Aeria Games standardizes and analyzes "all kinds" of data records with Tableau

Online-gaming company Aeria Games is leveraging Tableau to integrate various data sources into a unified foundation for daily analysis and evaluation purposes. Their users are especially happy with the ease of use and quality of Tableau’s visual displaying capabilities, which are a big help in getting new users up and running quickly. Because everything is accessible through a unified interface, time-consuming source comparisons are a thing of the past.

Aeria Games develops its own computer games, adjusts existing games to the needs of regional users and operates its own server platforms for the game on the Internet. The company currently has about 70 Tableau users in order to obtain new findings about its online gaming customers and their preferences.

When Aeria Games was taken over by ProSiebenSat.1 GmbH in February 2014, the company benefited, in particular, from Tableau's ability to standardize the most varied data records and sources and make them available to its users in a convenient manner for any evaluation or analysis.

Tableau: Please tell us a little bit about what you do at Aeria Games.
Stefanie Neubeck, Business Intelligence Analyst: My name is Stefanie Neubeck. I have worked at Aeria Games for about a year. I'm employed there as a business-intelligence analyst for data analysis and statistical evaluation. Aeria Games is a so-called online game publisher, which means we take finished games from the Asian market, for instance, and localize them for the European market. In other words, we take care of the marketing and adapt game content.

Tableau: How are you using Tableau in your company?
Stefanie: We use Tableau, above all, for matters in our department, which is Business Intelligence.

There are five of us. We take care of processing reports, preparing them and forwarding them to various departments. Currently, about 70 people work very actively with Tableau every day, and I think about 100 to 120 people rely on the data that is released and forwarded as email reports, for instance.

What we hope to achieve from this use of the data is far greater insight and, above all, quick insight to make quick analyses. We use Tableau, on one hand, to forward very general reports to all employees. On the other hand, we also try to enable special departments, such as our Production or Marketing departments, to do this, or give them the opportunity to explore the data themselves, run their own analyses and, for instance, try out in-game data and analyze various things.

They can also see the data visually in graphics, possibly make various assumptions about this, and get back to us so that we can check those assumptions jointly.

Tableau: What data sources do you use?
Stefanie: Above all, we use Amazon Redshift as a data source. This is the main location where our data warehouse is based. There are some projects where we link to the games and into the database directly. This can, for instance, involve MySQL or various databases. Tableau can be used in very different, individual ways. We have not yet arrived at a point where we haven’t been able to get on top of a database using Tableau. That's why we're so flexible.

Tableau: How satisfied are your users?
Stefanie: The first users at our company, the Business Intelligence team, are enthusiastic about Tableau. We can see how easy it is to use Tableau. We enjoy our work. When we pass on our reports, I will mention the end users in the company, whose initial responses are mostly about how nice Tableau is to look at and how easy it is to use the filters. We still need to convince some people to work less with Excel and more with us and with Tableau. We're just getting involved in the process, but generally the feedback we're getting is very positive. This is thanks to the simplicity and beauty that Tableau offers.

Tableau: What do users like about Tableau in particular?
Stefanie: The nice thing about Tableau for our users is the fact that they can access it very easily. They can access the data from anywhere using their tablets or computers. They don’t need to know much about it nor do they need to spend a long time familiarizing themselves with Tableau, because it’s very intuitive. That’s why we don’t need much time for training sessions, etc.

Tableau: What benefit has the solution brought to your organization?
Stefanie: We have been using Tableau at Aeria Games for about 18 months. Also, we were acquired by Prosieben about a year ago. There was a major project to standardize all data. Tableau was a great help here, because we managed to standardize all data sources and everything else in Tableau. In other words, end users only have to use a single tool to obtain all of the data. Consequently, it was one of our greatest successes to create standardized data and convince users to search for data using one tool. What’s more, to save time, we are no longer at a point where we need to compare data. We have a tool that we trust. It’s quicker to get to know this tool. I would say that providing fewer training sessions and getting people to work with Tableau quickly is a huge savings in time for us. It has really saved us a lot of time.

I like going to work every day because it’s so much fun working with Tableau.

Tableau: What is the outlook like for the future?
Stefanie: We are currently at a point where we have expanded our standard reporting. We have encouraged all our employees who rely on the data to work with the data and look into it independently. What we plan to do in the near future is to enable end users to understand the data structure, run statistical analyses there independently, make independent forecasts and independently discover trends to an even greater extent. This would take the workload off our Business Intelligence team a little so they can have more of a support role in order to assist other companies or other departments. This is only just starting now and will be a process lasting several weeks. However, this is what we are aiming for: more end users being able to run their analyses independently.

Tableau: From your perspective, are there any other key aspects for which you'd recommend Tableau?
Stefanie: Particularly important for me about Tableau is the following: I have only been using Tableau for one year. I was given little training. I was thrown in at the deep end. But I still enjoy it. I still familiarized myself with it quickly. One of the greatest gifts for me is that I go to work and enjoy myself. I believe that I’ve got a good thing going when I can enjoy going out and telling people about Tableau, even in my personal life.

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