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2017 Excellence Awards Winner: Alteryx Server Saves Over 2,000 Hours on Manual Finance Work
Author: Joseph Majewski - Commercial Finance Director
Team Members: Niki Yang, Larry Scates, Dan Trimble, Richard Haas, Wendy Edsall
Company: Honeywell Aerospace
Business Partner:Sherri Benzelock - VP Business Analytics
Use Case Overview:
Alteryx has automated previous manual processes driving over 2000 hrs annual productivity to the Finance community. Alteryx server consolidates quarterly outlook commentary data from over 40 sources every 30 mins daily and publishes to Tableau server as a *.tde data source. Alteryx also loads extracted Essbase files to Tableau server nightly which are joined together for enhanced Tableau analytics providing insight to our quarterly forecast.
Alteryx helped drive over 2000 annual hours of productivity and enabled over 250 users to migrate to Tableau based self- service analytics. Consumers are now better prepared for weekly Revenue outlook meetings as they have access to the data almost real-time versus waiting for Finance to prepare reports for the weekly forecast meetings. The new analytics developed in Tableau are now being referenced live in weekly meetings with business Presidents.
Describe the problem you needed to solve:
Significant manual effort was being done to compile business comments and associate them with the financial data on a management review dashboard in PowerPoint. Meetings were ineffective because only limited static views could be generated. The data presented was information overload and difficult to digest. There was no dynamic selection views so questions typically needed to be captured then answered and communicated after the meeting. Historical versions were saved in separate data sources and were not readily available for the reviews.
Alteryx flow to update the Comments which publishes the comments data source to both our Aero-Development and our Aero Certified-Production sites
Describe the working solution:
Under the new Alteryx solution, the compilation of weekly commentary files has been automated. Every week over 40 comment files are saved to a shared drive in *.csv format. Since submissions occur from all global regions, files are submitted at different times each week and are now consolidated more frequently (every 30 mins) allowing users across the globe to access the most updated information. The process also manages current week and historical weeks’ comments. We are also using Alteryx to cleanse the data removing all the error values and to correct business team data mapping issues. Alteryx also loads extracted Essbase files to Tableau server nightly which are joined together for enhanced Tableau analytics providing insight to our quarterly forecast.
Alteryx flow that brings in the new Essbase data (“SRO_Extract_Current.txt” and updates/appends/replaces the scenarios in the “SRO_Extract_History.txt” Data source file used by Tableau
Describe the benefits you have achieved:
Utilizing Alteryx has resulted in initial savings of 2000+ hours per year by cleansing, compiling, and blending business commentary with financial data. Analysts are no longer manually compiling, copying, and pasting comments onto quarterly outlook presentations. Weekly review meetings became more effective as over 250 business leaders and analysts are better informed prior to as opposed to seeing the data in the meeting for the first time. This is allowing more efficient business meetings helping HON achieve its revenue growth targets.
The Alteryx dataset allows Honeywell Aerospace to slice and dice all information dynamically using Tableau which was not possible before. Questions are easily answered in the meetings because the data with variance, opportunity, and risk commentary is available prior to the meeting. Ad hoc questions are now researched live in meetings through our enhanced visualizations. Tableau’s dynamic reporting eliminated the need for Excel and PowerPoint reports thus reducing meeting preparation times as well. Business teams are now able to focus more on analytics than the data/presentation preparation. The solution we developed are making our business processes more contemporary, enabling business users quicker access in a format that is easier to consume on desktop and mobile devices ensuring they have the necessary information to make the right business decision.
Visual of Tableau Analytic with associated comments