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Altair Engineering Inc.

09/22/2020 | News release | Distributed by Public on 09/22/2020 05:37

Developing Key Learnings with Our Own Data Solutions

Since joining Altair in 2019, I've had the pleasure of teaming up with hard-working Altairians in all corners of the globe focused on the continuous improvement of the company. I am honored to collaborate with the most incredible engineers, scientists, and creative thinkers in the industry.

With Altair's acquisition of Datawatch in 2018, we gained both an intelligent suite of products and a team of dedicated data professionals who brought new ideas to the table. In January, CEO Jim Scapa wrote the blog post, 'Streamlining Innovation by Drinking Our Own Champagne' to highlight a few of the ways we use our own products to improve our business. After all, how can we sell something we don't use ourselves?

Knowing we are always capable of improving our processes, my team and I were tasked with applying more of our technologies to help us further boost our self-awareness as it relates to both our internal people management efforts as well as externally with our customers. The goal was to let data tell us the story of what's working well, what could be better, and what needed to be changed.

Using data to understand who we are

As a fast-growing tech company with more than 3,000 employees worldwide, it's critical for us to have a clear understanding of what each Altairian brings to the organization, how each department and region is managing its team members, our diversity and inclusion efforts, plus the areas requiring additional focus and improvement.

Previously when all of this was evaluated by our local human resources (HR) teams, we found there were inconsistencies from region to region and department to department. So, we decided to utilize our own technologies to capture the various data inputs - like years of service, gender, promotions, headcount, and more - then conduct analysis using machine learning technologies. We employed Altair SmartSight™ and Altair® Knowledge Hub® to create an easy to understand snapshot of Altair's HR data to inform smarter, more consistent decision-making globally. The entire process took about two weeks from the initial point of pulling all the data to the final organized dashboards.

SmartSight is a self-service business intelligence (BI) platform with a zero-footprint architecture deployable both on-premises and natively in the cloud. Users can connect to popular data sources, create dashboards, and embed analytics in an application. With an intuitive browser-based interface that automates data transformation tasks, Knowledge Hub is the market's only collaborative data preparation solution with no coding required.

We set up the dashboard to pull in new data from our HR system monthly and the entire upload process takes less than two minutes. The new data is integrated into the dashboard enabling our HR team to view company statistics in an easy to understand, user-friendly environment. These tools even have the capabilities to display data in real-time depending on how the data is collected.

For HR, this means understanding our story and how we want to write the next chapter. With this new insight, we are making better informed decisions to effectively manage our staff today while strategically planning for tomorrow.

Data that supports us

Altairians are the most critical part of our culture and our support team is a key component to the growth of both our customers and Altair. With a wide range of solutions to help propel our more than 11,000 customers worldwide in all industries, our global support team works around the clock to respond quickly and efficiently to customer requests. Whether it be troubleshooting issues or responding to requests for new product enhancements, the Altair support team takes great pride in serving as an extension of our customers' teams to help keep their business moving forward.

Over the years, our program managers and development teams have captured vast amounts of data associated with customer requests - like the average time it takes to respond to a ticket based on status issue types, new feature requests, and more - but lacked the ability to strategically analyze the data to see trends and identify any inefficiencies.

While the development ticketing system data was housed in a third-party project tracking software, SmartSight and Knowledge Hub were able to pull the data, perform verification on the data, and create an intuitive dashboard from millions of data points to give key program managers invaluable insight. This effort completely eliminated the need to manually pour over endless spreadsheets.

Today, the Altair program management team uses the dashboards to identify trends, detect inefficiencies faster, streamline our development process and address issues swiftly to ensure continued top-notch customer satisfaction. Even with all these subsurface moving parts, our customers continue to have a seamless experience.

Never waste valuable insight

Data has great potential for power in an organization, but so often sits unutilized. By using the right tools to seamlessly capture and strategically analyze data, companies of all types and sizes become better informed and in-turn are enabled to make smarter business decisions propelling them to new heights.

Let us help you navigate the world of data analytics, so you can uncover key business trends, anomalies, and outliers hidden in your data.

To learn more about our data analytics and visualization tools, please visit our website.

As chief information officer, Siudara leads Altair's global information technology team, overseeing the company's IT systems, enterprise business systems and IT business strategy globally.

With nearly 20 years of experience in leading large-scale, global IT organizations for major companies, Siudara was previously global director, sales and marketing IT for Ford Motor Company. She has an acknowledged track record of aligning IT with business goals to reduce complexity, accelerate growth, facilitate change, and improve operations as evidenced in her previous roles at Delphi, Dell and General Motors.

Siudara holds a bachelor's degree from the University of Michigan and a master's degree in business administration from Michigan State University.
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