Why data visualization offers "the answer" to business intelligence

Puma's business intelligence manager Ryan Ackerman spoke to Innovation Enterprise's Simorin Pinto ahead of the Data Visualization Summit in Boston


Regardless of what field or industry a business works in today, data visualization offers companies opportunities to gain insights into the markets their targeting, as well as take an inward look at how to improve their own business efficiencies and processes. Global sports brand Puma is no different, using data visualization to digest business-critical data, identify operational bottlenecks and predict market outcomes.

The company was founded 70 years ago by Rudolf Dassler and in 2017 reported revenue of $4bn. Since its formation, Puma has grown into one of the world's leading sports brand.

Innovation Enterprise spoke to Puma's North American business intelligence manager Ryan Ackerman to find out how the company utilizes data visualization methods and techniques to keep the business at the forefront of the sportswear industry.

Innovation Enterprise:How has data visualization been incorporated within Puma's business strategy?

Ryan Ackerman: Data visualization is used in every department across North America. It has made access to insight faster and easier than ever before. The visualization layer makes the data easier to digest, which means the right decisions can be made quickly. We use visualization to monitor IT processes, identify operational bottlenecks, report on warehouse efficiency, quantify human resources analytics, analyze sales, predict outcomes and much more.

IE: What does effective data visualization offer Puma?

RA: Old school analysis was like looking for a needle in a haystack. Now, visualization gives you the needle.

What should we start doing? What should we stop doing? What do we need to focus on? Visualization delivers these answers on a silver platter, which means we're putting our efforts toward the things that actually matter. The result is efficiency, speed and ease of use for report consumers.

"How can we take billions of rows of data and turn it into something that's actionable, even for an untrained eye? The answer is visualization."

IE: In what way does business intelligence impact data visualization?

RA: Business intelligence (BI) has driven the visualization movement at Puma North America. However, visualization is merely the tip of the iceberg. The most beautiful visualization in the world is useless if it's built on top of dirty data. At Puma, BI plays a key part in the data governance process across our businesses. Governance and due diligence are not as flashy as visualization, but effective visualization cannot exist without them.

IE: Which key topics will you be covering at the Data Visualization Summit in Boston?

RA: I will be discussing how Puma has approached the self-service model, how we fight data silos and the paradox of user-friendliness in BI tools. I will also share experiences and challenges we've encountered through our journey from fragmented systems to a centralized data source. I hope to share with the audience where we've been, where we are, where we're going and what we've learned along the way.

To learn more about data visualization trends and solutions, visit Innovation Enterprise's Data Visualization Summit in London on October 31 – 1 November, 2018 

Book your place HERE


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