Celestica Sees Viral Adoption of BI Due to Sisense’s Ease-of-Use and No Learning Curve

Executive Summary:

Lacking a quick, reliable forecasting and demand planning, James Davison, Senior Data Analyst at Celestica, the multinational contract electronics manufacturing services, decided the company needed BI software. Sisense provided Celestica with an easy way to for everyone in the company to produce quality data analytics with no training, as well as a white-labeled embedded analytics service for their clients. After being deployed in just days, Sisense was adopted virally across the company, empowering everyone with the ability to build compelling dashboards. The company’s quick adoption of Sisense has already saved weeks of time on every report.

Company Overview:

Celestica is a multinational contract electronics manufacturing services (EMS) headquartered in Toronto and serves over 40 locations in 11 countries in the Americas, Europe and Asia. The company supplies a variety of leading OEMs and handles $500-600 billion dollars of goods. Because EMS is a low margin industry, implementing a BI tool that could increase ROI was critical for Celestica.

The Challenge:

Celestica’s ability to successfully manage the demand cycle of their customers is an integral part of what drives the profitability of their business. Business questions about how much inventory to invest in and which models to purchase are asked daily, and need to be answered quickly and accurately.

When a customer places an order with Celestica, 12-16 months of historical data is analyzed in order to accurately forecast the initial stock investment for the order. Overestimating an order amount will result in an expensive overstock while underestimating an order will cost extra in expedited deliveries–both hurting Celestica’s profit margin. Finding the right numbers was key to Celestica’s profitability. Other challenges included:

Data and BI

Celestica was unable to make use of important data due to the data’s size and disparity. Before Sisense, Celestica used Excel with the primary data sources stored in SAP. As their data got more complex, it outgrew the Excel environment, limiting Celestica to analyze only two weeks worth of data at a time. The data also was scattered over multiple, disparate Excel sheets which soon became extremely time-consuming to analyze together.


Due to the overwhelming load, the IT department had become a bottleneck at Celestica, as every BI project had new business questions popping up, and IT had a hard time keeping up with the changing requirements. In order to combat these long wait times, the IT department started to redirect the BI requests to a “Shadow IT” department where business users could solve their Business Intelligence problems using alternative tools, like Sisense. Business users were finding Sisense so easy to use and accessible that word spread through the organization making Sisense the go-to tool for BI.

James Davison, Senior Data Analyst at Celestica explained: “The time it took to give IT the requirements, wait for implementation and then a re-implementation because the requirements changed, was measured in months, and that’s a huge problem because our business is measured in days.”

Embedded Analytics

Celestica also wanted to start selling forecasting as a service which required them to move from Excel workbooks, but they needed an easy way to embed analytics and white label the application.

The Solution:

Easy BI & Ad-hoc Reporting

Because margins in the EMS business can be particularly low, Celestica needed a BI tool that would give immediate value out-of-the-box. Part of that was going to be choosing a tool that business users could easily use for data exploration and visualization in order to relieve the IT bottleneck. After evaluating one BI software during the evaluation process, Davison recalled:

The first tool we looked at, a market leader in fact, was extremely complicated to work, requiring servers to be separate components. Everything is buried in multiple menus; it takes numerous clicks to turn a line up on a chart – if you can even find it to begin with.

In contrast, after evaluating Sisense, Davison found that Sisense provided the proper tools to do agile BI without implementing full IT project, as well as intuitive reporting capabilities for non-technical business users:

With Sisense, you can easily get value from data without training or experience because it’s just so easy to produce quality, insightful analytics– a tool with no learning curve.

Embedded Analytics

Another clear win for Celestica is that Sisense fully supports white-labeling without requiring a different licensing structure like other BI vendors in the market.

The Results: Agile Analytics, Viral Company Adoption

Sisense is being eagerly embraced by Celestica due to its ease-of-use, flexibility and the immediate results users are seeing.

Easy BI

  • Potential ROI of millions of dollars from adjustments to supply and demand
  • Empowers everyone with ability to build compelling dashboards
  • Deployed immediately with “viral adoption” from company

Sisense is being eagerly embraced. In fact, it’s going viral.

James Davison, Senior Data Analyst at Celestica.

Ad-hoc Reporting

  • Potential ROI of millions of dollars from adjustments made to supply and demand
  • Sisense saves weeks of time and resources on every report
  • Reporting increased from 300 datasets a week to 5,000 a week–plus 360 degree visibility

One of the biggest opportunities that Sisense brings us is its ease-of-use and flexible which allows us to break into the world of shadow IT and provide proper tools for users to have agile business intelligence in their day-to-day business.

James Davison, Senior Data Analyst at Celestica.

Embedded Analytics

  • Fully branded customer-facing dashboards

Our demand analyzer is now built into Sisense and is deployed around the globe, running over 200 users. It performs so quickly, it’s getting used as an enterprise scale application.

James Davison, Senior Data Analyst at Celestica.


Now, Celestica has fully branded Sisense into their application to give clients and users around the world easy access to dashboards with insights. Internally, Sisense is used daily across the company to accurately predict orders–saving Celestica millions of dollars from adjustments to supply and demand. Reporting has gone from a time-consuming, IT heavy project, to an easy task allowing Celestica to produce over 5,000 reports a week as Sisense is used by more and more departments.

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