Endress+Hauser AG (E+H) has achieved what many companies struggle to do – a successful business intelligence (BI) project that drives better business decisions. It was so successful that the same visualization concept that started in finance and controlling has now been rolled out to solutions, production, and sales companies within Endress+Hauser. This project was completed using SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards in an SAP NetWeaver Business Warehouse environment with 5,600 users.

Endress+Hauser currently has nearly 10,000 employees with €1.5 billion in sales and is a truly global company offering consultancy and service in 97 countries. The company provides products and solutions in the field of industrial measurement and automation equipment.

Endress+Hauser ‘s dashboards project started when controlling invited visualization expert Professor Rolf Hichert to come speak regarding his methodology of information design. He explained his “SUCCESS methodology,” which helps to communicate the information in a clear and meaningful way. Hichert also stressed to the company that they should focus on getting rid of the noise of too many reports. By having too much information, managers were wasting time and not getting the real message.

Less Is Often More with KPIs

As a result, the controllers at Endress+Hauser started to focus on only a few core key performance indicators (KPIs) that were needed to drive the company successfully. The following are some examples of how their visualizations were transformed.

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With buy-in from the business users (finance and controlling) and IT to follow Professor Hichert’s design principles and methodology, they conducted some workshops together to agree upon the core KPIs and uniform notation concept for the management reporting. In just a couple months, they created a first version.  Rather than try to be perfect from the beginning, they found it easier to find alignment by having a working version to improve.

Another root of their successful dashboards project was that they had all the key stakeholders involved: all the heads of controlling and the key users were around the table and aligned with Professor Hichert’s recommendations. Success speaks for itself – once sales and production saw the meaningful, clear dashboards and the results for the business, they adopted the same notation visualizations.

One of the big side benefits to the success of the company’s dashboards project has been that now all the different companies located in different countries (under the umbrella of Endress+Hauser) can speak the same language because of a similar set of visualizations with trusted numbers.

SAP and graphomate Partnership Leads to Great Visualizations

Since the standard charts in SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards didn’t illustrate the data as Endress+Hauser wanted, the company turned to SAP partner, graphomate, to provide add-on charts. graphomate builds add-on charts for SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards (and soon SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio) based on the principles of many of the visualization experts like Professor Hichert, Stephen Few and Edward Tufte.

The following is an example of one of the company’s dashboards made with charts from graphomate. You can watch this short video to see a broader range of charts by graphomate.

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