Home Case Studies The BMW Group targets diversity, inclusion as an employer of choice The BMW Group targets diversity, inclusion as an employer of choice
Promoting the inclusion, safety and well-being of every associate with Microsoft and IBM

To help attract diverse, highly skilled talent able to deliver outstanding customer services, the BMW Group aims to strengthen its status as a global employer of choice. How can the Group create working environments that promote the inclusion, safety and well-being of every associate?

On a mission to empower senior HR leaders to lift performance to new heights, the Group’s HR Region Europe function engaged IBM® Global Business Services® to replace spreadsheet-based reporting tools with an enterprise-class business analytics platform.

Based on Microsoft Power BI, the new solution aggregates HR data from 43 countries in one easy-to-use dashboard. The BMW Group uses advanced data visualization and analytics capabilities to track critical HR KPIs, helping it secure its position as an employer of choice and offer outstanding experiences to customers around the world.

To build on this success, the BMW Group HR Region Europe plans to augment its business intelligence capabilities to unlock new business insights.

Data migration at scale


Brings together HR data from 43 countries into one central dashboard

Ultimately, analytics data will help the business to verify our HR strategies are working, which in turn will make it easier for BMW Group to attract top talent and deliver excellent customer service. Spokesperson the BMW Group
Racing ahead of the industry

With its four brands—BMW, MINI, Rolls-Royce and BMW Motorrad—the BMW Group is the world’s leading premium manufacturer of automobiles and motorcycles, and it also provides premium financial and mobility services.

The BMW Group production network comprises 31 production and assembly facilities in 15 countries, and a global sales network in more than 140 countries. In 2020, the BMW Group sold over 2.3 million passenger vehicles and more than 169,000 motorcycles worldwide.

As of 31 December 2020, the BMW Group had a workforce of 120,726 employees. The success of the BMW Group has always been based on long-term thinking and responsible action. The company has set out a clear direction for the future with sustainability and efficient resource management at the center: from the supply chain to production to the end-of-use phase for all its products.

Building a diverse community of employees makes it easier for the company to recruit, develop and retain top talent—vital to delivering first-class services to customers worldwide.

A spokesperson for the BMW Group explains: “Diversity is an important success factor for the BMW Group. It is our declared aim to promote diversity and equal opportunities. We take steps to address discrimination in a targeted manner. One of the Group’s main HR focus areas is to create equal opportunities for all. The goal is to create working conditions that promote high levels of employee satisfaction, contribute to effective development and retention, and empower every person to do their best work.”

Driving decisions with data

The BMW Group’s central HR functions are located in Munich, Germany. Internationally, there are three HR regions, responsible for HR governance and steering and specific operational activities: the HR Region Americas, the HR Region Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa, and the HR Region Europe. Within these Regions, individual HR teams are responsible for supporting the BMW Group organizations in their countries with services including recruitment, salary and budget planning, employee compensation and benefits, and health and well-being. These teams share specific HR data with the HR regions, which in turn report to the Group’s headquarters in Germany.

“What’s measured, improves—and teams across our global HR regions report to us on several key HR metrics,” continues the spokesperson. “In addition to basic statistics such as headcount, these teams continually measure KPIs such as gender diversity, staff turnover and salary benchmarks, as well as completion rates for workplace training programs and the rates of occupational accidents. These regional figures are extremely important, because they allow us to answer questions on these topics from our stakeholders, which set the high-level talent strategy for the BMW Group.”

Spreadsheets slow progress

In the past, the HR regions relied on manual, spreadsheet-based processes to collate and present data. The organization recognized an opportunity to streamline the process—not just by automating the reporting workflow, but also by offering stakeholders more options to visualize data and drill down into the reports.

“Data is crucial to support decision-making at all levels: from high-level strategy to country-specific tactics,” says the spokesperson. “As well as making it easier for our stakeholders to dive into aggregated HR reports, we also wanted to make it easier to share the bigger-picture insights with the regional HR teams who contribute the data. For example, this could help teams to identify which talent strategies are performing well in other regions and harness those insights to enhance their own policies and practices.”

