Starting with the business drivers, Sysco’s analytics charter was informed by the goals of its three-year operating plan: Unlock savings, drive top line growth and market share, enabled by quick actionable insights. Navin Advani, Vice President of Enterprise Information Management, highlighted that Sysco’s current state of analytics infrastructure was not fit to deliver that plan. It was plagued by the lack of abilities to analyze large volumes, reporting inconsistencies, long lead times, creeping cost of ownership and scalability, along with stability issues. Navin and team needed an enterprise view of its customers, products, and suppliers that would deliver more intuitive information to internal and external customers through a self-service reporting model, which in turn would ultimately enable revenue growth and operational efficiencies with better data management and better decisions.
Tableau on AWS provides a next-generation architecture that fosters innovation and reduces costs. The solution has changed our BI consumption patterns, moving from hindsight to insight-driven reporting.
After Sysco undertook an enterprise-wide transformation exercise, their data and analytics processes morphed and matured. In certain business functions, there has been a shift from consuming hindsight information using row and column-based flat reports to ad-hoc data analysis for deriving insights to support better decisions-and even developing some predictive analytics. This has provided a launch pad to further develop Sysco’s analytics capabilities, driving them to a data-driven culture, and serving as a catalyst for the business intelligence roadmap.
With Tableau on AWS, Sysco implemented a “Sysco Ecosystem for Enterprise Data” also known as “SEED.” Navin expressed the vision behind SEED–to scale with evolving business needs and provide a foundation for data governance and data security. SEED was cloud native, meaning that Sysco could move from “build first and see later” to a more agile and “continuous improvement” approach towards analyzing business data. Using this approach, they set up the ability to quickly stand up sandbox environments for experimentation. “SEED” was also developed with broad and deep functionality to support a range of use cases across multiple functions including marketing (Churn Analysis, Share of Wallet, ML for future promotions etc.), merchandising (Assortment optimization, Market Basket, Lotting using decision trees etc.) and revenue management (Predictive pricing simulations, Pass thru predictive pricing, Margins review etc.).
The agility, governance, cost leverage and discipline that SEED has brought to how data is mined and used at Sysco has delivered amazing results. People feel empowered to use data in their day-to-day work and Tableau usage has exploded from 64 to 12,713 (roughly a 20x increase) in three years.