SNCF says goodbye to ancient Excel Spreadsheets (Source Reb
SNCF says goodbye to ancient Excel Spreadsheets

Qlik has announced that SNCF has modernised its analytics capabilities by introducing Qlik’s visual self service capabilities across the company. The challenge for SNCF was that they used siloed HRM solutions that each feed into Excel Spreadsheets and only when the data was consolidated together would analysis be possible. This is a challenge faced by many companies as they seek to draw together different information from disparate systems.

One of issues with Excel spreadsheets is version control and another is that because of the sensitive data contained in most of these spreadsheets access had to be limited to a select few people, leading to delays and efficiency issues. The solution that SNCF chose to resolve this was Qlik Human Resource analytics. Qlik produces several job function analytics packages one of which is Human Resources, this allows companies to rapidly deploy predefined template reports suitable for their business without the need to spend hours of development.

Hervé Genty Strategic Projects Manager at SNCF, (Source LinkedIn)
Hervé Genty Strategic Projects Manager at SNCF

Hervé Genty, Project Management Labor Analytics at SNCF explains:  “We wanted a solution that would enable our users to answer questions in the data that have not been addressed and that would encourage them to ask the next question to see the complete picture.”

We also knew that the software had to be easily adaptable to accommodate rapid organizational changes. Qlik’s ease of use, design capabilities, performance, and integrated data management capabilities sealed the deal for us.”

This first analytics tools implemented displayed absenteeism on an interactive map and population against agent resources and payroll. The ability to deliver these insights to relevant employees across the organisation was something that had previously not been possible and the easy access to data enabled better collaborative decision making. The visual front end provided by Qlik provided the intuitive and friendly front end that users demanded and needed.

Genty continued: “This type of analysis enables true predictive employment management. By viewing the peaks on age groups in certain areas, it is possible to anticipate necessary training and recruitment. Before Qlik, this type of analysis was very laborious, or simply impossible.”

With a workforce that is geographically spread there are some features within Qlik that have proven to be powerful in the SNCF workplace. The session sharing capability enables management to look at and discuss information in an interactive way that would not have been possible before without physically meeting or laborious Excel work. It will be interesting to see how SNCF develops these skills and insights over the coming months.

James Fisher, vice president of global product marketing at Qlik Source LinkedIn
James Fisher, vice president of global product marketing at Qlik

James Fisher, vice president of global product marketing at Qlik sees SNCF an organisation that has benefitted from implementing Qlik. Empowering itself through the use of visual analytics has ultimately enabled business improvements to be carried out as a result of the insights gained.

He commented: “Organizations like SNCF are quickly realizing that the ability to drive greater value from their information can be a true differentiator. In other words, it is their analytic capabilities as much as their business processes that will make them successful in the marketplace.”

“With Qlik, businesses can see the whole story that lives within their data and as a result drive insight across the organization, enabling everyone to do their jobs smarter and faster than ever.”


One cannot help thinking that although SNCF has resolved an issue by implementing Qlik to empower their users with the data from their HR solutions, it has not addressed the root cause of the problem. The disparate HR systems remain in place and will no doubt be in need of replacement with a single cloud based solution.

The Qlik solution has clearly helped glue the different solutions together. By taking data feeds from each of those HR systems it ensures that all the data is up to date and in a single location. It will be interesting is what SNCF do next.


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