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Heiszmann Gábor, a LEGO csoport Business Intelligence igazgatója

Business Intelligence at LEGO

There is no area at LEGO without any user of business intelligence (BI), yet BI is used primarily for business areas. Gábor Heiszmann, Business Intelligence Director at LEGO Group talks about the toy manufacturer’s vision and practice. He is also a speaker at the 31st Budapest Management and Controlling Forum.


-       How significant is BI for LEGO right now?

-       Our IT strategy – which we created in connection with LEGO’s business strategy last year – has a Data & Analytics part as well. This shows its significance, as well as the fact that BI has 4,5 thousand users at the company. There is no area where it is not used. Certainly, the levels of maturity are not the same. Within the IT department a separate group works on improving the user experience because if the applications are difficult to use, people won’t leave Excel even though the content is super. We make solutions easily accessible: they can be found in our system with a search engine similar to Google.


-       Which areas use BI in the first place?

-       Production, manufacturing, sales, marketing – every area of the supply chain. The financial impact of the different areas are important; we develop BI solutions only if they bring profit. We primarily devote the resources to the business fields.


-       What goal would you like to achieve? In other words what is your BI vision?

-       We turn from IT focus to business context. Since this is not an IT function anymore, but a business technology. Self-service BI is getting increasingly important, for the very reason that it is impossible to maintain a centralized problem-solving IT organization, which is capable of satisfying all business needs on its own. It is inevitable also for the colleagues on the business side to do development, and we provide the conditions to allow them. There should be a data lake, that is more freely accessible, and reachable from any device. Based on our yearly performed BI assessment, we see that there is a great need for a globally available support network consisting of business people. Besides that, informal networks get created. This is like an internal social media, where people share everything.


-       What role do you dedicate to the Cloud within BI?

-       “Cloud First!” This is our principle. We do everything we can cloud based. This is not a financial question basically, our main aim is not to make savings compared to on-premise, but to take advantage of the flexibility of the cloud. An example for the latter, we created a suitable environment for a feasibility study in the cloud just in a few days, we used it while we needed and then turned it off. Obviously, the cloud may have financial implications, and lots of other advantages, but flexibility is the main point.


-       How are BI developments decided at LEGO? What aspects are taken into consideration?

-       We develop based on values. The topics are decided by the product owners together with the business areas. There’s a quarterly planning. We deliver first what is connected to the IT strategy, which is signed by the board. They are followed by the developments that support business aims but are not strategic ones. Finally, everything else, but this amounts to only 10-20 percent.