Q: Why did Bridgestone initially choose Tableau?
A: I think there are a couple of main reasons:
Bridgestone Europe was not the first entity within Bridgestone using Tableau. It was
already used by Bridgestone Japan before we were introduced. This meant that, as a business, we were comfortable and some-what familiar with how Tableau could work for us.
We were happy with how the software worked and the ease to create reports as a business user. This was the main reason that Bridgestone decided to implement Tableau on a larger scale in Europe.
In the past we had a central business intelligence team which was part of the IT department. The requests to change reports were logged in an internal IT system. Changing and updating reports always took a long time. To make this process faster and more efficient, even be able to produce a report in 1 day, we chose Tableau.
The process was changed; now reports are created by the business and the bottleneck of our IT department has been removed.
Q: Did you evaluate any other tools before choosing Tableau?
A: 3 years ago, when we decided to go for Tableau. Bridgestone was comparing Tableau with a few other data visualisation tools.
At the time, Tableau was more advanced in creating different visualizations. I’m not entirely sure how these other tools would do these days.
Q: Do you have an example of the value Tableau has brought in the past few years?
A: I think the number of questions for new reports every day, is a kind of indication of the success. If something is not used, and people don’t look at it, you don’t receive any questions.
Everything is increasing. Usage, the number of requests, ..
At this moment our Tableau Server has over 500 active users.
We have also started using Tableau for external purposes. We have given our customers access to our Tableau Server. Now they are able to take a look at the tyre pressure monitoring dashboards for example. These dashboards are updated frequently; daily or sometimes even hourly.
We have recently released fleet and dealer reports. Thanks to row level security implemented with Tableau Server, a customer can see their correct and relevant data across different reports. This is a success, since Tableau is the only BI tool we are using to also give access to non Bridgestone colleagues. All other Bridgestone tools are used internally only. That also means Tableau has been a success both within and beyond our organization.
Q: Why did Bridgestone choose Biztory as their Tableau partner?
A: Firstly, Biztory was and continues to be the biggest and most well known Tableau Partner in Belgium.
Initially we contacted a few other partners as well. Bridgestone chose Biztory and hasn’t moved away from their choice since that initial moment.
Q: What has it been like working with Biztory?
A: Bridgestone changes their way of working frequently. The Biztory team have proven to be flexible, adjusting to follow and keep up with all of these changes without any issues.
It has been very important to us having consistency. Tim and Kathryn have been our go-to consultants recently. It would be difficult to make the progress we have if we had different consultants every time. The business terms, systems and structures are not easy to understand at Bridgestone so having to bring a new consultant up to speed for every engagement would be a loss of valuable time and would not have worked. Having these dedicated people to our organisation has been of paramount importance for us.
Biztory have also shown a great ability to be reactive. Sometimes we have last minute requests, urgent issues, or something that breaks. At those times the reactivity of Biztory has enabled us to keep up and running and keep our business users happy.
Q: Do you have any tips for another company looking to get started with Tableau? Would you do anything differently when you could start over again?
A: In the beginning when you start with Tableau Desktop, everyone can work separately on their own laptop, meaning you can’t impact your colleagues too much. From the moment you deploy Tableau Server, you reach a lot of people. Publishing wrong dashboards or Tableau Workbooks could have bigger consequences. It is important to tackle your transition from independent working with Tableau Desktop to collaborative working with Tableau Server with a clear plan to ensure success.
Next to that, it’s important to have IT governance, or at the very least buy-in from the IT department. The architecture, infrastructure and server need to be looked after. The business is able to dive in head first using Tableau Desktop, but I would advise against Tableau Server being administered, deployed and maintained by the business.
In my opinion, I think it is important to start small. People should start small. Tableau has a habit of growing organically as more people see the tool and are interested in seeing their data. Treating Tableau in a similar way to some other complex BI tools doesn’t make sense. When IT are creating all of the reports, a lot of knowledge and added value is lost. Democratising the creation of the reports allows business users to ask and answer the questions that they need, without the risk of things being lost in translation, which can save a lot of time and effort for everyone.
This testimonial from Bridgestone was created with consent during an interview with Agnieszka Adydan.
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