Lufthansa Group is a global aviation group with more than 550 subsidiaries and associated companies. In 2016, Lufthansa generated annual sales of almost EUR 32 billion with approximately 124,300 employees.
Lufthansa managers Heiko Merten, Christian Novosel and Fabian Schmick report how with Tableau, they have saved 30% of data preparation time, gained a whole new degree of autonomy in the specialist departments, achieved greater flexibility in decision-making, and established a fact-based decision culture within the Group.
For us, self-service means that we become more efficient in day-to-day business and can see and understand our data without having to involve the IT department, for example.
“With Tableau, it is much easier to consolidate different data sources in a fast and interactive format,” explains Christian Novosel, Head of Strategic BI Initiative at Lufthansa. “We can now make data-based decisions live in a meeting. Acceptance reaches all the way to the board level with our CFO, who supports our initiative.”
The time saved is also enormous. “By using Tableau, we have been able to accelerate processes considerably,” explains Christian Novosel. “This allows us to automate and standardize most of the standard reporting. I would say that we now have about 30% more time to dig deeper and carry out analyses that are more specific. In this way, Tableau helps us to analyze the exponentially growing volumes of data and to keep pace with the changes in our industry.”
Heiko Merten adds: “We have now reached a 60:40 ratio of the former 80:20 ratio between data preparation and data analysis. We are on the right track. But my goal is definitely to turn the original relationship completely upside down someday.”
In addition, Tableau has introduced uniform standards and key performance indicators throughout the Group. Heiko Merten reports: “Now everyone knows that we're talking about the same thing and the same numbers based on the same 'single source of truth'. This has greatly improved our cooperation across various departments and companies within the group.”
More autonomy for specialist departments through self-service reporting
“For us, self-service means that we are becoming more efficient in our day-to-day business,” explains Fabian Schmick. “And we can see and understand our data without having to involve the IT department, for example. We want to be able to derive information and interesting insights from it that we were not able to recognize before in order to develop new ideas for our business.”
After the proof of concept, Tableau adoption in the company grew rapidly, starting in the sales department and moving across other departments. Within twelve months, Lufthansa evolved from a handful of users to approximately 80 Tableau Desktop users. Today, there are around 500 people who consume Tableau reports and analyses via Tableau Server.
Lufthansa benefits from the new solution in the form of greater independence and faster results, especially in the specialist departments. Heiko Merten explains: “Now we are in a much stronger position than before to create and design our own analyses independently. This is well received by the specialist department. And I think that both sides-the IT and specialist departments—benefit from this. A lot of people have now understood the central importance of data for the success of a company like Lufthansa.”
By using Tableau, we were able to accelerate the processes considerably. This allows us to automate and standardize most of the standard reporting. I would say that we now have about 30% more time to dig deeper and carry out analyses that are more specific. In this way, Tableau helps us to evaluate the exponentially growing volumes of data and to keep pace with the changes in our industry.
Analytics create competitive advantages
Christian Novosel believes that this new rapid decision making will differentiate Lufthansa from the competition: “I firmly believe that this is a decisive competitive advantage for any company and distinguishes successful companies from the others. The provision of these opportunities up to the board level makes the right information available to top decision-makers at the right time throughout their day-to-day business, thus bringing decisive advantages.”
Fabian Schmick has also personally benefited from the new solution: “Tableau supports me in communicating my messages better. With the help of this interactive platform, I am in a position to answer more questions directly in discussions with management than before. This is a big advantage of Tableau for my daily work in the strategy department.”