Jeffrey Qureshy empowers his team with analytics
Jeffrey Qureshy is a financial systems senior manager with Jabil, a global manufacturing services company. From 100 sites around the world, Jabil serves customers in five key business-to-business market segments: defense and aerospace; energy, industrial and building; print and retail; smart home and appliances; and automotive and transportation.
Jeffrey oversees the implementation and management of IBM® Cognos® Analytics for a team of 1,500 users worldwide. Jabil’s analytics users comprise a diverse group of decision-makers. “I help people who are looking to manage their responsibility effectively using data — business unit managers, division leaders, operations managers, and more,” he says. He also assists the executive team, who are looking at data from a strategic perspective, in making broader, global-based decisions.
Providing timely reports and on-demand analysis
Jeffrey Qureshy’s team provides every cost center owner at Jabil a monthly report through Cognos Analytics, which each team uses to manage costs. They also receive reports for forecasting, for potential new customers, or existing customers who change the specifications or demands for the products Jabil manufactures for them. “Cognos Analytics helps us standardize the way we’re looking at information across the globe with a wide range of data sources,” says Jeffrey. “We use it to help automate reporting, for ad hoc analysis, and to support decisions within our own business or with partners.” Jabil’s internal analytics customers also include power users — subject-matter experts in financial planning and analytics (FP&A). Jabil’s Divisional FP&A team supports other departments by running reports or creating dashboards to interpret forecast drivers and guide improvements .
Within Jabil, Jeffrey has a reputation as a go-to-person for all kinds of analytics questions. “I’m basically a Swiss Army knife,” he explains. “I answer questions about how to use the tools, how to maximize the benefits of Cognos Analytics, but also about how to find data within Jabil. I’ll get questions about the information in IBM Planning Analytics and other enterprise data sources. What data is available and how do I apply it for decision-making.” To accomplish these myriad tasks, Jabil uses Planning Analytics to manage forecasts. “We use it for part of key management reporting processes, from our ‘flash forecasting’ for our weekly indicators, to quarterly, rolling 12 months forecasting, [and] to track those numbers, pull in our actual results for management reporting, and apply those insights to our continuous improvement practices,” says Jeffrey.
Speeding up financial close and staying compliant
To support their financial team’s close, consolidation, and reporting process Jabil uses IBM Cognos® Controller. “We use Controller as our source of truth for what reports out to the street,” says Jeffrey. “Using the IBM solution, we’ve been able to reduce our financial close process from 14 – 15 business days to four.”
As a publicly traded company, Jabil has strict governance rules for financial reporting, including Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) compliance. “We use Cognos Analytics to automate many of our SOX controls, which translates to less time spent at manufacturing sites by people manually pulling information together,” Jeffrey says. Using Cognos Analytics reduces the risks introduced by manual intervention and data acquistion, minimizing the need for supporting evidence required for audits.
Growing user adoption through education and training
With the introduction of Cognos Analytics 11, Jabil’s analytics team took a step back to review how to improve their user experience. “We saw an increase in demand, with other teams wanting access,” says Jeffrey. With Cognos 10, Jabil had about 1,000 schedules; with the new version, the team manages nearly 2,200 schedules, more than doubling their capacity, enabling more people to automate reports and analysis by scheduling them when needed.
Over the last year, Jeffrey Qureshi’s team focused on teaching Jabil personnel how to use powerful new capabilities in Cognos, including cascading prompts, new data modules, dashboarding and stories, and exploration. In 2019 his team delivered three training workshops around the globe. “By April of this year, we’re planning on delivering four,” he says. “I’m expecting we’re going to double the amount of training we’ll have delivered in 2020. And that’s important to me because that means we’re teaching people how to fish, and setting up engagement points where we can speak to people in person, learn about their business and data problems, and engage them in a different way than we have in the past.”
Being an Analytics Hero
To Jeffrey Qureshy, being an Analytics Hero means driving the adoption of the tools and helping empower his team with self-service analytics. He measures his success by how many people he can bring on board to engage with Cognos Analytics. “Whenever anyone requests data, I see that as a chance to show them the tools, how to get the data, and the benefits they can get from it.” As for being an Analytics Hero, he says proudly, “It feels great to be honored as an Analytics Hero. It’s confirmation that we’re doing the right things. It’s time well spent, and it’s motivating us to keep pushing forward.”