THE GROWTH INSIGHTS PROJECT
DSM is a global, purpose-led, science-based company active in Nutrition, Health, and Sustainable Living. The company is headquartered in Heerlen since 1902 and employs more than 20.000 people in 50 countries. DSM’s scientific expertise and innovation power are answering some of the world’s biggest challenges.
Three years ago, DSM started a data science center of excellence where top data scientists discover and act on new business opportunities. Telli van der Lei and Rob den Rooijen are part of the center since its early days. They are the drivers behind a project started in 2020 to use vast amounts of data, to empower the global commercial organization of the Human Nutrition business unit to identify and implement sales opportunities. Due to the project’s size, they asked Mediaan to supply additional technical expertise during this project.
Our team of Data Scientists helped create an interactive tool with an intuitive UX in the form of a Power BI dashboard, accessible to all human nutrition Sales and Account Managers across the globe. This dashboard provides users with the latest insights regarding sales opportunities with existing and new customers as well as trends in relevant markets. Within a few weeks, the dashboard helped to discover opportunities that led to a multi-million increase in sales! It is worth mentioning that the dashboard is currently the 3rd most used within the entire company. During the development of this BI tool, our team assisted DSM with:
- Data engineering & acquisition
- Data modeling
- Data mining
- Dashboarding with Power BI
The idea is to provide Sales and Account Managers worldwide with a tool that harmonizes internal and external data, presents it in a unified way, contains interactive functionalities to enable sales validation, and integrates with existing processes and tools to execute on the validated opportunities. Such a tool reduces the amount of time spent in manually creating one-time reports and analysis, thereby ensuring a higher standard of data quality.
Because this tool is meant for various organizational units worldwide, gathering requirements and data was a significant challenge. We needed to create a data model that would encapsulate the relevant dimensions, which varied among regions, and create a dashboard that would allow each region to dive into their desired granularity level. To measure the tool’s impact, we had to link the tool to their internal CRM system that keeps track of sales actions and then link that data back to the dashboard. This way, users could actively update the dashboard while using the tools to which they are accustomed. Finally, the tool required frequent refreshes, data quality checks, and an easy way to be maintained once the project would come to an end.
MEDIAAN IN ACTION
The project’s success prompted DSM to upscale the Mediaan team from two to five Data Scientists. The success stems from a global collaboration between Mediaan, DSM’s technical experts, and Product Owners from various countries.
To provide the best possible solution, we have used the following technologies and techniques during the project:
- Microsoft Flow and PowerApps
WHAT OTHERS SAY…
“Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this was the first project ever where we never met face to face. The team provided by Mediaan was a perfect fit with our experts. Thanks to the proactive attitude, we have been able to deliver in an agile way and enabled sales to achieve great business value.”
Telli van der Lei and Rob den Rooijen, DSM
DSM wanted to actively involve the end-users during the development to get them accustomed to the new data and system before moving on to more advanced topics. Trust has been built and engagement rates are high, so other exciting Data Science functionalities and predictive analytics will be added now. The project has created a fruitful foundation for long-term collaboration. We are excited!
- Together with DSM we managed to create an interactive BI tool in the form of a Power BI dashboard that is used worldwide by hundreds of users.
- New businesses worth millions of dollars can be rapidly identified.
- The dashboard is in the top 3 of the most used dashboard within the company.
- It is fully automated; the refreshes are automated so that DSM can do the maintenance themselves.
- Both Mediaan & DSM have learned best practices from each other.
- The most exciting part is that we looped everything together. E.g., when users spot an opportunity in the dashboard, they can provide feedback on it, which is then included in the dashboard and their internal systems. It allows the dashboard to provide a measurable added-value.
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