Embedded Data Analytics is swiftly changing the way that product managers understand, engage with, and even monetise their data. While before data analytics lived in spreadsheets governed by technical gurus, platforms like Tableau now allow for nearly anyone in a company to discover critical insights in moments with low-touch, easy to understand and integrate interfaces. With embedded data analytics, the opportunities to accelerate multiply exponentially.

In this final webinar of Tableau’s Embedded Data Analytics Series, it’s all about Accelerating Insights at Grindrod. Before diving in, take a moment to review how you can Turn Your Data Into Products with Experian, methods for Data Monetisation with ICIS, and how embedded data analytics can aid the decision to Build Vs. Buy with Carrefour

This final panel is led by Keyrus Sales Director, Stephen Coull, and features a stellar panel of experts including Grindrod Terminal, Data & Analytics Manager, Bronwyn Burdis, Keyrus Senior Consultant, Craig Andrew, and Tableau’s own EMEA Field CTO, Francois Zimmerman.

Let’s dive into the discussion and learn how embedded data analytics can turn knowledge into action.

A use case for modern logistics

Business verticals may vary, but core objectives across industries can hold striking similarities. Right off the bat, Stephen Coull states exactly why data is such an important factor for businesses today.

“Every business today is a data company. Whether you’re in logistics, retail, or financial services, we all are data companies. It’s our purpose to assist organisations in making sense of their data, and turn it into insights to help them become more competitive, drive down costs, optimise, and provide a better customer experience.”

The star of this particular webinar is Grindrod, South African’s largest mineral freight logistics company. When Keyrus, a Tableau Gold Partner, began their partnership with Grindrod, the major challenge was the tracking of cargo while contending with a manual, legacy data system that limited reporting capabilities. 18 months after implementing an embedded data analytics solution, however, the results spoke for themselves.

“Grindrod now has a modern cloud architecture that is front and center with Tableau, and it’s scalable and supports growth, really exceeding a lot of the expectations around features and capabilities. Some of the key areas have been increased visibility into shipments, having a single version of the truth, and automated reporting of engineering data, which enables better execution and decision making.”

On moving beyond data silos

“It’s not easy to get a company to a point where everyone is using data effectively”, states Tableau EMEA Field CTO Francois Zimmerman. Astoundingly, most companies have less than 15% of people using data every day, meaning most decisions are made based on what has worked in the past. Recognising the difficulties that come with such a transition, Francois shares data points that express the value that comes to companies that put a focus on becoming data-driven.

“After any crisis, such as Covid, what has worked in the past is no longer good enough. We need to help people to move away from making decisions based on bias and what has worked in the past, and help people to make decisions based on data.”

Combining an eye for detail with macro business goals is a familiar practice for product leaders, and data is a key component to developing a holistic, comprehensive view of a company. Before sharing a demo of Tableau’s robust features, Francois expresses the importance of moving beyond data silos, with Stephen stating that the best way to accomplish that is to put “those insights into the standard applications that the users and the business are familiar with using every day”.

“Data is everywhere, but when you are analysing data in silos, you have less value. You can’t see an end-to-end business process or even an end-to-end customer journey.”

“We believe every digital transformation is a data transformation. Historically, when we speak about systems engagement, people are good at joining those data assets up at the front of it, meaning sales, service, marketing, and commerce. Now, people need to join up all internal and external data feeds, and that needs a system of intelligence.”

On implementing an Embedded Data Analytics Solution

Similar to other industries, Logistics relies heavily on mass amounts of data points working together in a cohesive manner. The ability to understand and communicate the necessary information to the necessary parties is paramount to achieving execution success. Grindrod Terminal, Data & Analytics Manager, Bronwyn Burdis, takes the virtual mic to share more on their goals, and the outcomes that Grindrod encountered along their embedded data analytics journey.

“Grindrod needed a solution to provide visibility into operations across the board from the mine to the port. The foundations of what we were looking for were a single vision of the truth using near-real-time data and the ability to harness our internal IP and work routines, while at the same time allowing us to manage by measurement. Another need was balancing stock across the supply chain and integrating costs against process so that we could facilitate activity-based costing. Finally, it needed to be in one user interface, and to provide a secure Customer Portal.”

Keyrus Sr. Consultant Craig Andrew joins the conversation to note that using “disruptive technology” was key in the Grindrod transition. Working in a traditional “paper-based, very siloed industry”, Bronwyn says, “it’s important to have an accurate representation using auditable information rather than figures that can be manipulated”. 

“We needed to combine the upstream and downstream data from external parties with our data in order to get an accurate picture for decision-makers across the region. We’re now using disruptive technology at a significantly lower cost than the traditional systems, and it’s established the architecture for scalable integration and flexible growth going forward.”

Wrapping Up

It can be intimidating to approach a digital data transformation, but if there’s one thing the Embedded Data Analytics Series from Tableau makes clear, the benefits are nearly infinite in nature. Bronym wraps up the Accelerating Insights panel by noting the advantages that come using an embedded data analytics solution as opposed to web-based.

“By embedding Tableau into our application, it consolidated and cemented the solution as a product. There was no pain in making the change, and it’s now significantly easier for people to understand.”