Tableau: What makes you a Tableau lover?
Scott Burrill, Managing Director: We've done things with Tableau with a team of five people that would have taken 50 a significant amount of time to do. We’re running a business and we want to bring value to our clients, we want to bring value to our organization. So, the impact is real and we measure it; it's been significant.
Tableau: Why do you use Tableau to analyze market data?
Scott: We’re able to perform derived analytics on hundreds, thousands of different fields, and then bring that in, visualize it, get insights, act on it, tell stories over it, in a very quick way. The objective of a tool like Tableau is to make it simple. Not simplistic but simple. We wanted to deploy this real simply for our traders and clients to determine when we might suggest they sell a security, and when they could buy it. We can filter by economic sector, security, date, and trader type. You can really very quickly get an idea of when the high probability entry or exit points are for security.
Tableau: How has Tableau helped you gain insight from big data?
Scott: Tableau has opened up a whole new field for us in being able to act on insights where normally we may have had to just do sampling, we can now look at whole populations of data. We have 800 securities that we're calculating predictive analytics on to determine from a real time standpoint when to enter or exit positions.
Tableau: How does that help your clients?
Scott: We are currently accurate about 80, 85 percent of the time. So, this has incredible implications for us and for our clients. The insights from, for example, how could I have implemented a trade better can yield 100-fold thousand time improvement in your cost. And in our economic environment those type of insights are incredibly valuable. We're talking about the difference between staying in business and not.
Tableau: You found us early on. What drew your attention?
Scott: I've always been resourceful, and in my industry, the financial services industry, the price of entry for products can run anywhere from $25,000, $50,000, $100,000 and up. I was looking for something that I could deploy quickly and on my desktop, and I looked at a number of data vis tools back in 2006. Tableau really caught my eye as just something that was absolutely awesome. I say, in business you want to catch a wave, and I caught an early wave.
Tableau: You were looking for flexibility with data sources?
Scott: Flexibility and connectivity were really things I was looking for. We deal with a lot of data, a lot of structured data, a lot of unstructured data, and in particular like time series data. And I wanted something that was flexible enough to work in text, spreadsheets, SQL databases, MySQL, a number of other variety of tools— and this was even before the big data.
Tableau: How did your implementation go? How has it grown?
Scott: Since I'm one of the partners and I run IT, I really can have a lot of flexibility. I encourage my people to really stay abreast of technology and try new things. So, our implementation really started with me downloading the trial on my computer and just starting to work with it. We've deployed it across our organization with a handful of users, but primarily we're using it right now with Tableau Server internally, and externally with a few stakeholders. So, we've been pretty guarded with some of the stuff that we're deploying.
Tableau: What impact has Tableau had on the organization?
Scott: Tableau has had a tremendous impact on our organization. When I originally started using it, Tableau, I really thought I had a secret weapon.The impact has been really rapid fire for us in enabling to tell a story very quickly, consume a lot of data, look at it across multiple dimensions. The impact has also been in real dollars. We've been able to export some of our insights to our clients and make serious money off of it, whether it be from a consulting project or through ongoing kind of decision-making tools. The impact is in the seven figures, so it's significant.
Tableau: So it’s expanded your business offerings?
Scott: It's given us a new business model. We're able to bring to market product much quicker than we would have without a team of analysts in the way. So, we're able to really flatten the layers and really build upon what we have, which is our skill and toolset, and Tableau is a core component of that.
Tableau: What’s next for you and Tableau?
Scott: We’re using Tableau right now for real time decision support. We're really pushing the edges of Tableau. We would love to see it deployed in more of a clustering framework in the cloud. We want to start deploying this to clients in a larger way with growing graphs and things like that. What's next is wider deployment, wider consumption of the product internally and externally, and to continue to push the envelope.