Hanesbrands analyzes billions of rows of data

Hanesbrands, Inc. is a global consumer goods company with more than a century of history and a portfolio of leading apparel essentials including T-shirts, bras, panties, men’s underwear, kids' underwear, socks, hosiery, casual wear and active wear. In this video, we hear from Director of Business Intelligence and Analytics for Hanesbrands Santiago Restrepo about how the company is using Tableau to gain insight from billions of rows of data in large databases.

Tableau: What do you appreciate most about Tableau’s capabilities at Hanesbrands?
Santiago Restrepo, Director of Business Intelligence and Analytics: Tableau is so easy to use and the insights that you can generate from it are a lot better than what you can do with other traditional tools. You can save a lot of time by generating reports, by generating new ways to visualize information. Doing those with other tools will take 10 to 20 times as long. And the quality of the insight and the take-aways that you can generate is never gonna be the same.

Tableau: What sort of solutions are you creating with Tableau?
Santiago: We’ve done a lot of great work using Tableau on top of consumer segmentation schema information, classifying each U.S. household into one of different consumer segments. We've used that information to discover which the best stores for placing our products are and where to do promotions or assortments.

I see Tableau becoming a tool for exploratory data analysis that's being used by the people in the business marketing sales supply chain that are analytical and they want to use their data and have access to it. So I see Tableau becoming that tool that people use to generate their own insights and their own data.

Tableau: How did Hanesbrands get started and grow adoption of Tableau?
Santiago: When I moved to Hanesbrands, I introduced them to Tableau. From there, it's been a great success and a great improvement in providing better capabilities for analytics and visualizations. We started using it in marketing, but from there, it has spread to the finance area, the supply chain area and category management. It just continues to spread like wildfire across the whole organization.

We decided to upgrade to Tableau Server so everybody has access to it. We have a good way to track the usage, make sure that the data is secured and people have the right access. And people just access the Tableau Server from any browser and from any iPad— that's how we've been able to expand the usage of the tool.

Our data set is billions and billions of rows. Before Tableau, it was very hard to make good sense of that information. But now, we're able to use Tableau to create better insights and make more fact-based decisions.

Tableau: How are people benefiting from Tableau analytics?
Santiago: They're able to analyze a lot of information. We have point-of-sale data by SKU, by store, by week or by day for all of our trade partners. Our data set is billions and billions of rows. Before Tableau, it was very hard to make good sense of that data and that information. But now, we're able to use Tableau on top of it and be able to create better insights and make more fact-based decisions.

Tableau: Where do you store your data?
Santiago: We store the majority of our data in SQL Server. We have Analysis Servers as cubes, and we use Tableau as the main reporting tool connecting to the cubes, or creating extracts out of the cubes or out of the database itself. We connect Tableau to those extracts or to those data sets. It works really well. It's scalable. We have a huge amount of information, and we can use Tableau to analyze it and to extract the information and the insights from it.

Tableau: How has Tableau impacted how people work?
Santiago: Before Tableau, we were spending 80 percent of our time cleaning up the data or making it usable, and just 20 percent of the time generating reports or dashboards. But that flipped totally. Right now with Tableau, we’re generating the data and cleaning it up is so much quicker. We're able to dedicate 80 percent of our time to understanding the information better, discovering better insights and making better business decisions.

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