For over 100 years, Washington, DC-based Booz Allen Hamilton has provided technology and management consulting to business, government, and military leaders around the world. The Booz Allen Financial Planning & Analytics (FP&A) team delivers analytics and reporting to senior leaders and business users across the firm. Like many companies, Booz Allen Hamilton is evolving its finance team from a reporting function to a strategic business partner and leader, developing data-driven solutions and technologies that enable new levels of efficiency and innovation. A part of this culture change—and central to the FP&A team's mission—is making every worker at Booz Allen Hamilton successful.
Early on, the company invested in a vendor solution that enabled customized logic and interactive dashboards. But the user experience was unpopular and development cycles for new requests remained slow. Many teams started building Tableau dashboards on their own, in lieu of using the vendor system. But having multiple BI solutions made it difficult for the FP&A team to standardize analytics and reporting to serve the company's goals – so the team looked more closely at Tableau as a company-wide solution. Using an integrated platform of Tableau and Alteryx, they conducted a pilot by rebuilding a key dashboard in Tableau. The new version was well received and highly popular among business groups.
Tableau has been invaluable in transforming our data culture. It started with top-down advocacy from our senior leaders, and evolved into a real day-to-day transformation. Now we’re spending less time building reports and focusing more on analysis so we can provide actions and insights to our executives and business users.
Matt Langevin,Senior Manager, Integrated Analytics
From there, rapid adoption continued, growing to 15 corporate dashboards connected to more than 25 data sources by early 2019. Today, Booz Allen has more than 2,800 Tableau users, roughly 10 percent of whom are business teams and analysts using self-service dashboards. Disparate data sources that were previously siloed by function are now connected by Alteryx and Tableau, surfacing relevant insights. This alleviates burdens on the FP&A data warehouse team, improves flexibility, and empowers analysts to manage data models end-to-end, from creation to test to quality assurance. It also further modernizes the company's data practices to transform reporting and better serve customer needs.
The new self-service analytics model has scaled successfully across the enterprise, helping Booz Allen Hamilton overcome the limitations of traditional BI reporting while growing a modern data culture that includes all employees, from senior executives on down. Analysts feel more connected to their teams and other business groups, performing faster analysis across projects due to improved access to secure data. The company has also saved money by reducing administrative time on a typical engagement by up to 100 hours per day—time analysts previously spent chasing down data that they can now spend supporting stakeholders with data to inform their business strategies.
Overall, the new Booz Allen Hamilton model empowers employees at every level to be more data-driven in ways that add greater value to the company and its customers and strengthen the strategic relationships between analysts and business leaders – fostering transparency and cooperation among teams at every level of the company.
Tableau makes it easy to get people excited about data, including people who might otherwise get intimidated. Now, they can see how easy it is to log in and start looking at insights.