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Title: IT Service Department, IT Management and Control division; Senior Engineer, Engineering ICT Team; Senior Engineer
Company: Toyo Engineering Corporation
Overview of Use Case
Toyo Engineering Corporation is a Japanese engineering, procurement, and construction company serving mainly the hydrocarbons and petrochemical sectors worldwide. Their 3D database is huge, and each construction project they operate has tens of thousands of tables in the database, each table with tens of thousands or millions of records stored. Their engineers were overloaded and spending a lot of time to extract data and process it on Excel and Access. They started using Alteryx to mitigate the problem, and they quantified that Alteryx is 10 to 30 times more efficient than Excel and 5 to 10 times more than Access.
Describe the business challenge or problem you needed to solve
"The nature of industrial plants differs in terms of conditions and situations in each phase of design, procurement, and construction work. So it is necessary to make an individual plan for each project and to manage it over a long period of time. We need to hire local engineers and workers at overseas bases and support them properly. Our project management ability is one of our strengths," said Mr. Shuntaro Saito of IT Service Department, IT Management and Control Division.
However, no matter how strong the company’s management power is, there is a limit to human resources. Therefore, Toyo Engineering promotes digital transformation that enables IT staff to concentrate on core activities. Especially on business efficiency, they are carrying out various initiatives with the goal of reducing 30% of non-core activities from 2018 to 2020.
Toyo Engineering handles a huge amount of data on each plant construction project and manages every part and personnel very close. Until now, they have performed such detailed management using Excel and Access. Many employees, from head office management personnel to on-site engineers, use Excel, but it was not very efficient.
Mr. Daisuke Tsuchiya, Senior Engineer of Engineering ICT Team, DX Engineering Department, Engineering & Technology Unit, is one of the staff members who struggled with their work using Excel and Access. DX Engineering Department handles 3D data related to plant construction and sometimes produces reports based on the data depending on the project request.
"We have millions of parts of plants and every part is digitized in 3D CAD. One project has tens of thousands of tables in its 3D database, and each table has tens of thousands or millions of records stored. In order to extract data for each project, we had to combine dozens of tables with SQL and output to a CSV file, and then processed with Excel and Access. Although there are hundreds of types of SQL created so far, it took a long time just for extracting data and the subsequent processing, and we were feeling so overloaded," Mr. Tsuchiya said.
Describe your working solution
Among the company-wide digital transformation initiatives, Toyo Engineering is focusing on Alteryx in order to reduce their workload. While collecting information on BI tools that was beginning to appear on the market, they found Alteryx and thought it could solve existing challenges. They then consulted with Classmethod as a company actively dealing with Alteryx in Japan and started its trial centering on the DX Engineering Department.
Mr. Tsuchiya soon realized the benefits of Alteryx. In the past, when extracting necessary data from a 3D database, it was necessary to create SQL for each report type, but with Alteryx, complicated conditional processing can be easily performed. As a result, they could not only significantly reduce the number of SQL types but also managed to create multiple reports with different purposes at the same time. The process that used to take long hours using SQL and Excel can now be completed in less than a minute.
Describe the benefits you have achieved
"Alteryx is very easy to use once you learn how to create a workflow, and it is a tool to replace Excel and use on a daily basis. We estimate it is 10 to 30 times more efficient than Excel and 5 to 10 times than Access. In the past, there were cases where the data was too large for Excel, but I believe that Alteryx will make the impossible happen," said Mr. Tsuchiya.
“Alteryx can work with various formats and handle huge amount of data quickly. The workload can be reduced to a fraction. It is also easy to understand the connection and flow of data, and I expect that it will help us reduce mistakes and control individual efforts," said Mr. Yasuaki Shinozaki, Senior Engineer of Construction Engineering Department, Construction Division.