Randstad is a multinational company operating in 39 countries, with more than 4,600 branches and 28,000 employees and, with revenues of €16.6 billion, is the second largest human resources services agency in the world. In business since 1999 with operating headquarters in Milan, Randstad Italia has 1,000 employees and a network of approximately 200 branches located in the areas and regions where the work demand is most highly concentrated.
We asked Alfonso Liucci, Application Delivery Coordinator for Randstad Italia, to answer some questions.
How did you come into contact with SolidQ and their services?
We got to know SolidQ and its professionals at various events and through the communities involved in Business Intelligence: in our company, we already have people with specific expertise in this field and, when we decided to go outside to obtain advanced support, we had no doubts about whom to contact.
What were your needs?
We already had a Business Intelligence solution, but the users were not realizing its full value. We were focused on simplifying it and making it more functional to allow everyone to access the information necessary to make decisions in the fastest and most intuitive way possible, thanks to the vision that our IT Director (Daniele Spatari) had towards this process (consisting of tools, individuals and methods) to be introduced. The evolution was perceived and now, also in the BI context, the IT department is no longer seen as a group of “computer technicians” to be called only when there is a technical problem but as a company function to ask for help in providing information that is useful in making decisions and solving business problems.
You started out with a mentoring project and then moved to consulting; what happened?
In part, as time passed, the workload increased and we turned more and more to SolidQ’s expertise, but this transition was possible only because of the trust that was instilled between our group and their professionals. Our structure is fundamental for the company and we would never have given complete access to people we did not trust completely.
How many people were on the team involved and what types of information did you work on?
The work team always included at least two people on the internal team and two SolidQ professionals. We worked to build a system that would respond to the needs of all the employees who, at various levels, needed to access the information published in the BI system.
What goals did you achieve?
The first true goal we achieved was to create a generalized collaborative environment, especially thanks to Giuseppe Timpanelli (the Randstad group’s technical expert), who walked around the company evangelizing about the BI solution’s potential, asking employees for feedback about how they would like to use it. They felt heard as members of the BI team and so were encouraged to help implement the solution.
Now, extracting data and information from the system is easier and 20-30% faster, enabling employees to better concentrate on analysis. For example, an analysis that previously took three days (two to build the data model and one for the actual analysis) now can be done in a day. The collaborative environment and the faster speed, accuracy and efficiency have led users to use the system more, with an actual increase in use of 100%.
Were you satisfied with the work methodology based on the Adaptive BI Framework? What particularly struck you?
The Adaptive BI Framework was specifically one of the factors that convinced us that SolidQ was different: it is a work method that satisfied us very much and enables us to tangibly achieve results within a specified time frame. I think proposing prototypes to the internal users made the difference, because it demonstrated in a practical way how daily problems can be solved simply.
To get there, IT had to work alongside management to learn their colleagues’ jobs and, in this way, IT became a true Business partner. More than anything, however, our satisfaction comes from the fact that, thanks to this work method, we are absolutely certain about the accuracy of the data that users are working with.
Losing months working with the wrong data, besides obviously being an economic loss, is also frustrating, because you can have done the best work in the world but then it all has to be thrown out because the foundation was not reliable.
How will the work proceed from now on?
We are still working on the internal system, and are in an early stage with the intention of maturing over the next two or three years. For now we have an excellent Data Model but, during 2014, initiatives will be launched that are focused on Self BI to make the information available without IT’s help.
A Master Data Management project will also begin, to be followed by a Data Quality project, to further refine the quality of the data. Once that is completed, we will have a BI system that is complete from every perspective and we can then feel satisfied.
What is the best thing about the work done with SolidQ?
Undoubtedly, positive factors are their expertise and their personal qualities that make it easy to work as a team. They rapidly create an environment of trust and are able to explain perfectly what needs to be done and how to approach the various steps. At the same time, working together was pleasant and very effective.
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