is one of the UK and Ireland’s leading websites for discount worldwide travel, including everything from hotels and flights to rental cars and travel insurance. The company’s one million annual customers have access to hotel rooms in more than 250,000 hotels in 40,000 destinations worldwide. Last week, Lee Eckersley, Head of Business Analysis at presented a captivating story at the Data Leadership Summit in London. In his talk entitled: “Beyond the IT Department: Empowering Business Users to Leverage Data”, Lee told the incredible story about how Alpharoom’s IT department decided to internally develop an integration between Google Adwords and their Sales database. After 9 months of development, 2 months of fixes and tweaks and a 6 figure budget, the project was scrapped because it didn’t deliver on the requirements. Gatner BI Maturity Model After an in depth vendor evaluation with many of the traditional players being either too expensive or too hard to implement Alpharooms selected Sisense. With Sisense, the same project took 2 days of development, the backlog of nice to haves were completed on day 3, a solution to automatically update the BI reporting was completed by the fifth day, they internally released the solution on the 6th day and as the Bible says… on the 7th day they rested! But the benefits didn’t stop there. Before Sisense, only data scientists or people comfortable with Excel pivots could get any sort of performance reporting done. Today all business data is imported into Data Warehouses which are governed by the Business Analysis Department. Business users are then given access to a development environment where they can manipulate, drill down, customize and utilize all the data without affecting the single source of truth in the data warehouse. Instead of going to the IT department for new reports, business users are now able to generate their own BI reports, add additional data sets and cut and delve into the data completely independently, alleviating headcount stress in the IT department. With Sisense, Alpharooms has been able to reach the 5th level of the BI Maturity Model where the use of BI is extended to suppliers and customers, analytics are inserted into and around the business processes and information is trusted across the company. Download the full presentation for a truly intriguing look at BI.
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