Ian Crabtree, Oldcastle’s CFO of Masonry & Hardscapes, once appropriately equated the size of the company’s monthly report as “the size of a paver you’d put in your backyard.”
When Ian first hired Paul Lisborg, Manager of Business Intelligence at Oldcastle, he tasked his new employee to replace the 45-page PDF that arrived in people’s inboxes every morning. It showed the most recent sales numbers by divisions, by business line, and by facility. But due to the static nature of PDFs, numbers were often outdated soon after publishing.
With Tableau, Paul created a dashboard that provides a digestible overview of Oldcastle’s 206 distinct manufacturing facilities and allows employees to ask follow-up questions. The dashboard is refreshed every night so the data stays fresh. It also has row-level security, meaning teams only see data they have permission to view.
Once people realized they could ask their own questions of the data, the response was almost immediate.
“We started getting phone calls: ‘Can you add this filter?’ ‘I want to see the data in this fashion,” says Paul.
It was clear people wanted to see the data in their own ways. So Paul, with the help of several analysts, created a library of templates containing vetted data. Using web authoring, people can use these vizzes as a starting point for their own analysis and share their findings.
“We can give them a data set with predefined measures and dimensions, and they can build their own intelligence through the web-authoring tool. And it’s one single source of truth,” says Paul. “Whether a gentleman builds it in San Diego or a lady builds the same information in Chicago, they'll be getting the same answer, but at the same time, they can manipulate the data to their specific needs.”