Consultancy, h&z enhances analysis and operations with Tableau

A growing number of consulting firms use analytics tools to improve efficiency and achieve deeper insights. Among them is management consultancy h&z, specializing in business excellence, procurement, production, sales, and service. Due to their integrated approach comprising subject-matter expertise, professional project management, and transformation competency, speed and agility are increasingly important. Since May 2016, h&z uses Tableau to present data and insights to their customers in an interactive format. With Tableau, h&z can display large data volumes in a meaningful way. This is especially valuable when analyzing production and sales data along an entire supply chain.

As experts in process management, h&z consultants manage large volumes of data for their customers—including supply chain, production, and sales data. Since every customer has its own data infrastructure, h&z required an analytics solution that could interface with a large variety of databases. h&z also needed to present data to their customers in an interactive manner. This would also allow consultants to answer questions at a moment’s notice—in meetings or on a call. Consultants needed a business analytics solution that delivered more efficiency and flexibility. For example, the ability to answer ad-hoc questions, which would take two weeks using Excel spreadsheets.

With its numerous connectors, Tableau allows ad-hoc connections to decentralized databases and files.

To help lighten their workload and stay competitive, h&z realized that they needed to adopt a business intelligence solution. The company evaluated Tableau, Birst, and Qlik. According to Ulrich Bombka, Principal at h&z, the main reason Tableau came out on top was its ease of use: “It is the perfect tool for a decentralized self-service BI solution.” After successfully working with the free trial version for 14 days, h&z provided a number of consultants and analysts with Tableau Desktop licenses. Ulrich explains, “After a single introduction to using Tableau Desktop for all employees, our consultants and analysts were able to work with the software and create data visualizations.” To increase their Tableau skills, employees use several training methods. Ulrich says, “Whenever they have a question, they find their answers in the free Tableau training videos. And we are planning training sessions with Tableau Trainers, where analysts and consultants who frequently use Tableau will learn how to better use all its features and capabilities.”

After a single introduction to using Tableau Desktop for all employees, our consultants and analysts were able to work with the software and create data visualizations.

With Tableau, h&z consultants can connect to several types of databases, depending on the client, says Bombka: “You can even visualize data from SAP Business Warehouse or CRM systems with very little training.” “With Tableau we can connect to de-centralized databases and data files on-demand. That makes us faster and more flexible, which really is a decisive factor for the process oriented consulting we do at h&z.” Where Tableau continues to shine is in customer presentations, where h&z consultants display large data volumes in interactive dashboards. “Within seconds we can drill down and filter by region, line of business, departments or time periods. It frees us from PDFs and PowerPoint and allows us to answer spontaneous questions on the spot,”he sums up.