Siemens was founded in 1847 in Berlin, Germany. They have a total of 380,000 employees around the world. In this use case, discover how Siemens automated their data preparation and load process with Alteryx for their entire operating company smart infrastructure. They saved significant time in preparing tons of data for productivity reporting. With Alteryx, literate and non-IT professionals can get faster reports. On top of that, Siemens was able to implement a fully-integrated process for a large and complex corporate financial data model in a code-free, fast, and agile way.
Describe the business challenge or problem you needed to solve
Siemens operates in 85 countries, so consolidating financial data from the entire company is complex and it involves everyone in the finance departments. They integrate financial data with external market data, productivity data and detailed data on customers or products. The finance department calculates a lot of KPIs, growth rates and margins aggregated through a regional hierarchy through a business segmentation. And all of that, was done in spreadsheets. You can imagine that they are not small spreadsheets!
What you often see in finance organizations are spreadsheet templates, then Excel spreadsheets with a lot of formulas that normally comes with a lot of model risk embedded. For example, there is a complex formula calculating some key KPIs which then go to a C level person, and that person makes any decision upon an error in that formula. Also, if the analytical question changes just a bit, often times the controller has to go back to the computer, do the whole analysis again on the spreadsheet, and get back with the answer. It normally takes a lot of time and effort, and it’s a nightmare.
Describe your working solution
Jon and Tony use Alteryx to connect multiple data sources, transform and output them to Tableau. Then these data sources are available on Tableau Server to build any analytical content based upon it. They can easily provide business analysts or key users within the organization access to these data sources which they prepare, standardize, and govern. So, each person can build their own analytical content based on these standardized data sources and further spread that analytical content within the organization.
All their Alteryx workflows are hosted on Alteryx Server and can be scheduled to run whenever they desire. And that’s fully integrated. That means data is extracted directly from the sources and run through the workflow and then directly goes to Tableau Server.
Siemens is now using Alteryx mainly on data preparation. They create their workflow on Alteryx Designer, publish it to Alteryx Server, which is also called Gallery. Once in the Gallery, they schedule that workflow to run every X hours. Data is extracted while the workflow on the Server runs through the workflow and goes directly to Tableau Server. With Alteryx reporting tools, they can control and make sure the processes are running smoothly. For example, they are using an email tool so if anything fails in that workflow, they will get an email with a notification immediately. If there is something wrong, the person in charge can intervene accordingly. This process runs every 2 hours with data volume of around 50 million data rows.