Mediterranean Shipping is a Geneva-based operator of ships with offices in 105 countries, close to 50,000 employees and fewer than 1 percent of that number to run all of IT.

That makes it fitting that CTO Fabio Catassi was nominated to our list by an analyst for having “one of the best examples of BI in a complex enterprise run almost entirely by business users.” 

“Headquarters makes the big decisions on ships and acquisitions, but IT is very streamlined so the type of analysis we could provide was essential but limited,” says Catassi. Mostly, this was Excel reports grabbing data from business applications for executive reporting, and the company already had a base of managers adept with the tool.

These Microsoft users gained a “godsend” in the 2008 release of Analysis Services with PowerPivot, which allowed IT to intervene on the users’ behalf.

“We were an early adopter and we exposed them to existing cubes we had created, and we also created views out of a production system to the smallest detailed areas of the various lines of business,” Catassi says.

With some training, power users took to the system “like magicians,” says Catassi. “They love it and they are now empowered instead of having to even come back to us periodically. They have access to all the raw feeds, all the denormalized that we deliver from the database and they are capable of copying them and refreshing them directly.”

Larger files of dozens to hundreds of megabytes were addressed with a global SharePoint environment, so when someone in the U.S. wants to share an analysis with headquarters, they can point to SharePoint without requiring downloading.

Quotable: “I think you make yourself irreplaceable if you work with the idea that you are not holding any key to your own job [and you are] empowering other people to almost be able to do your job. Then you are free to do something higher, and you also make other people grow."

Read about the next 2012 honoree.

To read more about the 25 Top Information Managers for 2012, click here.

To view the slide show of all 2012 honorees, click here.

Register or login for access to this item and much more

All Information Management content is archived after seven days.

Community members receive:
  • All recent and archived articles
  • Conference offers and updates
  • A full menu of enewsletter options
  • Web seminars, white papers, ebooks

Don't have an account? Register for Free Unlimited Access