Data Analytics Allows P&G to Turn on a Dime, article in CIO Insight

May 03, 2013
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Filippo Passerini provides an overview of the steps that P&G took to improve its analytic capabilities and harness the power of big data in real-time.

by Peter High, published in CIO Insight


Filippo Passerini, CIO and Group President of Global Business Services of Procter & Gamble, discusses the approach he and his team have taken to get better, more accurate data analysis into the right executives’ hands in a timely fashion. The result is a remarkable track record of innovation.


WHO: Filippo Passerini, CIO and Group President of Global Business Services of Procter & Gamble

WHAT: Sharing his approach to data analytics, brought to life with the better use of big data and collaboration technology

WHERE: Cincinnati, Ohio and 75 countries worldwide

Filippo Passerini has as broad a purview as any CIO in the world. In fact, he is not just the CIO of P&G, but is also the Group President of Global Business Services. In his role as CIO, he understands the power of IT to deliver insights to the organization. In his role as head of Global Business Services, he has taken this a step further, making a multi-national consumer packaged goods behemoth feel a bit smaller. In the past, it was an assumption that good practices on one continent would not be enacted on another continent for months. This thinking reinforces the traditional geographic and product silos of a huge company like P&G. Passerini realized that if he could get the right information as close to real-time as possible, while packaging it in a way that executives around the world could view together, down to having meeting spaces that facilitated such global collaboration, a cultural change could be fostered. What emerged is one of the most impressive examples of leveraging corporate data with business intelligence and analytics.

In this Q&A, Passerini tells CIO Insight contributor Peter High about the steps he took to launch this real-time, data-based revolution in business practices.

CIO Insight: You have developed one of the most sophisticated examples of data analytics in the world. What was the genesis of this? How did you determine that this was necessary?

We are big on anticipating what’s coming, and saw that being able to run the business in real-time was going to be essential for growth. So, we have been focused on analytics for a few years now. We want to create an environment where we turn data into knowledge, and knowledge into insights and actions. As the world’s largest consumer packaged goods company—with nearly $84 billion in sales, operations in 75 countries, and reaching 4.4 billion consumers—we have a lot of data. The ability to analyze this massive amount of data is critical to running the business in real-time and being responsive to changes in the marketplace.

It is not about what happened last month or last year; it is about being able to move the business from a rear-view to a forward-looking view. To move the business to a forward-looking view, we realized we needed one version of the truth. In the past, decision-makers spent time determining sources of the data or who had the most accurate data. This led to a lot of debate before real decisions could be made. We’ve elevated their discussions from the “what” to “why” and “how.” Meaning, why things are happening and how we can make interventions to change the outcome, if needed. We believe analytics will get us to the “why” as fast as possible.

We recognized the value in having access to the right data, at the right time, and with actionable insights. We also realized the power of visualizing that real-time data in an immersive environment. I believe in a complex world where there is an incredible amount of information, visualization helps distill what really matters, and the results have proven the value of our investment.

To read the full article, please visit

Additional topics covered in the article include:

  • Having this data is a powerful start, but bringing the right people together to make the actual decisions can be tricky in a company as large as P&G. How have you accomplished this?
  • Can you provide some examples of the kind of data that is assembled?
  • One of the ways in which IT helps simulate the in-store experience is by creating virtual stores to see the products on the shelf. What was the genesis of this approach? What are the benefits of it?

To read an additional profile on Filippo Passerini in Forbes, please click here.

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