Aon delivers fast, accurate self-service analytics to employees around the world with Tableau


Aon improves data trust and speed to insight with its flagship embedded platform, powered by Tableau
Combination of Tableau and Alteryx cuts development times from weeks to hours
Passionate internal community helps establish and maintain data best practices

Aon is a leading global professional services firm, providing a broad range of risk, retirement, and health solutions. Its 50,000 colleagues in 120 countries drive results for clients by using proprietary data and analytics to deliver insights that reduce risk and improve performance.

Aon’s Center for Innovation and Analytics (ACIA) – part of the firm’s Data & Analytic Services team – began using Tableau in 2014 to bolster analytical capabilities throughout the company. The goal was to cut time to insight and enable employees all over the world to better serve their own analytical needs. Today, Tableau is powering a number of Aon’s flagship platforms including the Risk/View, an embedded data analytics service that brings thousands of people closer to their data.

Empowering an industry leader with rich data insights

Aon thrives on its ability to deliver fast, accurate data analytics to colleagues and clients alike, enabling people to make better decisions and improve business.

As part of this, Aon founded the ACIA in 2009, with a focus on improving data management, reporting and analytics throughout the company. However, the analytics tools in place at that time were not able to deliver the kind of high-quality insights the ACIA wanted, in the timescale required.

“We were relying on a patchwork of tools including SQL, Chronos, BBA and Excel,” states Giuseppe Tortorici, BI and Visualization Manager at Aon’s ACIA. “While all of these were perfectly capable, they took a lot of skill and time to work with, plus they lacked the visual analytics aspects we were looking for.”

In 2014, Aon replaced its disparate analytics tools with Tableau, meaning that for the first time ever, ACIA analysts could work from one central analytics platform. It wasn’t long before the ACIA saw an impact.

“Straight away we were able to combine insights much better and use visualizations to bring data to life,” says Giuseppe. “Tableau’s intuitive drag and drop interface also made analytics much faster, significantly cutting time to insight. New visualizations could be created from scratch in a matter of minutes, while creating full dashboards took just a day.”

Tableau’s ease of use and rich visual analytics capabilities quickly sparked curiosity beyond the ACIA team, to the wider company.

“We had an increasing number of business units coming to us, asking how they could use Tableau for their own analytics needs,” adds Giuseppe. “Recognizing the potential, we began running Tableau training sessions and within a short period of time, had built a passionate Tableau community inside Aon.”

Giuseppe now mentors and assists Aon business units all over the world with their own Tableau training, creating comprehensive best practice guides they can use to organically drive uptake throughout the company.

“All new dashboards are shared and peer-reviewed by the community before going to publication, which keeps the standard really high,” says Giuseppe. “The level of interest in analytics has never been stronger, even for a company that revolves around data.”

We had an increasing number of business units coming to us, asking how they could use Tableau for their own analytics needs.

Tableau powers Aon’s flagship platform, leading to faster insights and greater trust in the data

In 2015, Aon chose Tableau to power its flagship Risk/View embedded portal, which provides thousands of insurance professionals with data-driven insights that help them accurately assess prospective customers. After a successful trial in Australia in 2016, Risk/View was rolled out across Canada, North America and the EMEA region.

“90 percent of the content published in Risk/View is created in Tableau,” says Giuseppe. “With just a handful of dashboards we can give colleagues and carriers all the information they need to the make fast, informed decisions.”

A major factor in the choice to use Tableau was its intuitive user interface (UI).

“New analysts can be trained very easily, which is important,” notes Giuseppe. “Many of them comment that Tableau is easy to pick up and learn, but also goes extremely deep where necessary, which they love.”

Development and delivery times are also very short, meaning information in Risk/View is always up to date; a key requirement for accurate decision making. Aon uses Alteryx to prep a wide range of systematic and non-systematic data sources before visualizing everything in Tableau. Alteryx has also been used to automate many manual analytics processes, cutting down on repetition and saving time.

“With Tableau and Alteryx, we can develop new content in a fraction of the time it would take in something like JavaScript,” comments Giuseppe. “In many cases, the process has gone from weeks to hours, meaning anyone looking in Risk/View knows they can always trust the data they’re looking at.”

Embedded analytics enables consistency both internally and externally

Tableau’s embedded analytics functionality also helps maintain consistency across all of Risk/View, as well as other externally facing portals.

“When dashboards are in production, a link is created to Tableau Server, which embeds them to both colleagues and carriers via Aon’s portal,” says Giuseppe. “This creates a very professional look and feel across all of our materials and content.”

“We have internal guidelines governing key areas like fonts and color palettes and have also created a number of templates within Tableau, which helps ensure consistency,” continues Giuseppe. “Many of our external stakeholders don’t even realize they are using Tableau!”

With Tableau and Alteryx, we can develop new content in a fraction of the time it would take in something like JavaScript.