Solution Brief

Internal Analytics Automate Major Marketer’s Project Reporting Process

With offices spanning the globe, an international marketing heavyweight majors in making consumer brands household names. When a US arm of this corporation wanted to learn the business benefits of operational analytics, agency leaders asked to look at BlueGranite’s in-house approach. That first step began a journey that resulted in a clearer view of the agency’s many major contracts and drastically reduced the time required to create monthly reports.

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The digital ad pro provides deep analytics to its own clients, so devising a business intelligence solution wasn’t outside its expertise. But the time dedicated to customer campaigns left little for implementing internal analytics. And getting a glimpse at the way a boutique company like BlueGranite analyzes operations allowed the large, corporate agency to explore how a leaner organization stays on target. We shared what we track and analyze internally to make the most of our clients’ and employees’ time: our productivity measures, forecasting, client growth metrics, sales, and other statistics.

Agency leaders wanted to automate a time-intensive manual data consolidation and reporting routine. They also sought visibility around a largely opaque project planning and building process, where strategic decisions were based on intuition not data. They needed a way to analyze operations, rather than just report on them. This included gaining a big-picture view of employee utilization – including how many hours each employee worked, how many of those hours were applied to different billable projects, what was the estimated revenue based on contracts, and whether profits met goals and expectations.

The marketer manages and executes many multimillion dollar annual projects. Each client receives monthly reports relaying where time and money are spent, and how. One challenge was that half of the systems the agency uses – such as billing, finance and human resources – to track and report this information are owned by its parent corporation, and the other half are internal systems. Each speaks its own language and the translation between the two essentially came down to tribal knowledge within the office. The agency didn’t have direct access to corporate systems, making it difficult to integrate the two. Getting accurate information out of the office, back to corporate and ultimately into the hands of clients required a major monthly effort and time commitment. 

This agency’s client finance team also struggled in its collection of time sheets. The department relies on that information to do its job. But it often spent four or more hours weekly tracking down outstanding time sheets via email, some of which were more than a month past due.

Through a three-month proof-of-value project, BlueGranite partnered with the agency to automate utilization reporting, integrating the tribal master data management knowledge, reducing time spent to build reports from days to minutes. We also created dashboards to give account managers and executives analytical and visual views of major contracts. The process exposed a number of data quality problems that were inserted during reporting, helping eliminate future repetition of such issues. It gave management the tools to make decisions based on facts, rather than intuition. Lastly, we created a set of reports to help illustrate the estimated costs of employees failing to provide time sheets on deadline, including the overall and individual impacts, as well as peer group comparisons.

Looking for a clearer view into your company’s own internal operations? BlueGranite would love to show you the many ways we can help. Contact us today.

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DATA LAKES IN A MODERN DATA ARCHITECTURE