Talend drives data solutions for global automotive supplier

By Jason Radford

When you take your car in for a repair, it’s almost inevitable that the mechanic will identify additional problems you didn’t realize you had. But there’s positive flip side to that coin — sometimes when you solve one problem, you end up unexpectedly creating solutions for other challenges—that was the case for this global automotive supplier.

In 2019, this automotive supplier set a goal and created a roadmap to integrate its master data. The company — which has an overall workforce of more than 150,000, a large global supplier base, and dozens of dashboards and reports to generate on a regular basis — needed a single source of the truth.

“The initial challenge was that we’d see different reports with numbers that sometimes didn’t align,” said the IT tower manager for B2B solutions. “This became a problem when sending reports to higher management — a high level of accuracy and transparency were needed.”

This led to the selection of Talend as the foundation for MDM integration. The preliminary goals were to merge supplier records from ERP and purchasing systems, connect and integrate key data sources for the organization’s domain, and get reliable reporting on data quality.


One platform, many possibilities

“Based on the flexibility of the Talend platform, we quickly saw that there were additional opportunities for improving our data and BI operations,” said a company representative. “Shortly after we began implementing MDM in the supplier domain, we saw that we could also use Talend to upgrade our data tooling — including things like providing self-service components to accelerate the democratization of data and supporting cloud scenarios.”

Within a year, this global automotive supplier had made good progress on both MDM integration and data tooling modernization initiatives, including:

  • Matching & merging of 25,000 supplier records
  • Data quality reporting rolled out to divisional data stewards for direct-spend suppliers
  • Developer enablement for their Global IT, vehicle assembly subsidiary, and Powertrain groups to build an external partner network
  • Roll-out of data integration across the organization
  • Creation of a framework for data movement and quality
  • Integration Hub and Data Hub as reference architecture for future projects across the organization
  • Ramp up of self-service functionality such as data preparation and data inventory


From data integration to HR innovation

Building further on its success with data integration, an initiative to use Talend to build an HR data hub kicked-off — a single, central place to share HR-related information. “The HR data hub was a foundational component to the successful launch of Workday as the company's future HRIS solution,” the customer explained. Previously, many of the employee records were managed in various, disparate HR systems.

Today, the data hub enables 30+ interfaces to support HR data flows from/to various upstream and downstream systems. It also delivers the functionality to support the data gathering WORKBOOK consolidation process for Workday tenant builds. In addition, it provides a covering user interface for load tracking and more than 1,000 DQI check rules. “We delivered a project of great scope in 12 months, which shows the twofold effect of the capabilities of the Talend platform plus the great support from Talend and our partner consultants.”

As of June 2021, two groups within the organisation are live on Workday, covering approximately 45,000 employees. In addition to supporting the initial data collections process, the HR data hub is now fully operational, executing tasks that include:

  • Handling thousands of Excel-based data loads with over 1,000 data quality and integrity checks
  • Serving 50+ interfaces and various related reports and dashboards



From an integration perspective, the Talend platform was delivered on time and on budget, even with the increased scope. “Combined with the expertise of Talend’s professional services team, we were able to deliver beyond scope in 12 months with a relatively small team. The data consolidation and data quality components were delivered in an even shorter time window. As a result of this time-to-market...avoided hundreds of hours in manual data cleansing and validation. The effort which was put in clearly paid back multiple times.”

The successful launch of Workday and the HR data hub also showed that the payoff of the investment in data tooling modernization and the more strategic approach to data management and governance. “This project changed the baseline for discussion with other business domains about the value of investing into foundational data architectures and accelerated time to business value in analytic projects going forward,” said the supplier.