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Google Cloud Customer Story - Randstad Group

Randstad Group Belgium becomes data-driven with Google Cloud analytics & data warehouse

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In Short

Randstad Group Belgium wanted to become more data-driven & to set up a data platform to enable future-proof business intelligence and analytics
Together with partner Fourcast, a data architecture consisting out of a data warehouse & several Google Cloud products and solutions was created
Randstad Group was able to largely streamline its data input and analytics, and is in the process of creating a self-service data platform for the organisation
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“We chose for Google Cloud because I believe that Google has Machine Learning capabilities that are more developed than those of other Cloud platforms. When you say ML, you also say data. Google has a gigantic data platform with a lot of data capabilities. On top of that, we were already working with a Google ecosystem with for example G Suite, where we can fit in well other Google solutions. So for me the choice for Google Cloud is like a puzzle that falls into place. In our context and in our setup, Google Cloud today is the best choice for us."
Günther Gijsels Randstad Group-Square

Günther Ghijsels
CIO & CDO, Randstad Group Belgium

About Randstad Group Belgium

As a service provider for human resources, Randstad Group Belgium is market leader in the field of temporary employment and outplacement. In addition, Randstad Group is a crucial player in recruitment and selection, coaching, payrolling, interim management, recruitment process outsourcing (RPO), HR consultancy and project sourcing. The most famous brands are Randstad, Tempo-Team and Randstad Risesmart. Tempo-Team @Home is a big player for household help via service vouchers. 

In Belgium, Randstad Group Belgium has more than 2,300 employees, spread over almost 300 offices and in-house locations with customers. Every day, Randstad Group employs an average of 47,000 people a week. In 2019, the group achieved a turnover of EUR 1.432 billion. The Belgian head office is located in Brussels. 

Ever since its inception in 1960, the values of 'knowing, serving and trusting' have been the thread running through Randstad's operations. In doing so, the company strives for perfection and simultaneous representation of interests. These values are the basis of the corporate culture.

Randstad is the world's largest HR service provider. 

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"What I find a strong point of working with Fourcast as an external partner is that you bring in the right people with the right competencies and expertise when needed. And you can shift gears very quickly whenever an issue arises. We see the Fourcast team almost as an extension of our own internal IT department. This makes the partnership and the collaboration very easy.”
Günther Gijsels Randstad Group-Square

Günther Gijsels
CIO & CDO at Randstad Group Belgium

The Challenge

One of the main drivers to look to Google Cloud for Randstad Group Belgium was the fact that they wanted to move from information to actionable data. The Group was searching for a solution to make sure they were not just spreading information in reports. Their goal was to gather and spread actionable data back into the organisation.

A second driver was that they were looking for a solution that would offer an easy to use, comprehensive way of doing data analytics. 

Randstad Group Belgium is using Oracle Business Intelligence stack for part of its internal reporting. Because this reporting is limited and with the main drivers mentioned above in mind, the Group wanted to move from pure reporting to more comprehensive business intelligence. 

Believing that data analytics and business intelligence is key to the future success of Randstad Group Belgium, the group was running into several limitations of the current reporting processes.

Specific limitations the Group was running into were

  • Reporting was not self-service
  • More focus on internal reporting than on external reporting
  • There was no end-to-end view, for example website data could not be related to accounting data
  • There were no ‘what if’ analysis capabilities. For example: what if consultants would visit 10% more customers daily?
  • There was no business glossary and data dictionary available. This made it difficult for people to start with the data

The Goal

We really wanted to be prepared for the future in the way we’re doing data analytics. With a lot of flexibility and the use of new technologies.”

The goal of Randstad Group Belgium was to create a platform that they could use as a means to answer all data requests from different stakeholders within and outside the organisation.

Those data requests are very broad. First of all, there’s the purely operational context: how are we doing things operationally? Are we doing the right thing as employees? Are we executing the right commercial actions and external promotions? 

Second goal of Randstad Group Belgium is to use all the data that they have to support the organisation strategically in all the decision taking processes. To use all the data to get to much more automated decision making. That the business almost literally doesn't have to think about a decision anymore, but can just let the data speak. To then make the decision based upon that data and execute.

More specifically, the goal of Randstad Group Belgium together with partner Fourcast was to set up a data analytics and business intelligence platform that would be

  • Self-service for all customers, and potentially a “data marketplace”
  • Externally shareable: from inside-out to outside-in
  • Scalable with the ability to handle large datasets
  • End-to-end reporting possible
  • Intelligent reporting (for example, predictive analytics, use of ML to get better insights
  • Ability for Data Governance

Solution

In the search for the best solution for this business need of modernising the data analytics strategy for Randstad Group Belgium, together with partner Fourcast, the Group identified Google Cloud as having all capabilities to solve the initial challenges and enable the desired goals. To answer all the business needs, a Cloud-native data architecture was created. 

With Google Cloud, we can work in a very broad ecosystem, in terms of technology because Google is available in a wide ecosystem. But also in terms of people, we’re not dependent on only a few persons that master the technology. For me, this makes Google Cloud future-proof and market-standard.”

This architecture consists of several components like a data lake, staging area, a data warehouse, data mart and then a serving layer in a self service environment that makes the data visual for employees. A newly created data framework makes it possible to automate a large number of processes.

Google Cloud products that are used to create the framework are amongst others Cloud Storage, BigQuery and Pub/Sub.

“What’s very important for me in our current Google stack is that we maximise our efforts to get the most out of what is available in the Cloud. That we can build up this platform very flexibly and that we can react very quickly when new things become available in Google Cloud. It’s essential to me that we’re not stuck with one technology, but that we create a lot of flexibility so we can always keep up with the Cloud - which is evolving very fast. With the setup that we have created now, we can perfectly do this: we can quickly reiterate if we have to.” 

Günther Gijsels Randstad Group-Square

Günther Ghijsels
CIO & CDO, Randstad Group Belgium

The Methodology

For the implementation of the solution, a strong partnership between Randstad Group Belgium and partner Fourcast was set up.

What I appreciate a lot about Fourcast is that you really act as a partner, not as a vendor. That’s very important because you really think with us, you don’t just execute. You’re always trying to find the best solutions for our organisation. When for example you have another vision or idea about something that we want to implement, you will transparently tell us so we can find another solution together."

- Günther Gijsels, CIO & CDO at Randstad Group Belgium

The Result

This project is still ongoing, however there are some first results and deliverables already clear for Randstad Group Belgium.

With the help of partner Fourcast, Randstad Group Belgium was able to get full control over the data input to Google Cloud. Where the data input was more chaotic and non-standardised before, the Group now has a standardised way for data input in Google Cloud. 

Other concrete business cases start delivering results now, like for example a market operation report and other reports that are linked to the data platform.

With what we have achieved over the past few months with Fourcast, we were able to sharpen our vision and make the path to the future more clear. Strategically, Google Cloud will become more important in our hybrid Cloud structure. We definitely want to keep working together with partner Fourcast and expand our partnership in the long term.
Günther Gijsels Randstad Group-Square

Günther Ghijsels
CIO & CDO at Randstad Group Belgium

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