Q: Why did Contraload initially choose Tableau?
A: We recognised it as being the best tool on the market. We were using quite a bad platform in 2014/2015. We investigated the different possibilities, and at that time, Tableau was by far the best choice.
In the visual analytics industry, and for our use cases, we felt Tableau was the best. Since then, the market has changed a bit, with Microsoft becoming a more prominent player and investing in their analytics capabilities. The enthusiasm of our employees during the testing period was also an important factor, upon evaluating they were keen to use Tableau.
Q: Did you evaluate any other tool before choosing Tableau?
A: At the time we didn’t go through a formal Request for Proposal procedure. I was a consultant then, and have since become IT Director. If I remember correctly, we compared Tableau to Microsoft Power BI and one other tool which I cannot recollect.
We did an extremely thorough comparison, looking at all the benefits and features from A-Z. We looked at the different options, possibilities and offerings of each tool. We decided to choose Tableau because of the superior features and benefits it demonstrated at the time. The enthusiasm that our staff had during testing was a huge influence upon our decision.
To be fair, Tableau was just best in class.
We were not pleased with the legacy tool we were using, and wanted to implement a BI Tool in the right way from the start. Since the users were enthusiastic and bought in to Tableau as a platform, it was quite a logical choice.
Q: Do you have an example/use case/good story that indicates the value Tableau has brought in the past few years?
A: We have 3 big business tools: CRM, ERP, and Finance
We did not have any proper reprorting on either of the 3 tools. To address this the TPO report was created. This is a predictive report that looks at the history over the past 6 months. The purpose of the tool is to look at the logistics of each and every customer. This helps our colleagues in Operations to contact specific customers to retrieve specific assets.
We also have Management reporting and Sales reporting, similar to most other organisations. The TPO report was one that helped us a lot by predicting the behaviour of our customers which was hugely valuable in our day-to-day operations.
Q: Why did Contraload choose Biztory as their Tableau partner
A: That’s an easy question to answer. When we were in the selection process for a data visualisation tool, I was working for Cronos (the parent company of Biztory). I made the initial contact but at that point I had no decision making power yet.
Tableau was chosen as the tool, and if I’m not mistaken, at the time, Biztory was about the only recognised Tableau partner in Belgium.
Q: What is it like working with Biztory so far?
Biztory has put an enormous amount of effort into the setup with us.
Right now, we are running a stable system. We have all the processes and procedures in place to ensure that we are up to date with software releases and that effective and efficient maintenance is occurring. But this is a prime opportunity for us to review and think about what comes next.
When we started the process, there was no reporting or data strategy. There was no real trust in data, but since we have implemented Tableau that has improved significantly. We are now approaching our second iteration of our reporting strategy which gives us the opportunity to evaluate what we want to do as an organisation and how we can do it. We are definitely not looking to move away from Tableau as we are invested in the platform and have been able to get tremendous value, but we want to be able to look into what the next logical step would be for us to become a truly data driven organisation.
If I look back and reflect on collaboration and partnership with Biztory, we are very pleased. Everyone we worked with always performed above our expectations and did their absolute best. Always On-time, always within budget. Extremely flexible on timing and expectations we have. The consultants would often go above and beyond to ensure we had what we needed and more to get the value from the platform and partnership.
We have been investigating the Tableau Blueprint approach and we think could be very helpful with these next steps for us. At Contraload, we are looking at the wider data strategy which is more than just Tableau, and while we are extremely happy and want to continue on our Tableau journey, we really want to be able to get the most of our data by defining a clear and wide data strategy. This could include additional tools and a roadmap which builds upon the work we have done already with Tableau. Everything we have in place now is excellent but it is natural for us to want more so that we can evolve and stay at the forefront of the technology cycle and get the most from our data as an organisation.
Currently, all our reports are connected to our DWH. We are looking at how we can move more towards operational reporting in the near future.
Customer facing reporting is something else that we are investigating more and more. This comes close to the entire Data Monetization story. We are assessing any opportunities that arise in this space too.
Q: Any tips for another company that would like to start with Tableau? Would you do anything differently if you could start over again?
A: Starting from nothing like we did, working with a system that doesn’t have any native reporting available, I am confident that Contraload took the best possible road.
Discover what’s possible. It is extremely valuable to go through a data discovery exercise; it helped us find what is available and included already in our data. If you don’t know your data thoroughly, it may not make sense to build fancy reports on top of it. We took our time over a few years to build up our internal knowledge, go through the data discovery phase and this has finally led us to the next level where we are now.
We don’t just want to send a report to customers, we want to make sure the customer can have interaction with his/her own data to unearth insights and real tangible value.
Learn about your data, assess the value, define KPIs, and then go for it!