data-driven decision making, accessible across multiple devices within Siemens. Visual analytics has enabled Siemens businesses to improve operational efficiencies and streamline internal processes.

We now have complete transparency into our IT costs and consumption. For example, we can see who consumes which IT service and their location; plus we can drill down by geographical level, divisional level, or organizational level.

Tableau enables rapid analysis of 7 billion+ rows across 200+ data sources

With Tableau in place, Siemens IT is able to create management reports and better explain its IT data.

Ilya Kovalenko, Data Analyst at Siemens, shares, “Sometimes in the past we used Excel and PowerPoint for our reporting. We spent time downloading files and there were issues with version control. It’s also very hard to drill-down in Excel. When someone raised a question, we had to go back and do the calculation – and by the time we replied the data was often out of date.”

“I downloaded the free trial [of Tableau] to get some experience. Within a very short time, I delivered an analysis that the team had spent weeks working on.”

The use of Tableau has subsequently spread quickly through Siemens. A new service called “Integrated Reporting and Analytic Metrics (iRAM)” has been established, providing secure access to more than 15,000 report views for Siemens employees. More than 200 data sources were combined, delivering more than 7 billion asset rows organized by easily accessible topic families. “In our function alone, we have more than 2,000 active users.” says Ilya. “We use Tableau Desktop for development. Tableau Server gives our users secure access to information and dashboards directly in their browser.”

One of the first Tableau projects for Ilya and his team was to examine IT usage and costs in Siemens IT infrastructure. “The visual analytics were so well received, that I was invited to work in Germany and help establish similar visualizations for global analysis.”

The team asked us what they were supposed to do with the half day they’d saved! We literally saved them half a day every week, and they are still using this report after two years.

Integration with ServiceNow allows better analysis of IT services cost and consumption

Tableau is having a similar impact on the ServiceNow digital IT assets workflow platform. Multiple Siemens units use ServiceNow to provide a seamless user experience across multiple providers, from ordering IT services to lifecycle management for IT products.

“We use ServiceNow to bring together all the data from our IT providers, manage orders, create tickets and adjust services,” explains Ilya. “Thanks to Tableau we now have better transparency into our IT costs and consumption. For example, we can see who consumes which IT service and their location; plus we can drill down by geographical level, divisional level, or organizational level.”

This insight into the cost of IT services is especially valuable to Siemens’ finance department. From the consumption reports, they can see exactly which department is consuming which services in which geography. The information is used to support budget forecasts and plan future IT expenditure and services.

In addition to gaining new insights, Tableau is also saving a significant amount of time. For Ilya, one particular example stands out. “One team was frustrated by the reliance on standard software for analysis. They would download and extract the data, then rework it and send the information in Excel. We quickly automated this process in Tableau, and the team asked us what they were supposed to do with the half day they’d saved! We literally saved them half a day every week and they are still using this report after two years.”

This validates the power of Tableau - we can display trusted insights and answer questions using any device immediately.

Data-driven decision making supports management, improving customer service and user satisfaction

Ilya’s team uses Tableau to quickly reach the root of IT problems. For example, they can analyze users’ tickets against the complaint and search for recurring patterns. They can then identify where complaints are occurring – whether it’s a network issue, a specific IT service or a complicated user interface – and take the necessary steps to solve the problem.

Ilya underlines the transformative impact of Tableau, “We use Circuit, a real-time collaboration software provided by Atos/Unify. When we deployed this tool, we needed to gather user feedback, so we implemented a one-to-five star-based rating. After every call, the users receives a popup window asking them to rate the voice quality.”

Ilya was surprised to be confronted with a complaint during a visit abroad. “I was talking with a regional Head of IT and he mentioned that a lot of users were not happy with Circuit. I asked him how he knew that, and he said, ‘I heard some rumors in the kitchen; employees were complaining’. I replied saying, ‘Let’s open the rating report and see what people are really thinking’. We studied the report live in Tableau and saw feedback from 10,000 users with an average score of 4.4, which is very high.”

False impressions – based on hearsay – are immediately corrected using accurate, up-to-date data insights. “This validates the power of Tableau: we can display trusted insights and answer questions using any device immediately,” Ilya concludes.

Find out more at siemens.com.