REVIEWER: Piotr Motyka, principal and co-owner of Kwantum Institute.

BACKGROUND: Kwantum Institute provides specialized and innovative market research services for major global automotive manufacturers, including Toyota, Honda, Mitsubishi, Ford, GM and Volkswagen.

PLATFORMS: Windows Server 2003 Standard Edition and Microsoft Analysis Service 2005.

PROBLEM SOLVED: Kwantum’s typical process for creating and sharing reports and dashboards with clients was extremely time-consuming and produced only static reports. To give its clients the type of in-depth and detailed analysis they expected, Kwantum’s reports would have to be thousands of pages long, at which point clients could miss potentially important findings and results. We needed an analysis and reporting tool that would not only improve its internal operational processes but also increase the quality of our customer offerings by structuring results visually in a way that would be easy to understand for customers with varying technical skill levels. In addition, we required a way to distribute these reports and analyses in the easiest possible way and without burdening clients to install desktop software - one that was also capable of accessing our massive ChoiceMonitor database (up to 200 million rows of data) without impacting the integrity of our other systems. Our clients required reports and dashboards that offered real-time information as well as the ability to further interact with the data to a degree that static Excel tables don’t allow.

PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: Tableau’s visual analysis applications enable us to easily distribute and share advanced analyses with our customers. The products’ abilities to access data directly from the ChoiceMonitor database and present it in real time to clients via a browser allow the individual customers to interact with the data, highlighting specific points of interest, modifying the view or customizing their analyses to uncover additional business trends - all without having to recreate entire reports from the ground up or learn complicated query languages. The ease with which Tableau is installed and deployed allowed it to share data and insights with its clients rapidly, as if Kwantum had the IT resources of a much larger firm.

STRENGTHS: Tableau has made analysis and reporting significantly easier for Kwantum’s analysts and significantly more valuable for our clients. Because the reports that we produce are being distributed to many different people with many different skill sets, Tableau’s intuitive interface has been a key strength. The solution enables Kwantum’s clients to immediately see important trends without having to spend hours wading through data.

WEAKNESSES: Tableau is only as fast as the underlying database that it’s connecting to. As long as users keep their core database tuned and performing well, Tableau will remain fast and efficient.

SELECTION CRITERIA: Among the deciding factors were the solution’s intuitive user interface and Web-enabled sharing and collaboration capabilities, which enabled Kwantum to not only easily distribute analyses to clients but also allowed the clients to easily share the valuable insights gained from the reports across entire organizations, regardless of technical skill level.

DELIVERABLES: Since deploying Tableau, Kwantum has been able to significantly increase the customer’s ability to understand and benefit from the data, resulting in higher customer satisfaction. Tableau also enabled Kwantum’s analysts to concentrate on discussing results and working on conclusions with clients, rather than only delivering data. With Tableau, we were able to replace hundreds of pages of paper reports with 21 easy-to-understand dashboards.

VENDOR SUPPORT: Getting Tableau up and running is extremely easy, and the support staff has continued to be very helpful throughout the year that we have been using the software. Tableau can simultaneously tap into nearly any data source to create customizable data visualizations. Users can install Tableau in approximately 10 minutes. There are no specific infrastructure requirements other than a Microsoft Windows environment. In addition, although a user could begin doing basic analysis with no training at all, Tableau offers free on-demand training courses that provide tips and tricks for best utilizing the software.

DOCUMENTATION: Kwantum could deploy and use Tableau’s software relying only on documentation. The documentation is very inclusive and easy to interpret.

Tableau Server v1.6
Tableau Software
400 North 34th Street, Suite 200
Seattle, WA 98103
(206) 633-3400
http://www.tableausoftware.com/

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