Grindrod benefits from embedded BI application implemented by Keyrus

The successful implementation of Tableau Embedded Analytics (Tableau) allows mines to port visibility across all activities for users across all levels of Grindrod operation.

Johannesburg, 29 Jun 2020

Embedded analytics tools bolster data-driven decision-making by allowing users to access reports and visual displays directly within an application user interface. Users have quicker access to data and spend less time switching back and forth between applications. “I always believe in moving manual and mundane tasks into value-added data analysis and decision-making for improved performance,” explains Vishal Deeplaul, CEO of Grindrod’s Terminals business.

Grindrod specialises in the movement of dry bulk, bulk liquid, containerised cargo and vehicles along specific import/export corridors, primarily on the African continent. With its focus on these cargo types, Grindrod provides road transportation, rail, port operations, terminals, intermodal solutions, warehousing, storage, stevedoring, sea freight, ships agency, travel agency and integrated management services. Tableau was implemented within their terminal operations, aggregating data from various mechanical and human interface sources across the operation.

The realisation of the project is an example of collaboration with key business partner Keyrus. This is a proof of what can be achieved when experts in their respective field work towards a common goal. Tableau was initially deployed by Keyrus as a cloud-based tool (Tableau Online) that enabled a rapid roll-out to meet Grindrod’s immediate reporting and analytical needs. In subsequent phases of the project, the technology was evolved to fully embed Tableau within the operational application, enabling single sign-on and a seamless user interface.

Prior to the initial Tableau implementation, reporting was siloed and produced using legacy systems at two sites. Other reports arrived in various formats, inhibiting consolidation for executive-level reporting and a single source of the truth.

Keyrus proposed a solution that would enable the capture and collection of data from multiple operational processes, equipment and locations, using centralised maser data management, harnessing internal IP and specific work routines and delivering an end-to-end view of the operation in a visibility layer.

Craig Andrew, senior consultant and certified Tableau expert at Keyrus, explains that Grindrod requested visibility of, and reporting and analytics on, performance against contract; performance to plan on landside logistics; stockpile management; and vessel loading performance. The platform would be used internally and ultimately by Grindrod clients to manage the movement of their cargo.

In this framework, all data is fed through cloud services to a near real-time operational data warehouse. Tableau then offers complete reporting and analytics capability at an operational, tactical and strategic level. Information consumption is now simpler, and the interface ensures a pleasant user experience.

The finished product is fully configurable and flexible as well as secure. Grindrod system administrators have complete control over what each user can and cannot see, managing user profile access at various levels within the architecture. It can also be integrated to an active directory. Live reporting is provided for over 95% of reports through the Tableau native Microsoft SQL Server connector. Grindrod can ensure responsiveness using an immediate view of the state of operations from any location.

Oladapo Carew, Regional IT Manager of Grindrod’s terminal business, explains that the implementation of Tableau has played a key role in enabling faster, informed data-driven decision-making across the business. “Case studies have shown a productivity improvement of up to 43%[1] when trading spreadsheets for embedded analytics – we look forward to unlocking that value.”

"Modern technology and its capability to solve business challenges is key to the thought processes of all our experts. We like to think of ourselves as a reliable partner with a personal and hands-on approach to implementing the latest digital solutions, while Grindrod is a company with foresight and willingness to invest into the future. Together, we aim to change and simplify the shipping industry in a way that will enable our organisations to remain leaders in our respective fields for years to come,” comments Greg Guye, CEO at Keyrus.

[1] Smart Data Collective


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