SG Corporate Training: Interview with Ms. Elaine Chong, Founder of the Institute of Business Analytics
Having tea with Ms. Elaine Chong, Founder of the Institute of Business Analytics (IBA), shortly after her 14 hours flight back from UK, London where she conducted her world renowned visual analytics courses, her eyes sparkled as she spoke passionately about the achievements of her past graduates. One success story she shared with us was how a graduate of the IBA's i3BAR programme managed to save her employer millions of dollars.
Elaine told SG Corporate Training that a young executive had chanced upon the i3BAR programme and felt that she wanted to learn how to make better use of the huge amounts of data she received on a daily basis. As part of her i3BAR course, the young executive had to find a workplace project. This was when she observed a regular phenomenon that occurs several times a day in the hangers of Singapore's many Maintenance, Repair and Operating (MRO) companies.
Whenever a plane lands, maintenance crews scramble to quickly service the plane and get it ready for departure. Due to wear and tear, parts will need to be serviced. So after the diagnostics are done, mechanics and aircraft technicians will get directions from the Senior Engineer on whether to repair or replace the parts. Generally speaking, replacements are faster and more expensive, while repairs are cheaper and take longer. This decision, unfortunately, is based on the experience of the Senior Engineer.
Recognizing the potential of "big data" to help the Senior Engineer make decisions better, faster and easier, the young executive set out to collate all the data for the last 10 years from average time of replacement and repair, exact cost from each supplier, the payment terms offered, and lead time from point of order to actual delivery. All this information was then formulated into a single excel spread sheet that provided insights for the Senior Engineer who now had analytics at his finger tips to enhance his decision making. By factoring in additional data points like payments, reliability and ease of installation, the new decisions the Senior Engineer made proved to be more cost effective for the airline. A subsequent management study of the impact of this one excel spreadsheet revealed savings of several million dollars a year.
In relating this story, Elaine is especially confident that IBA's 5-day workshop on Visual Analytics and i3BAR methodology can make a significant impact to the individual and their organizations. The value of the programme is demonstrated by the over 5,000 people trained, and the many organizations (in 10 countries) that have made it part of their corporate training curriculum.