Farman Khalid | Head- BI & Data Analytics | Godfrey Philips India Ltd

“Cloudera has made Godfrey Phillips agile and integrated” : Farman Khalid

Excerpts from the interview –

What was the rationale for integrated data management at Godfrey Philips?

Integrated Data Management means consolidation of data into a centralized depository. In Godfrey Phillips, we found our data was scattered across multiple source streams and different business functions were using different systems for reporting purposes. It frequently led to anomalies in data reconciliation. That is why there was a problem statement defined; we needed to consolidate all the data into a centralized depository.

How Cloudera has been beneficial to your organization?

Cloudera has been quite beneficial in the sense that this is the platform that we chose to create our data lake. We were specifically looking for agility because in Godfrey Phillips we work on an agile methodology. Cloudera has a scalable solution that provides the user with the flexibility to choose the environment as per their business need. We can reduce or we can increase the number of nodes as per our project requirements.

What are the key BI strategy components that an enterprise planning digital transformation need to consider?

There are three important components of a BI data strategy implementation viz. people, technology and process. These three components complement each other, and one must look into all the details of these factors to have a successful BI roadmap channel. For example, any project starts with people and ends with people. We have to have a top down approach in the organization if we want our project to be successful because ultimately business stakeholders are the ones who will be using your system. You need to find some advocates or some influencers in the business who can help you in spreading the word for BI.

What are the different phases that an enterprise should follow in its BI journey and how would you measure success in each phase?

Firstly, we need to define our KPIs as per the needs of the business stakeholders. Once we define the KPIs then we have to reverse engineer and find out the source systems where these KPIs reside. And only once we have the requirement can we start the implementation process. The other important aspect is the selection of your partner; you can have a top-level partner or a middle level partner. You should always keep business stakeholders in the loop for every decision.

What are the critical success factors and challenges for an enterprise in its BI and analytics roadmap?

One of the critical success parameters is user adoption. If the users are using your new system then the project is successful. On the other hand, no matter how much money you invest, if your product is not used then it is of no use to the organization. User adoption is important and this has to be implemented by following robust change management strategy in your organization.

What was the vision behind Godfrey Philip’s Project sales automation program and how would you measure its success?

At Godfrey our vision was to create a single source of truth where all kinds of reporting could happen. The problem that we were facing was everybody was using disparate systems which resulted in a lot of reporting reconciliation issues. We credit a single source of truth using Cloudera and now we have all stakeholders using the same source of reporting and everybody is on the same page. We also have an analytics platform where we can implement machine learning capability for the growth of the organization.

What were the criteria behind selection of Cloudera as the cloud solutions platform?

One of the foremost criteria of selection was the agility that Cloudera provided to us. We are an agile company and we are looking for a partner who could provide us the same kind of agility that the business was asking from us. Cloudera had been a very scalable and agile platform. We are able to scale the environment up or down as per the project requirements.

What were the main challenges in the deployment by KPMG and how would you measure the benefits accrued?

The journey with KPMG has been good so far but at the same time we have to be very careful when we are working with vendors or partners because we need to define a toll gate at every stage of the project. We need to review the project at every stage; we need to have a proper project review on a monthly or fortnightly basis so that the project does not go out of the way. In our case we have been managing resources quite effectively and we have done a proper design review. We have not let them take a decision on their own but everything has been scrutinized by the GPI folks.



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