Wednesday, 24 March 2021 00:08

Building business intelligence from the cloud up

Paul Leahy, country manager ANZ at Qlik Paul Leahy, country manager ANZ at Qlik

GUEST OPINION by Paul Leahy, country manager ANZ at Qlik: Introducing data into new areas (or all areas) of an organisation can be challenging, but it’s important business leaders don’t adopt a one-size-fits-all approach in striving to do so. Dealing with different learning styles, potential employee resistance and unique workflows will all pose different sets of challenges that require a different approach.

Here’s how DocuSign, the leader in electronic signature and agreement cloud, made it happen.

Tear down the silos

Before embarking on this journey to improve the organisation’s business intelligence (BI), DocuSign’s data analysis and visualisation structure was decentralised, which meant silos existed within the business. Ultimately, it meant employees weren’t operating at optimum efficiency, as colleagues would have potentially worked on complementary projects, but there was no way of knowing—and so they were effectively, “reinventing the wheel”. 

As such, DocuSign turned to Qlik for support.

Show value to users

With Qlik, the organisation built dashboards for salespeople on the platform they were already using most frequently, and tailored the dashboards to their needs. This ensured the team would see direct value and benefits. The dashboards provided a central source for the sales team to turn to when in need of actionable insights, including what products/services customers were interacting with most.

This was met with great praise and was a huge success.

Following the success with the sales team, the organisation worked with each department to continue the momentum and worked to make the various teams self-sufficient—that is to say, empowered them to build their own dashboards and utilise data in the way that suited them. By ensuring the entire business was data literate, it meant the people closest to the data understood what it meant and were able to draw out actionable insights (rather than a data analyst analysing it and feeding their insights back to the team).

Snowflake and Qlik work better together

Recently, DocuSign moved its data warehouse over to Snowflake and has continued to achieve great success. Snowflake’s infrastructure is not only scalable, but also removes indexing needs from organisations.

Qlik and Snowflake integrate seamlessly. The data is loaded in, allowing users to interact through their dashboards. In fact, approximately 95 per cent of the data DocuSign serves users, comes from Snowflake. 

One of the most important aspects of the partnership between Qlik and Snowflake is the speed at which the solutions can work. Data utilisation is all about speed and the ability to make decisions based on up-to-date and relevant information—Qlik and Snowflake enable this at speeds that older technologies cannot compete with.

Continuing engagement across the business

Today, 80 per cent of DocuSign’s 4,000 employees use Qlik every month. And that’s only possible because of the strategic approach the organisation took, rather than a one-size-fits-all approach. That approach is still used today with the sales team continuing to use the same originally-developed dashboards, constantly.

The key to ensuring BI adoption across the business is understanding what people need, building a solution tailored to them and placing the solution at a place where they would use it the most. From there, it’s all about developing users’ skills to make them self-sufficient to drive value in all aspects of the organisation. That is how organisations can really benefit from data and not be left behind in the post-COVID future.

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