AmeriPride uses the Tableau platform on top of HP Vertica and Informatica to put the power of data into the hands of the business. Chief Information Officer, Steven John explains how AmeriPride uses data to enhance employees' judgment and experience while keeping IT focused on the security and governance that an enterprise company needs.
In video 1, Steven shares how AmeriPride “balances freedom and order.” IT manages data standards, definitions, and access—giving employees the freedom to drive their own analyses.
In video 2, Steven describes why he chose Tableau, citing the “clear roadmap for the future”—one that offers the flexibility to evolve with the company.
Tableau: Why is data important to you?
Steven John, Chief Information Officer: You hire leaders for their judgment. And you hire people for their experience. And you just add that enhancing capability of good data and good tools to look and view that data. That makes people make fantastic decisions, and make the right pivots at the right time, and to understand where things are going.
You hope to give them the capability to do their job better, and that frees you up to go and fix some other area that is broken or in need of help. And that's that great balancing order and freedom that we've had with Tableau, is you need to have some controls, especially around definitions and those type of things.
Tableau: How does IT empower the business?
Steven: We've created office hours down in our information team where the business folks can come down. As power users, they can develop their own tools and capabilities within Tableau, but they can come down to work with us to refine it, to maybe learn some new things or new tricks.
But the idea is the businesses are creating it. The businesses are driving it. Tableau is a window, a very sophisticated window but it's a window into their business. And we let them run with that. IT isn't driving that. We are providing a fantastic set of tools, and we are providing any level of help they need.
Steven: But it's also a tool where you can give them that freedom and they create things you can never even imagine as an IT department. We just can't create those things in an ivory tower. Them in the trenches do a much better job of that than us in our trenches.
Tableau: How do you manage data governance?
Steven: We’ve formed a data governance board that's run by the business, and we support it that's making all those decisions. We wanted to get to one truth in the sense of one definition or one place where someone could go and see how something was calculated or defined.
We actually leverage the data governance council to enforce the data standards to continue to adopt or adjust data definitions or who has access to what data over time, because that will shift, what roles have it, what roles don't, and that's been very successful.
Our job is to give them the freedom to govern themselves and at the same time, behind the curtain, making sure that there's order and that it’s maintained.
As an IT team, we balanced freedom and order. The business is now using their time more efficiently, and they're now taking Tableau and doing the things that only they can do, which is making more money, bringing us closer to our customers. They can now look at all these statistics, these metrics, and they can do their job better.
"A clear roadmap for the future"
Tableau: What challenges were you facing before Tableau?
Steven: We've got over 125 locations in North America, plants, and service centers. We've got a fleet of trucks that drive over 350 million miles a year.
We did not have a foundation of clear and clean data and a way to present it where we could actually build upon it and build up our customer experience.
Tableau: Why did you choose Tableau over other business intelligence tools?
Steven: What I was looking for was a partner that was established, because this was a move that I could not make a mistake on. This was my first big project at the company, being new, and in my opinion it was foundationally necessary for where they wanted to go and how they wanted to grow.
The reason we went with Tableau is because it’s solid today and it has a clear roadmap for the future. And that roadmap aligns with where I want to go, and it doesn't force me down that path or require me to move at a certain pace, but it helps me move at the pace that I need to and want to.
I need a solid foundation upon which to build, and a clear roadmap into the future, and that's what Tableau provides.
我们之所以选择与 Tableau 合作，是因为 Tableau 实力雄厚并设有清晰的未来发展蓝图。这份蓝图与我的目标不谋而合...它帮助我按我所需、所想的速度向前发展。
Steven：在规划未来时，我们当初并不仅仅引入了 Tableau。为了进行可视化分析，我们实际上重建了整个信息堆栈，其中包括 Informatica、HP Vertica 和 Tableau。
通过结合来自货车的财务和供应链等指标，我们发现与客户相距半英里以内时可获得最大利润。我们之前并没有意识到这一点。将这些不同的数据源汇聚在 Tableau 仪表板中时，我们才发现这一结果。