Wolseley Canada

Wolseley Canada overcomes limitations of static reporting with Tableau Online


Rapidly launched scalable, cloud-hosted analytics to replace static, traditional reporting

Provided the enterprise with instant insight into business performance with live dashboards

Implemented Tableau Blueprint methodology to gain executive buy-in and widespread adoption

Wolseley Canada is the country’s leading national distributor of plumbing, HVAC/R, and PVF products, employing more than 2,400 people at 220 locations across Canada and serving residential, commercial, and industrial trade customers. Wolseley Canada is subsidiary of the multinational Ferguson plc (FERG) that has revenues of roughly $20B. In recent years, the Wolseley Canada data team has proven its ability to predict revenue trends tied to indicators in the Canadian housing market. Building on that analytics success, the team began creating reports to advise the various business groups on expected changes in market performance.

At first, the reports were static and had limited value because of the lag time required to create them manually. The reports also lacked the ability to maneuver within the data to drill down and discover additional insights. “You really couldn't sort or do anything with them,” said Danylo Pawluk, Director of Enterprise Data & Analytics. “There were no charts, no graphs, not even color-coding—just a strict, tabular PDF report.” 

To modernize, Wolseley Canada tried leveraging its legacy performance management and BI solution. However, product limitations around data connectivity and ease of creating visualizations eventually led them to Tableau Online. Danylo's team followed a traditional RFP process where they evaluated several products. In a game-changing moment during a presentation to executives, they used Tableau Online to answer questions in real-time, even providing executives with tablet devices in the meeting so they could view and play with the visualizations in the dashboard. Danylo credits the dynamic and interactive nature of Tableau’s visualizations as a breakthrough in achieving executive buy-in to replace Wolseley Canada's legacy system with Tableau Online.

Cost was a big factor when we were choosing our new analytics platform. Tableau’s different licensing roles - Viewer, Creator, Explorer - allowed us to save money by providing each user with the specific capabilities they need.

Following the methodology of Tableau Blueprint, Wolseley Canada promoted the adoption of Tableau Online by creating interest and excitement within teams across the organization. They allocated licenses efficiently by assigning one of the flexible role options that Tableau offers (Viewer, Creator, or Explorer) to match each user's needs. Currently, Wolseley Canada is using Data Catalog, part of Tableau Data Management, to create contextual descriptions and alerts that further streamline data analytics and operations.

The transformation to Tableau Online has led to greater agility and coordination across Wolseley Canada's business groups, enabled by data sharing. Sales reps can see at a glance how their portfolio is performing, with data pulled and blended dynamically from multiple sources, and because Tableau Online is hosted in the cloud, Wolseley Canada achieved these successes without having to build and support new data center assets. Tableau takes care of software upgrades, plus server management and maintenance. “Our people have greater visibility into the business than we had before,” Danylo summed up. “Tableau Online has provided us with better analytics capabilities, and we can put them directly into the hands of non-technical users. Data at our fingertips helps everyone discover new insights so they can make data-driven business decisions and achieve more in their roles.”

Tableau's commitment to evolving its platform has really driven our passion and enthusiasm to integrate analytics across the business. It is now the centerpiece of our enterprise analytics engine and allows us to produce actionable insights at an unbelievable pace.