Enterprise-class analytics

To make its vision for HR analytics a reality, HR Region Europe looked for a reporting platform to replace its spreadsheets. After a thorough evaluation process, the organization decided to make Microsoft Power BI the foundation of its new business intelligence capabilities.

As well as meeting the company’s main technical and operational analytics requirements, Microsoft Power BI could be deployed locally to the company’s on-premises systems—helping it to keep tight control over data and meet its strict governance and information security policies.

HR Region Europe began its analytics journey with a small-scale minimum viable product (MVP) project. The purpose was to demonstrate that the new reporting concept would deliver value to the business.

Finding an experienced partner

As a next step, HR Region Europe looked for an experienced analytics partner to help it drive the MVP project. After considering several leading vendors, the organization engaged IBM Global Business Services to build, test and deploy the new reporting solution.

“Through a series of virtual and face-to-face meetings, IBM Global Business Services introduced us to the key people who would be working on the project, which helped us establish a good working relationship early on,” the spokesperson adds.

Working closely with HR Region Europe, IBM Global Business Services immediately began creating dashboards to help the organization quickly identify which information it could surface within constraints such as data quality and format. Through a series of iterative prototypes, the IBM team helped the BMW Group to build a central dashboard of HR KPIs, accessible by employees across the HR Region Europe function.

“IBM Global Business Services brought together resources from across IBM’s global business, including on- and offshore teams,” the spokesperson comments. “Whenever we had a change request, IBM helped turn around new versions of the dashboard quickly.”

Clear insights, well-informed decisions

Today, HR Region Europe uses the Microsoft Power BI reporting dashboard—developed in collaboration with IBM and the BMW Group—to deliver accurate HR insights to its stakeholders. Using advanced data visualization tools in the Microsoft solution, managers can slice data along multiple dimensions, allowing for easy analysis and comparison between countries and regions.

“The MVP of our Microsoft Power BI reporting dashboard makes it easier for HR teams around the world to get deeper insight into our performance against important KPIs,” confirms the spokesperson.

“User feedback on the new dashboard has been overwhelmingly positive. Through a series of user group sessions soon after we launched the MVP, we gathered some valuable insight around additional data points and visualization functionalities to include—helping us to make the dashboard even more useful for our international business users.”

Metrics in the dashboard now include everything from diversity and inclusion to data on office ergonomics. Access to this information will make it easier for the BMW Group’s global regions to drive continual improvements to their HR metrics, helping the company maintain its world-class workforce and deliver outstanding customer services.

Roadmap to the future

Currently, HR Region Europe manually collates and imports data from spreadsheets into Microsoft Power BI. In the future, the organization plans to develop APIs to gather this data from its regional teams automatically, empowering its teams to spend less time on data management and more time on value-added analysis.

“Each time we add new data to Microsoft Power BI dashboard, we’re building up a historical record,” adds the spokesperson. “HR histories will allow us to track changes to KPIs over time, analyze and identify trends, and measure the effectiveness of our HR policies in effecting real-world outcomes.”

By partnering with IBM Global Business Services on its MVP analytics project, HR Region Europe has taken the first important step to creating a valuable new data resource for its global HR teams.

“Ultimately, analytics data will help the business to verify our HR strategies are working, which in turn will make it easier for the BMW Group to attract top talent and deliver excellent customer service,” concludes the spokesperson. “Our long-term vision is to replace spreadsheets with best-of-breed reporting tools, and our engagement with IBM Global Business Services is one of our first steps along that journey.”

BMW Group Logo
About the BMW Group

Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (link resides outside of ibm.com), commonly known as BMW or BMW AG, is a German automobile, motorcycle and engine manufacturing company founded in 1916. BMW is headquartered in Munich, Bavaria, Germany. The BMW Group is the world’s leading provider of premium products and premium services for individual mobility and is one of the most successful manufacturers of automobiles and motorcycles in the world.

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