The BNP Paribas Group is an international banking group with a presence in 75 countries and over 190,000 employees. The bank serves more than 30 million customers between its retail banking networks in its four domestic markets of France, Belgium, Italy, and Luxembourg. Its Corporate & Institutional Banking and International Financial Services businesses are leaders in Europe, significant players in the Americas, and growing strongly in the Asia-Pacific region.
With Tableau Desktop and Server, the Group’s Lisbon-based EMEA business intelligence team has significantly streamlined the data analytics and business intelligence available to the 2,000 relationship managers in the EMEA Corporate and Institutional Banking division. Over 80 percent of previously manual reporting tasks are now fully automated, freeing up the team to deliver new analytics services. Furthermore, all departments within the division can now be served from a single source of truth, while 300-400 page manual reports have been replaced with fully interactive visualizations, available to everyone via Tableau Server.
Alongside a lack of dedicated personnel was a lack of dedicated analytics tools. One of the first things we did as a BI team was to identify and adopt tools like Tableau that we knew would fundamentally change the way we could deliver important business insights to the organization.
Single source of truth reduces business errors
BNP Paribas has rapidly expanded its operations in Portugal over the past few years, growing the local workforce from 826 employees in 2010, to more than 5,000 today. Lisbon is now home to a variety of new shared services, research divisions, and excellence centers—all dedicated to the bank’s EMEA activities.
As part of this expansion, BNP Paribas established a major new business intelligence (BI) team to serve all employees within the EMEA Corporate and Institutional Banking division with business analytics and information as needed.
Before the creation of a dedicated BI team, analytics services were only available on a case-by-case basis in the region. While there were a handful of business analysts available to the Corporate and Institutional Banking division, BI was just one aspect of their role, meaning most of the work was reactionary and on-demand, with little proactive insight. Furthermore, Excel was the primary tool used for analysis, which limited deep insights into large data sets.
“Alongside a lack of dedicated personnel was a lack of dedicated analytics tools,” explains David Henriques, Head of Analytics Consulting and Data Lab at BNP Paribas in Lisbon. “One of the first things we did as a BI team was to identify and adopt tools such as Tableau that we knew would fundamentally change the way we could deliver important business insights to the organization.”
A key issue to solve from the start was the fragmented nature of data throughout the EMEA business. Since data existed in a variety of disparate databases spread across the business, no full overview of data was available, making business decisions difficult and increasing the likelihood of errors.
“Working horizontally across the business, data comes from everywhere,” explains David. “We also use a combination of SQL and NoSQL databases, so the ability to view all of it in one place was paramount. Now we use an in-house process to reconcile the data and Tableau to analyze it and share key findings with the wider business.”
With help from Tableau partner, Xpand IT, BNP Paribas’ Corporate and Institutional Banking division adopted the Tableau platform across its operations and started training employees. The result was the ability to consolidate all business data into a single source of truth for the wider organization, which had a significant impact on data consistency.
“Now when we create a workbook and share it using Tableau Server, we know that everyone is looking at the same information, eliminating a significant amount of uncertainty and enabling much better decision making within the organisation,” says David.
“Xpand IT made the whole onboarding process extremely quick and easy,” explains David. “With expertise on tap from day one we were able to deliver the new system to the business on time and on budget.”
We use a combination of SQL and NoSQL databases, so the ability to view all of it in one place was paramount. Now we use an in-house process to reconcile the data and Tableau to analyze it and share key findings with the wider business.
Secure collaboration between 2,000+ corporate relationship managers with Tableau Server
The Tableau platform allows the analytics team to put new data insights straight into the hands of everyone who needs them, as soon as they are available.
“Tableau Desktop and Server are the ideal way for us to instantly share key findings in ways that anyone can quickly understand,” explains David. “It doesn’t matter how you build data in Tableau Desktop, it always comes out looking great, and with Tableau Server we can share reports and insights to over 3,000 people simultaneously.”
Tableau also allows the BI team to react to change requests, without having to recirculate dashboards multiple times.
“If we’ve already shared a report, but suddenly need to update or change something within the data, Tableau Server makes this so easy” says David. “If we were sharing reports via email we would have to recall and/or resend them multiple times. With Tableau Server we can just edit the reports in real-time, knowing that whatever we see on the screen is what everyone else can see as well.”
Tableau has proven so popular within BNP Paribas that usage continues to spread to other departments.
“Tableau has already been adopted by the Corporate and Social Responsibility team to better analyze their activity and spend, while Global Markets have adopted it for all of their invoice reconciliation,” explains David. “Once people realize the added benefits it can bring to their operations, they are very quick to adopt it.”
Rather than having to make 50 different versions of the same report for different parties within the organisation, we only have to make it once, which is hugely beneficial.
400-page survey reports replaced by a single dashboard
Before the creation of the dedicated BI team in Lisbon, reporting efficiency was a major issue for some areas of the bank. With Excel as the main tool for analysis, reports would be reactive, time consuming and cumbersome, often arriving too late to be of use for the team that originally requested them.
One example was a quarterly employee survey. Prior to Tableau, the results of these surveys would take weeks to compile and analyze, with the final reports often running to 400 pages in length. The BI team replaced the 400 page reports with a single Tableau dashboard that the BI team can securely share with all relevant parties via Tableau Server. Furthermore, the BI team only needs to create one dashboard for everyone, customizing data access for each team with Tableau Server permissions.
David explains, “Rather than having to make 50 different versions of the same report for different parties within the organisation, we only have to make it once, which is hugely beneficial.”
David’s BI team has also automated many reporting processes across the EMEA Corporate and Institutional Banking division that were previously arduous, manual jobs.
“With Tableau, around 80% of the services we conduct for the organisation now involve automation,” says David. “Not only does this save a great deal of time for those involved in reporting processes, but by automating so many reporting activities, it liberates our team to create new analytics services that can benefit the whole organisation.”