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Gartner ITxpo: Create Actionable Intelligence

As a partner of ours, MicroStrategy brings some very interesting capabilities which we think adds flexibility and agility. Along with thyssenkrupp Elevator, they showed that off in a session on Creating Actionable Intelligence here at the Gartner IT Expo.

thyssenkrupp builds elevators throughout the world across many countries and regions. This brings many challenges in understanding what’s happening in the business and acting on it.  Eric White, director of data and analytics at thyssenkrupp presented on what they did and the value it brings.

Business Case

thyssenkrupp’s business case started with the problem statement, the business case, and desired outcome

Problem Statement

  • Difficulties identifying accounts that negatively influence profitability
  • Spending too much time preparing vs analyzing performance information
    • 80% of the time was spent just getting the data together
  • Lacking scalability across 140 locations and hundreds of business users

Business Case

  • Drive profitability improvements in the service line of business
  • Identify and manage opportunities to improve profitability

Desired Outcome

  • Flagging, commenting, drilling, action, and notification capability
    • Did it all in MicroStrategy
  • Quick and easy access to simple and intuitive solution where training is via video of less than 40 minutes
    • Had over 850 users for this
  • Solution usage /adoption networks show increased usage by a majority of the business

Who: Branch Managers and Service Operations Management

Use Cases

  • Analysis of service performance
    • Routes, contracts, units, revenue / cost transaction
  • One Stop Shop
    • for analyzing service profitability
    • Obtaining quick information about contracts and units
  • Linked reports to save research time. Drill in and pop from one report to another

Reach: All U.S. branches and regions

Insight Usage

The application follows a business flow that’s a bit like this:

  1. Identify and flag
  2. Review and comment
  3. Create and manage
  4. Monitor over times

But first the starting point:

Best Practice: Always make sure there’s always a business process as part of the report

Best Practice: Ensure you can act upon the insight (flags, comments, action items, and audit trail)

Identify and Flag

The first part of the process is to identify and flag the account. This is the Albuquerque branch

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Review and Comment

Reviewing and commenting occurs inline with the application itself. You can also choose what elements to drill into.








Create and Manage

The screen shot below shows how you can setup actions that have due dates and are tracked to completion.  this ensures enough oversite to get to a result.

Monitor Over Time

Over time, you can see what’s happening with the actions but also track the trends of the contracts / clients themselves.


  • 11,065 flags
  • 2,744 actions
  • 20,000 transactions
  • 0 support tickets
  • decrease in time to analyze the data

Lessons Learned and Best Practices

Lessons learned can be distilled into three separate areas:


  • Executive Sponsorship is key
  • Have a champion
  • Be prepared to answer business questions from the data
  • Highlight the importance of value: e.g. transparency, accessibility, speed
  • Create eLearning and other training. Don’t just leave the users hanging
  • Understand the user personas and use cases


  • Don’t think you know more than your users
  • “over” communicate
  • Fail Fast: prove theories out and gain momentum
  • Always have a mockup or prototype
  • Don’t underestimate time needed for training development
  • Always fit into a business process
  • Build adoption and usage metrics to prove value
    • MicroStrategy gives you the usage data in the apps so you can use this to iterate and improve


  • Simple UI Design is best
  • Monitor performance
  • No CUSTOM MSTR development: We used what the tool brought
  • Transaction Services works really well for light to medium weight transaction needs
  • MicroStrategy is the star
    • There is no custom code in this.  It was all functionality provided by MicroStrategy

Future Considerations

thyssennkrupp aligns to the business strategy. They focus on 5 pillars:

  1. Governance
  2. Technology leadership
  3. Data management
  4. Analytics
  5. Operational excellence

Future Roadmap

  1. Foundational
    1. Where they are today
    2. Get the back end data to work
    3. Give actionable insight
  2. Competitive
    1. Master data management
    2. Dashboard and scorecards
    3. Process automation and workflow
    4. Move platform to the cloud
  3. Differentiating
    1. Predictions
    2. Contextual rules and patterns
    3. Business process integration
  4. Breakaway
    1. Prescriptive
    2. Real time
    3. Pattern-based strategies…
    4. With real context

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Michael Porter

Mike Porter leads the Strategic Advisors team for Perficient. He has more than 21 years of experience helping organizations with technology and digital transformation, specifically around solving business problems related to CRM and data.

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