With its 54,000 volunteers and 18,112 employees, the French Red Cross provides health, social, medical and social, education, and humanitarian services in more than 1870 locations in the country. Information systems are at the heart of the organization, supporting the development and needs of the various services that comprise the French Red Cross.
Some 43 people work in the humanitarian network’s Department of Information Systems. They are joined by seven regional IT managers. The departmental budget is more than €8 million.
“The last decade saw the development of information systems with a view to better management of the entire organization,” says Laurent Monnet, Director of Information Systems for the French Red Cross. “The goal has been to harmonize and streamline our IT services, maximizing service effectiveness on the front line.”
Improved Analytics in Support of Red Cross Services Delivery
The trouble was that the French Red Cross had no means of easily analysing or making sense of all the data arriving in the organization.
Laurent Monnet continues, “During the development of the infrastructure, we were focused on transactions and support. Now the emphasis has shifted to analysis of the data—and that led to the launch of a new business intelligence architecture.”
The new model comprises a decision support system, data integration, and reporting.
“We wanted an intuitive, user-friendly business intelligence tool for users; on that enables dynamic performance and results in real time,” says Marie-Ange Tnani, Project Manager for Business Intelligence, French Red Cross.
With support from Altic, a French systems integrator and specialist in open source-based business intelligence, the French Red Cross chose Tableau Software.
“Tableau is capable of almost anything and is so easy to use, it gives our users autonomy,” says Marie-Ange Tnani. “As specialists in their field, Altic also understood our needs and worked hand-in-hand with us to deliver a comprehensive, high performance business intelligence architecture.”
It didn’t take long for the first results to arrive. In the space of just over eight weeks, the French Red Cross was live on a new data warehouse supporting sheltered accommodation for the elderly-EHPAD, or Établissements d'Hébergement pour Personnes Âgées Dépendantes. The warehouse contains 43 indicators and six different data sources, including accounting, human resources, budget, business, treasury, and organization.
Tableau gives our managers the up-to-the-minute indicators they need to manage their organization. Users can quickly discover and share data.
Intuitive, Visual Dashboards in Three Weeks
“Within three weeks of introducing Tableau Software, the French Red Cross had created its first dashboard. From experience, it would have taken us six months to reach that goal,” insists Mark Sallières, founder of Altic.
“Tableau plays a major role as an accelerator and catalyst for this business analytics. By visualizing intelligence, Tableau offers the French Red Cross agility, flexibility and faster access to answers about sheltered housing for the elderly.”
“Tableau gives our managers the up-to-the-minute indicators they need to manage their organization. Users can quickly discover and share data,” explains Marie-Ange Tnani. “The tangible results are immediate: we are breaking down the silos of data and creating a common language around data. This leads to a virtuous cycle of continuous improvement in data quality, highlighting existing inconsistencies."
Early results reinforce the fact that the Department of Information Systems made the right choice in Tableau.
“Tableau offers a view across the organization, integrating indicators from different sources, and offering a straightforward, geographical representation of some of these indicators,” says Marie-Ange Tnani.
In due course, Information Systems French Red Cross will provide dashboards for its numerous offices, using the Tableau Reader functionality. “The return on investment we receive from Tableau justifies that strategy,” Laurent Monnet concludes.