Sharing Real-Time Data to Transform Decision-Making

Along with hundreds of consumer products brands across 180 countries, Procter & Gamble produces a staggering amount of data: financial and operational information detailed by country, region, category, segment, brand, customer, site, organization, and level. To quickly find and take advantage of insights housed within that data, and enable the company to rapidly respond to changes in the marketplace and uncover new opportunities, P&G’s Global Business Services (GBS) organization developed Business Sphere.

An in-house data visualization tool, Business Sphere brings information to life in a physical sense. The visually immersive data environment consists of two concave screens 32 feet wide and 8 feet tall that face each other over a table. It literally surrounds business leaders with real-time data they can process it quickly, uncovering insights, trends, and opportunities. It helps people “see” data in ways they cannot with mere numbers and spreadsheets.

Business Sphere.

The program analyzes and connects as much as 200 terabytes of data (equal to the amount of information contained in 200,000 copies of Encyclopedia Britannica), allowing for unprecedented granularity and customization. The Business Sphere transforms decision-making at P&G by harnessing real-time business information around the globe.

By eliminating the delay of manually collecting and aggregating data, this patent-pending business intelligence system improves productivity and collaboration and simplifies work processes enabling P&G to focus on innovating for the consumer.

P&G introduced Business Sphere as a limited, one-location pilot in 2010 and has since deployed the technology across its global business sites.

Since then, Business Sphere has inspired a new way of doing business and led to an “information democracy” – availability of the same information, to everyone, at the same time. Context and insights are served up to leadership around the globe, so they can spend less time working to digest stacks of reports with varying degrees of accuracy, and more time focusing on innovation.

Because the system was designed and developed to function in real time, senior P&G leaders can instantly review and analyze data from key retail partners and enable immediate changes in promotions, pricing strategy, product mix, and shelving set.

By engaging in the Business Sphere, company leadership can virtually sit down at one table, pore over the same real-time information and brainstorm together, even though they’re physically located around the globe. This saves the time, cost, and environmental impact of travel.

Insights and decisions made in Business Spheres travel throughout the company. Lessons learned can be reapplied across categories and business units. Data and analysis are shared with the broader community through Decision Cockpits, sites for “one source of truth” information.

It allows the business to anticipate what will happen rather than looking at it from the rearview mirror and it accelerates the decision-making process, allowing P&G to operate with the agility of a much smaller company. The ultimate result is getting products that exceed customer expectations to market faster than before.