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BI strategy: Clear data view

T.C. Seow | Dec. 16, 2013
Tetra Pak's data journey is one of constant business alignment through one single view of truth.

"The aim is to enable everybody, everywhere access the same information that is trusted, secure, and standardised. Those are the three words in our first BI strategy to ensure that everybody has trusted, secure and standardised reporting everywhere."

That worked very well for Tetra Pak after implementing the first BI strategy in 2005/06. It was focused on one version of the truth, scalability and enterprise BI."Two years back we started to realise that we needed agility—fast time to information. We also needed more cost-efficient BI deployment, so we changed the strategy."

The entire BI system was overhauled to enable the development of a new strategy that is"more aligned with the priorities we have today and also going forward," he said."We realised we needed new roles in the business that could actually bridge the gap between IT and business.We needed a new process, and we needed new tools,which became the new BI tool suite.That will give us more agile development, more intuitive interfaces, it will give us predictive analytics, the foundation to manage big data and mobility."

Ensuring the success of the BI strategy is the internal BI Competency Centre or BICC, a virtual, cross-functional global organisation sponsored by the CFO and headed by two centre directors—one from IT and the other from the business. The BICC has governance over the entire organisation's BI strategy.

Moving ahead, Tetra Pak wants a more agile platform and an even more business-driven BI. It hopes to see BI development happening in the business, not from a centralised department or unit tasked with such a job. "That is the big change we have implemented in 2012," he said."We hope to have in all the businesses [within Tetra Pak] globally that we have the right BI competence so that they can be the link between the data and the insight."

"Our number one challenge is to find the right competence," said Ohlsson."BI is a science in itself... I'm hearing the term 'data scientist' more and more. I think that's the skill set that we need to really start understanding predictive analytics, to understand how to convert data."

Finding the right skill set is another big challenge. He explained: "We have a gap there today. The person who can bridge the gap is the person who has one foot in the business and one foot in analytics—someone we call a 'translator'. And maybe in IT as well that can translate data to insight; one who can take big data and make it into 'small data' that make sense."

"We have realised it and acknowledged it, that's why we created this new role of BI experts.So we're now launching this role globally to groom tools savvy analytics skill person sitting in the business that will bridge this gap.We started the rollout in the beginning of this year; we trained 70 people so far. We believe we need between 70 and 100 people globally."


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