Editor’s Note: Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) leveraged Alteryx to develop the analytics skills of its workforce to increase productivity, improve quality, and enhance employee engagement in the wake of the pandemic.
A Global Crisis Reveals Issues in Data Usage
As a global commercial real estate services company, the COVID-19 pandemic introduced new challenges for the international Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) team. Lockdowns impeded collaboration and knowledge sharing between traditionally co-located team members, and a high rate of change in commercial real estate markets put pressure on the organization’s ability to make data-driven decisions quickly.
To respond to these challenges, JLL created a new team, which they called Work Dynamics BI & Performance. This group determined that different JLL teams were operating at differing levels of analytics maturity, often directly correlating with the size of the given team. It became clear that a primary culprit was inconsistent tooling. Sharing work and knowledge across teams was difficult without a shared framework or language. In addition, team members had to perform low-value manual tasks to translate work across teams, and this further degraded performance.
A New Strategy: Introduce Analytics Automation as A Unifying Force
The investigation revealed the need for greater automation and consistency across JLL’s analytics processes. Paul Chapman, Head of BI & Performance, recognized that this was an opportunity to digitally transform. He observed that “it’s important to transform and automate, otherwise we’ll get left behind.” The Work Dynamics BI & Performance team decided to use Alteryx as the strategic tool of choice to standardize. Alteryx offered three major benefits:
- The ability to share data and workflows effortlessly
- The ability to automate monotonous tasks
- The ability to transform data so it’s easy to consume.
Alteryx’s easy-to-use data preparation and integrated spatial analytics capabilities were game changers for JLL, a major player in global real estate.
Encourage Greater Data Literacy and Broader Adoption with Gamification
Selecting a standard analytics platform was a key step, but another hurdle also had to be overcome: a broad swath of JLL employees across the globe needed to adapt their existing ways of working. The Work Dynamics BI & Performance team recognized that these employees needed assistance to make this change quickly and effectively.
Fi Gordon, Global Director BI Strategy & Enablement, and Jon McMillin, BI Specialist, stepped up to make this happen. The two leveraged previous experiences with skills development and curated a gamification program to support and motivate individuals to adopt Alteryx. They called it the “Alteryx Adventure.”
The program incorporates training to learn the functions of the platform, challenges to research tools and solve problems, and certification that demonstrates external recognition of capability. There are five levels of achievement, incorporating tasks for people to complete that help them rapidly learn new techniques and use them for their roles.
As an Alteryx ACE and natural educator, Fi Gordon believed the “Alteryx Adventure” needed to be set free on the world, enabling other organizations to take advantage of the same capabilities. Fi Gordon reports that “at JLL we’ve shared our success with the Alteryx community, posting a blog with all collateral, for every other company using Alteryx to implement at zero cost. We are happy to share the secret sauce on the Alteryx Adventure because we believe in building a stronger data community.”
The Result: Increased Productivity and Greater Employee Engagement
Following the launch of the “Alteryx Adventure” program, JLL more than doubled its usage of Alteryx. Teams across the company are now able to collaborate and share analytics workflows easily, which has improved productivity and reduced risk for the broader organization. Even better, the “Alteryx Adventure” program has increased employee engagement, with individuals in the program reporting appreciation for JLL’s investment in them and citing their achievement of specific certification levels as career highlights.
“Our team is the secret to our success, and the Alteryx Adventure provides a unique platform to guide people along the analytics journey. Whether they’re new to Alteryx Designer or have years of experience, everyone has something to learn.” —Fiona Gordon, Global Director BI Strategy & Enablement, Jones Lang LaSalle