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Data Domain team in Atlas Copco is focusing on new “Leading indicators” project

17. 3. 2023 | Kateřina Marešová

Data domain at Atlas Copco Compressor technique is focusing on driving the transformation towards a data-driven organization. 

They are supporting all parts of the business. Data is being collected, processed and made available to empower the people so they can drive their decisions which will actually serve their customers and their internal needs.

They have three Delivery Hubs - Antwerp in Belgium, Brno in Czech Republic and Pune in India allowing them “follow the sun” model to cover different time zones.

For more detailed information about Atlas Copco Data domain team and Leading indicators project, you can listen to the interview with their  Competence Center Manager, Torsten Otto.

Leading indicators

Back in 2018, they started with a sales reporting solution for the business area, which in itself is a very exciting project. They brought data from different ERP systems into one data reporting  solution which as such has given them clear insights about their received orders and revenue. But they took it to the next level in 2019 when they took advantage of their global CRM (based on SAP) and processed what they call Leading indicators into a sales reporting solution. They are now realizing that Business can take a great advantage of such data. 

As the project gained its importance, they decided to get a dedicated Product Owner on board to help with that.

Who are the customers of this project?

They have about 1700 internal users. These are actually Sales managers, Business Line managers, Communication managers,  going up to VPs of Sales and Marketing as well for Finance and even their top executives who on a daily basis are looking at the lagging indicators.  But most of them are equally curious about what is coming up.

How does that work?

When a company gets a “Lead” (somebody who shows interest in their services), the Sales teams work on converting these Leads into “Quotes”. Part of the process is getting a clear understanding about what they are looking for in terms of products or services. After officially quoting, the Sales force is working on converting them to “Orders”. This is where Leading indicators come to the game. They observe all the Leads and how they move within the sales funnel and give good indication to all involved parties about when they could expect the Orders to start materializing so the Product owners and other stakeholders are ready and include this information into planning the production, etc. Also bring information about why some Leads don't convert to Orders.

There are many aspects the Leading indicators can help with. For example, what is the impact of training of Sales engineers on the sales result. There are patterns which can be found and then best practices can be applied within the organization to increase the sales success. 

Also the Leading indicators can help with better production forecasting and planning which products to make in 2-3 months horizon. 

So the Leading indicators aren't only useful for Sales and Marketing but can be used for decision making within the whole organization. 

What are the technologies behind this project?

At Atlas Copco CT they are using Microsoft Azure services as a platform and Azure related techstack. 

They have built a so-called Lake House concept, which is quite advanced and one of the core components they are using inside that concept is coming from Databricks. It can also be used on Amazon services. You can also find Sequel and work on SQL interface. They are promoting eLearning and training for their employees and are open to new ideas of modernizing their techstack. 

Transition from outsourced solution to internal one

Originally, when Atlas Copco implemented the Leading indicators solution, they used an external partner. Moving forward, they realized they prefer to own the knowledge of this solution and not to depend on 3rd parties and therefore they are now planning to build it internally. Although there is already a foundation and they are partly going to implement what has been done, they will also focus on improving it. After all, they follow their CEO’s motto: “ There is always a better way” :-) 

Who will be part of the project?

Next to the Product owner, they will need Business analyst, Data engineer as well as Data modeler. There is already a Data quality specialist and Data domain steward in place. The plan is to have 6-8 people in the team who will drive successful delivery of the project and satisfy the “appetite” of the business. 

Project timeline

Torsten is expecting that the transition to the new platform will take approximately a year but he believes that the new team will be already making progress in taking the Leading indicators into another level much sooner.

Within 3-4 months, the team is expected to be successfully adding new functionalities and features and establishing the trust with business. As Sales and Marketing is very important, the Leading indicators will play a more and more crucial role within the organization. 

Certainly machine learning and artificial intelligence will be explored more for use in forecasting, predictions, minimizing the time of Lead conversion and securing profitable business.

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