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Jaguar Land Rover turns to Tableau to give staff analytics dashboards that "just work"

Scott Carey | March 23, 2017
The company is looking to promote more self-service analytics through the Tableau analytics dashboards.

jaguar land rover 800
Credit: Jaguar Land Rover

Jaguar Land Rover has more than doubled its use of the data visualisation tool Tableau from just 200 unique users six months ago to 536 a week today, as it seeks to democratise analytics across all departments within the business.

Speaking at the Gartner Data and Analytics Summit in London yesterday, Clive Benford, senior analytics programme manager at Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) explained how the adoption of Tableau has made analytics "so easy that the conversations people have aren't about the tool".

The company is looking to promote more self-service analytics through the creation and consumption of Tableau analytics dashboards. This is important for an organisation which has grown from producing 200,000 cars a year from the West Midlands in 2008 to producing 600,000 vehicles a year from five countries and employing 45,000 people today.

Benford said that Tableau adoption started from the top with CEO Dr Ralf Speth.

"We had a couple of teams using Tableau who were improving reporting in their area," Benford said. "There was one demonstration in a meeting with the CEO and he insisted that all board reporting had to happen in Tableau. Nine months later we have touch screens in our boardroom and seven of ten business areas have their board reporting in Tableau."

According to Benford, the beauty of Tableau is how the visualisations help "close the gap between the analyst and the end user [so that] analytics energy is focused on what analytics to do, not how," he said.


Case study: selling customised options

Benford gave the example of looking into how well JLR dealers were selling customisation options for its models, which could be anything from a panoramic roof to a hub cap or a heads up display.

"The data preparation is simple, we get the historical sales," he explained. "The analytics is fairly simple as well, we draw a graph for each of our models to see what the average options revenue is.

"We can drill down and look beneath that to see all of the derivatives of that one model and what stood out is the huge amount of variance there, so no one could tell me that it was an optimised performance."

Subsequently JLR developed a Tableau dashboard with single sign-on for dealers where they could see their key performance indicators (KPIs) benchmarked against other local dealerships.

Getting this up and running required bringing in the dealer relations team as well as training dealers to use the dashboard.

Going further, Benford expects this specific dashboard will be of value across the wider business. He said: "Marketing are going to want to look at this for obvious reasons, product design for how they will want to design products in the future, sales for predicting future sales, purchasing for supply chain, and learning and development to understand if the training courses are having the desired affect."


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