Wolseley Canada is the country’s leading national distributor of plumbing, HVAC/R, and PVF products, employing more than 2,400 people at 220 locations across Canada and serving residential, commercial, and industrial trade customers. Wolseley Canada is subsidiary of the multinational Ferguson plc (FERG) that has revenues of roughly $20B. In recent years, the Wolseley Canada data team has proven its ability to predict revenue trends tied to indicators in the Canadian housing market. Building on that analytics success, the team began creating reports to advise the various business groups on expected changes in market performance.
At first, the reports were static and had limited value because of the lag time required to create them manually. The reports also lacked the ability to maneuver within the data to drill down and discover additional insights. “You really couldn't sort or do anything with them,” said Danylo Pawluk, Director of Enterprise Data & Analytics. “There were no charts, no graphs, not even color-coding—just a strict, tabular PDF report.”
To modernize, Wolseley Canada tried leveraging its legacy performance management and BI solution. However, product limitations around data connectivity and ease of creating visualizations eventually led them to Tableau Online (powered by AWS). Danylo's team followed a traditional RFP process where they evaluated several products. In a game-changing moment during a presentation to executives, they used Tableau Online to answer questions in real-time, even providing executives with tablet devices in the meeting so they could view and play with the visualizations in the dashboard. Danylo credits the dynamic and interactive nature of Tableau’s visualizations as a breakthrough in achieving executive buy-in to replace Wolseley Canada's legacy system with Tableau Online.