Bentley Motors uses Tableau self-service analytics to drive transformational change as it looks to a sustainable future
Over 50% of office workforce now self-serving their own analytics needs
Unified data approach ensures exceptional customer experiences
Powerful data culture established at all levels of the business
Bentley is one of the most recognisable luxury car brands in the world, offering unrivalled levels of craftmanship and detailing in every vehicle it produces. The company sells around 15,000 cars a year globally, each one designed and built to the individual customer’s exact specifications, meaning no two Bentley cars are ever the same.
Following the celebration of its centenary year in 2019, Bentley recently unveiled a brand new transformation strategy – Bentley100 – which will serve as its blueprint for success over the next 100 years and beyond. At the centre of this strategy is effective digital transformation and self-service data analytics, using powerful tools like Tableau to empower employees, drive efficiencies and enable faster, more informed decision making at every level of the company.
Effective transformations are always people-led and as the market leader in data visualisation, we knew Tableau would be perfect for encouraging our people to better connect with data in powerful yet intuitive ways.
A new data driven approach helps meet key business challenges
Bentley originally built its reputation in long distance endurance racing during the 20th century and is now most widely known for its bespoke luxury cars of exceptional quality. However, with the automotive industry currently going through unprecedented change, Bentley recognised the need to transform in order to face current disruptors and ensure its long-term success.
“We knew we couldn’t rest on our laurels,” says Andy Moore, Chief Data Officer at Bentley Motors. “In order to maintain and build on our hard earned market position, we had to meet new market challenges head on, which required fundamental changes to our business approach.”
Part of this involved a commitment to switch to an all-electric portfolio of vehicles by 2030, backed by $3 billion of investment. The other core component was implementing effective digital transformation throughout the company to streamline operations, improve customer service, and cement Bentley’s position as a global automotive leader.
“Bentley100 is our transformation strategy to take us into our next century,” says Andy “Every aspect of it is underpinned by data. How we use data, how we communicate with data, and how we take actions based on that data, is all key to our future.”
Andy and his team knew a people-led approach was needed for success and quickly identified Tableau as the ideal solution to help them achieve their goals.
“Effective transformations are always people-led and as the market leader in data visualisation, we knew Tableau would be perfect for encouraging our people to better connect with data in powerful yet intuitive ways,” says Andy. “Focussing on data literacy at the early stages helped everyone understand the benefits that a more self-service led approach to data analytics could bring. So many people are immersed in data every day, whether it be how we build cars, plan for the future, or interact with customers. Bringing it all together in Tableau means everyone can make better, more informed decisions, which is a huge benefit to the company.”
A great example is the way data is used on the workshop floor.
“Manufacturing is a very process driven function, with loads of data captured at every stage. We wanted to move past simply viewing it and instead empower employees to engage with it properly,” explains Andy. “Tableau’s drillable dashboards were key here. Not only are they very visual, making it easy to see if KPIs are trending up or down, but having everything in one place means that should an issue arise, it’s very easy to go deeper into the data and quickly identify the underlying factors. If a KPI is red, why is it red? Using Tableau, we can fix problems and celebrate successes much faster. No more flicking through dozens of PDFs!”
Delivering extraordinary customer journeys
Truly exceptional customer experiences are one of Bentley’s key hallmarks and the company knew that a more data driven approach had the potential to make it even more impressive than it already was.
“To deliver extraordinary customer journeys, we wanted to bring together everything we know about each individual customer in one place,” says Andy. “Connecting all our customer data sources in Salesforce and visualising them together in Tableau gives us a true understanding of every customer touch point, be it visits to the website, engagement on our mobile app, a visit to a retailer, or attendance at a Bentley event. We’re no longer meeting them for the first time every time.”
“Now, if a customer books onto a factory tour, we can look in Tableau and see if they are a prospect or a repeat customer, as well as exactly where they are in the order cycle. Using this information, tour guides can tailor factory experiences down to every minute detail,” adds Andy. “This is just one example of how we can use data to hyper personalise each customer’s journey, turning them into brand advocates in the process.”
Combining data in this way also helps Bentley to spot emerging customer trends early and see regional variances, all of which can be used to tailor future sales and marketing activity more accurately.
“Using Tableau, we can quickly see what colours and optional features are selling well, what’s becoming more popular, or what’s perhaps declining in popularity,” says Andy. “This level of information helps retailers personalise offerings and focus/re-focus their efforts much faster than was previously possible.”
Connecting all our customer data sources in Salesforce and visualising them together in Tableau gives us a true understanding of every customer touch point, be it visits to the website, engagement on our mobile app, a visit to a retailer, or attendance at a Bentley event. We’re no longer meeting them for the first time every time.
Building a powerful data culture at every level of the business
At the beginning of Bentley’s data journey, Andy knew buy-in at the senior level would be crucial to overall success. Fortunately, Bentley has a highly engaged board that already knew the value of good data, which made it easy to find champions at the highest levels.
“Our sales and marketing board member requested a Tableau dashboard very early on,” explains Andy. “He also has Tableau Mobile on his iPad, giving him access to his dashboard and letting him drill down into the data whenever required, from any location. That kind of advocacy quickly builds momentum because other execs want those same benefits!”
At the other end, Andy and his team spent time identifying existing data champions throughout the company and helping them migrate over to Tableau. This dual pronged approach quickly started to build a powerful data culture at every level of the company.
“Using Tableau’s extensive functionality, we can automate manual data processes like reporting, saving employees hours, or even days of time each week,” says Andy. “We also help people across the business create dashboards and teach them how to use the information uncovered to drive their decision making. The result is very organic growth, both from the top down and the bottom up.”
Bentley currently has around 100 Tableau creators and over 700 Tableau viewers, which accounts for more than 50 percent of its total office workforce. Looking to the future, Andy is also creating a ‘future digital talent’ team by upskilling existing staff as well as recruiting new talent to the business.
“Within just a few years, many of our data apprentices are presenting directly to the board and conversing with them about data on a regular basis,” says Andy. “Their focus on data means they can talk just as easily to the tech and shop floor guys as they can with the executives, which is incredibly powerful for them as individuals, but also for the company as a whole.”