Sara Lee uses Insight 2000 to help maximize the power of their data

‘Insight 2000 has given us a powerful & flexible reporting tool that everyone can use’

Mario Toto, Sara Lee


Sara Lee is a large multinational FMCG manufacturer running a business planning system on Oracle Express Server. An internal IS department produced monthly reports for National Account Managers to aid in the decision making process. This critical information was taking too long to compile by hand. The requirement was for a tool which could provide:

  • Fast responses to customer queries
  • Productivity and efficiency gains
  • An improved planning and decision-making process from existing data sources

The tool should be quick to access, easy to use and simple to update and support. It was critical that it should lead users to areas of the business that requiring attention.


 An Excel OLAP reporting tool — Insight 2000 — was used to provide the users with the information they required. Insight was chosen for its strength in flexible reporting and ease of use.  Insight was rolled out to 30 users with a broad range of IT skills. Since Insight is an Excel add-in, minimal training was required. Users’ existing Excel skills and product familiarity provided a non-threatening and intuitive interface. The system is now used to produce the monthly reports and provides ad-hoc reporting of the database.

Thorogood input

Sara Lee selected Thorogood for our experience with their existing system and for our ability to satisfy their requirements. Thorogood’s skills with both Express and Insight provided great confidence in the proposed solution. Insight 2000 is the latest application from Thorogood for collecting data from various sources and formats, and clearly presents the information in your chosen spreadsheet package environment. Initially, Thorogood implemented a version of Insight 2000 to work with Sara Lee’s existing systems. Once this was in place the client provided examples of the required 30 reports. Feedback on Insight was incorporated to tailor the product to their needs. Primarily this involved allowing users to view reports without ever having to learn Insight by simply clicking an icon on the desktop. The reports were produced and users were shown how they could modify and add to the collection in the future.

Benefits to the client

Sara Lee has gained a highly flexible tool for reporting on demand.  Users now concentrate on the information, rather than on how to retrieve it. In addition, users are empowered in their access and use of information — creating and sharing their own reports. The IS department at Sara Lee is now free to deal with many other issues rather than being tied up for a large proportion of the month producing reports.  


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