Central access point for all information saves “tremendously” on time and resources
Sanofi South Africa, the local affiliate of global pharmaceutical giant Sanofi, realised time and resources savings after standardising its reporting on QlikView’s business analytics platform.
The company had been running multiple tools in 2011, including QlikView, Microsoft Analysis Services and Cubeslice. “Maintaining this mixed milieu led to confusion and duplication of efforts, specifically with training,” says Dieter Herbst, business analyst manager.
“We made a strategic decision to consolidate our assets, adopting QlikView in all areas of the business – including sales, marketing, and Business Excellence.”
Herbst says what won the company over was QlikView’s ease of use, with business users leading analytic enquiries in a process called business discovery.
Davide Hanan, MD of QlikView SA, says QlikView pioneered and still leads this area of analytics with breakthroughs such as associative analytics which enables associations between datasets to be made, greatly facilitating user-driven analysis.
Associative analytics and in-memory processing, another QlikView advance, have forever changed business intelligence, Hanan says. In fact, research firm Gartner cites ‘data discovery’ as the dominant theme in its February 2013 Magic Quadrant for Business Intelligence and Analytics Platforms.
Inputs and outcomes
After enterprise-wide implementation, an extensive range of apps were designed to measure and monitor performance and activity in the areas of:
- Market analysis
- Key account management
- Sales force key performance indicators and
- Employee information, including cost and expenditure – most notably in the areas of cellphone and petrol expenditure & workload capacity
Herbst says all apps are continuously enhanced based on commercial and support feedback and requirements.
He reports that the company initially procured some 120 user licenses. Two years later, the tool has seen spectacular uptake, with 222 users on the system – mostly office-based, but with extensive VPN-based Web and mobile access. “On a daily basis, at least 150 users find a reason to access the platform,” he says.
QlikView SA’s Hanan says QlikView’s internal uptake once implemented is always high.
Herbst says QlikView’s biggest benefit is its ability to scale to the subsidiary’s data volumes. “Qlikview is used as the central point of information access across all functions. It has significantly increased productivity,” he says.
In addition, training requirements have been greatly rationalised. “Navigation and interpretation is standard across the various apps, so there’s no need for additional training when new apps are introduced,” he adds.
With integration of complex data sets across business functions now complete, information flow is now automated and streamlined, requiring minimum maintenance, Herbst continues. “This allows the business intelligence department to focus on analytics, not compiling reports.”
He says QlikView’s open, standards-based architecture allows additional information sources to be continually added into the mix, to provide ever deeper, more complete interpretation of the organisational and pharmaceutical environment – in turn resulting in more time savings.
Sanofi’s HOUSE app, for example, integrates employee information from HR, finance and payroll into a central repository. This has been broadened to incorporate employee hardware resource details such as SIM card numbers, handsets and other assets like fleet card information.
Another app, the Advanced Market Analysis Platform (AMAP) integrates four complex pharmaceutical industry market information sources, providing an easy-to-digest visual representation of regional performance against targets. Making use of complex data loads and calculations, providing this information used to take a team of four over five days, which were then manually distributed.
“QlikView Server and Publisher now automatically compile and distribute information to all sales reps, saving regional managers days of waiting and distribution time,” says Herbst.
In addition to the integrative benefits, the QlikView implementation generates automated data ‘hygiene’ reports, says Herbst. “If information is missing or incorrect in the course of normal analytics, key stakeholders are alerted.”
Lastly, a Cellular Spend Monitor app integrates employee information with seven different mobile and data contract types and role-based allowance information to do analysis and monitoring of spend and alert users to over-use.
“Thanks to this, Sanofi was able to show a saving of 34% in the 2013 financial year,” says Herbst.
“Sanofi has saved, and continues to save time and resources with the help of Qlikview,” says Herbst.
“Our integration and atomisation is continuing and QlikView will continue to play a cardinal role in Sanofi’s quest to remain South Africa’s number one multi-national pharmaceutical company.”