The ability to collect and analyse data is at an all-time high and yet organisations are only able to reap true benefits if they can translate this into strategic, actionable insights.
This was the aim of a recent virtual event organised by Keyrus for its most valued customers and prospects. It demonstrated how leading data and business intelligence consultancy, Keyrus, through their close partnership with Tableau, helps organisations gain competitive advantage through data. The recording of this event can be watched on-demand here.
To reward participants for their time and commitment and to cement the key information relayed during the webinar, the event concluded with a live, interactive quiz. The quickest to answer most questions correctly was Jason Du Randt, BI Solution Manager at Mr Price Group, who walked away with the prize of a two-night stay for two at the 5-star Umzolozolo Private Safari Lodge in Nambiti Private Game Reserve.
Here, Du Randt shares his views on the value of BI for organisations like Mr Price, noting that, in this age, it is absolutely essential to collect data but even more important is to use it effectively to the organisations’ full advantage.
“Organisations are using data to differentiate themselves,” he points out. “However, the fact that there is so much data available presents challenges as well as opportunities. It is key that businesses recognise the difference between ‘nice-to-know’ data, and that which actually drives action, or can be linked to business processes to dramatically improve them.”
Du Randt notes that the difference between the two is vast. Key data is that which leads organisations to make changes to the business, clarifies what drives performance or can be used for prediction.
“As an example, using data on customers to forecast sales or gain insight on why some items will sell more than others, is far more valuable than simply tracking changes in customer contribution.”
Du Randt has worked with the Tableau BI platform for three years and describes it as ‘amazing at unlocking data’. It can take any kind of data from almost any system, and turn it into actionable insights with speed and ease.
“When I moved over from Excel I was suddenly able to connect directly to databases and draw information out much quicker,” he notes. “Excel users will find it really easy to use as it is a no-code environment — you don’t need to know SQL.”
Du Randt has the following advice for organisations embarking on their own BI journey:
You need to truly understand the technical aspects of what is going on behind the scenes, and how the data is generated.
Data preparation is key. We are fortunate to have data warehouse developers on our team, however, Tableau Prep Builder, which makes it easier and faster to shape and clean data for analysis, is ideal for organisations without in-house data warehouse developers.
Be patient. We needed to upgrade our data warehouse before we could realise our reporting ambitions.
The structure of the data warehouse is vital. Ours is structured to democratise data and let people access what they need.
Decide how dashboards should be made available. Mr Price uses Tableau Server to distribute reports, thus extending the value of our data across the entire organisation.
Du Randt finds the Keyrus team supportive and engaging and has “thoroughly enjoyed working with Craig Andrew and his team.”
And what of Du Randt’s 5-star prize?
“The experience at Umzolozolo was wonderful,” he says. “It was our first wedding anniversary and we were lucky enough to stay in the presidential suite — complete with an outdoor hot tub. Everything, including the game drives, staff and food was fantastic, and the setting was beautiful.”
Keyrus is considered a leader in advisory and implementation of business intelligence technology. “What differentiates us from our competitors is our drive to transfer skills through business-wide enablement. Most recently we implemented our Explorer Tableau training course at Mr Price aiming for their Tableau users to be able to extract relevant information for fast, competent data-driven businesses decisions,” says Craig Andrew, Head of Data Analytics at Keyrus.
Feedback from the initial session, involving 50 delegates, was overwhelmingly positive. “We have had great feedback; the users love it!” comments Jason Du Randt at Mr. Price Group.