Over the past several years, Fike has made the strategic push to transform their organization to become data-first with the goal of everyone making data-driven decisions. The challenges they faced are similar to most large organizations – they had untouched historical data in various legacy platforms and they needed a way to scale the consumption of that data. Traditional business intelligence tools weren’t cutting it and they needed a better way to scale analytics across the organization.
Today’s BI tools were holding them back from real strategic change
Despite a methodical rollout and a multi-year transition to Tableau in 2018, Fike realized that although Tableau was serving their analysts well, it was not empowering everyone in the organization to be a data-driven decision-maker. There were a lot of non-analysts having to use Tableau to make decisions and that was not working; people were struggling to find true answers to the questions from using Tableau to visualize data. Everyone had a different interpretation of the information and this was causing chaos.
“It’s evolving.” said Rachelle Hodgson, who previously led some of the company’s most strategic technology and analytics initiatives. “We’ve come a long way, and we still have a long way to go. Just seven years ago we were running the business from Excel files, we made the move to Tableau and that was a huge step in the right direction, but the challenge remains the same as it did before: our people don’t need data, they need information to do their jobs the best they can.”
Soon after rolling out Tableau, Fike adopted Salesforce as their data hub, but were still left with important historical data in multiple platforms.
To consolidate their data, they made the migration to a Snowflake data cloud in 2020. These tools were a part of a larger, strategic picture to become a data-informed organization with high adoption and better business outcomes.
But, the challenge still remained.
They had all of this data, but BI tools were bogging down analysts and holding them back from being strategic; business users weren’t getting the insights at the scale and cadence they needed to make data-driven decisions.
“I don’t want our analysts to be reporters. We have chaos in the decision making chain and we can’t scale chaos.” says Josh Batz, CTO “despite all the progress that we’ve made becoming more data-driven over the last decade, the reality is not everyone is equipped with the skills to effectively use and read a dashboard. Dashboards are inherently subjective, meaning everyone can interpret them in a different way which absolutely leads to unnecessary friction when debating a decision. Somehow we’ve improved our ability to structure the data we create every day but the tools that improve our ability to leverage that data haven’t kept pace.”
After migrating their data to Salesforce and investing in Snowflake, they needed something that focused on the consumption layer of analytics to solve the data literacy gap for their business users.
Lexio is like a personal analyst for everyone
“What really appealed to us about Lexio,” said Rachelle, “is that unlike Tableau which requires thoughtful administration of dashboards and a deep understanding of the business problems you are solving for, Lexio is virtually zero-configuration. Lexio just understands our Salesforce data and then presents it to our users in a way they understand Salesforce data – literally in plain-English. What’s more, is that it presents this information to them in a personalized way, tailored to the aspects of the complex Fike business they care about, and is available to them on their mobile devices, so it doesn’t matter if they are walking the facility with a client, out in the field, or giving a client one of our famous explosion demos, Lexio is in the palm of their hand, ensuring they have a pulse on our most important business metrics anywhere they are.”
“It’s still early, but our hope is that one day every single Fike employee will have Lexio in the palm of their hands because it’s not the devices that are mobile these days, it’s us! We believe in the power of transparency and are already seeing leading indicators of how a standardized and accessible way of consuming information about the drivers of our business can make a huge impact,” says Josh. “We anticipate that when our operational workers use Lexio to inform their decision making they will be able to know the impact of their decision making in real time – We will be able to objectively debate if the decisions we are making are generating more revenue or suppressing our revenue. I truly expect Lexio to impact all of our people in their daily decision-making.”
“It’s hard to describe, but Lexio is just easier,” says David Kemp, EVP Global Sales for Fike. “It’s something about the interface or the design — I think it’s just that it just tells you what the data is telling you in plain-not-up-for-debate-100%-objective-English. But I now have people that would historically shy away from looking at data actually looking at Lexio to make informed decisions every single day.”
What’s next for Fike
Fike now has about 115 people using Lexio from their Executive and Global Sales Teams and are looking at ways to expand to other functions of the business.
Most of their Lexio stories are written from Salesforce data, but once they purchased Snowflake, they realized it could do a lot more than just store data. By sending their Snowflake data to Lexio directly, they can now use Lexio as a data storytelling platform; allowing users to get valuable insights across multiple data sources quickly and easily. This provides users a convenient, holistic view before taking action. Fike plans to continue to find ways to strategically use Snowflake and Lexio in the future after they finish moving their legacy systems over to the Salesforce hub.