FINN.no Puts Power of Analytics in Everyone’s Hands Using Tableau Software



It is Norway’s largest marketplace: an online service where millions of consumers and businesses come to buy and sell everything from bowling balls to BMWs, houses to hosepipes. To keep its finger on the pulse of who is buying and selling, what sells, and emerging trends, FINN.no relies on Tableau Software interactive, visual analytics.

It is Norway’s largest marketplace: an online service where millions of consumers and businesses come to buy and sell everything from bowling balls to BMWs, houses to hosepipes. To keep its finger on the pulse of who is buying and selling, what sells, and emerging trends, FINN.no relies on Tableau Software interactive, visual analytics. The best-in-class platform for business intelligence (BI) is helping FINN.no to understand more about its millions of customers, grow the user base, and increase revenues. Visual, real-time, self-service ad hoc and KPI reports are accelerating sales growth in FINN.no’s mobile channel, and enabling the company to rapidly harness big data analytics. According to the Norwegian company, Tableau is also “miles quicker and easier than using Spotfire or QlikView.”

Browser-Based Analytics for Everyone

FINN.no is a recent convert to Tableau’s revolutionary visual business analytics. Until recently, the company’s 300 employees relied on a fragmented assortment of BI tools, including spreadsheets. The silo-based tools gave a narrow glimpse of intelligence into advertising sales, unique users, and other metrics, but couldn’t provide a holistic view of the business. And reporting was principally an IT department affair: business users would request reports and wait sometimes days for the results to arrive.

All of that changed with the formation of FINN.no’s BI team, led by Anders Skoe, Director of Business Intelligence. “Our goal was for FINN.no to be driven by reports, not by data,” he says. “We identified three user needs. First, requirements for ad hoc reports on issues like web traffic on a particular advertisement, or advertising inventory. Second, the need for standard, drill-through reporting on KPIs. And third, self-service reporting for our customers, so they can see who viewed their advertisement.”

Skoe previously worked on business intelligence for Google’s partnership team in the U.S., so when it came to choosing a BI solution, he had some demanding requirements. “Anyone can use Tableau’s browser-based analytics—and that was backed up by the very positive reports from Gartner and other analysts. You don’t need to be a programmer. We looked at Spotfire, QlikView, and other solutions, but by comparison they were almost incomprehensible! What we could do in half an hour with Tableau would have taken a day using Spotfire or QlikView.”

Thanks to Tableau’s insight into mobile revenues, the entire culture of the company is leaning towards success in the mobile space.

Trusted, Timely Data Now in Everyone’s Grasp

By standardizing on Tableau, timely, accurate, trusted data is now in everyone’s grasp. FINN.no is using the best-in-class visual analytics in almost every corner of the business to understand more about its customers, grow the user base, and increase revenues. One of the key drives this year is to succeed in mobile channels. Tableau provides FINN.no’s sales teams with near real-time insight into revenue from mobile channels as a percentage of total sales, with the results displayed on plasma screens around the Oslo headquarters.

“It’s all about sharing data that was tied to one department. Thanks to Tableau’s insight into mobile revenues, the entire culture of the company is leaning towards success in the mobile space,” explains Skoe.

Tableau dashboards are also integrated into FINN.no’s Microsoft Dynamics CRM dashboards. When a sales person engages with a customer, Tableau provides an overview of where the customer sits in the brand hierarchy; answering questions like how much do they spend? What type of service plan are they on? And what is their purchase history? It’s all quick, easy, and intuitive. “If we tried to incorporate that type of reporting into Microsoft Dynamics, it would have taken a team of consultants two weeks to complete. With Tableau, we can do it in a day,” says Skoe.

Driving Revenue Growth Across FINN.no

Real-time Tableau interactive dashboards are also keeping the SMB sales teams abreast of their sales performance. The team focuses on outbound calls, and by integrating Tableau with the data warehouse, they can view sales data broadcast on plasma screens with the data cycled every four minutes. This timely, relevant, and intuitive view of performance is making the team more competitive according to Skoe. “The SMB team is now doing more calls and pulling in more revenue thanks to Tableau.”

Harnessing Big Data Analytics

Tableau also enables FINN.no to harness the big data analytics prevalent in the organization. FINN.no receives more than 4.1 million unique users each month, who spend on average 17 minutes on the popular service. On a typical day, there might be 300,000 advertisements on the Norwegian site. Tableau visualizes this vast amount of unstructured data—from the website, infrastructure logs and sensors, and eCommerce. This allows the staff to interpret this big data, identifying trends, acting on customer opportunities, and boosting revenues.

For the first time, data is now in the hands of the users. The self-service approach to analytics means that BI bottlenecks are a thing of the past at FINN.no: the users have the tools they need to answer their own questions, simply by logging into a secure website from any browser. Tableau is popular with the users too. “We even use Tableau to track which teams use Tableau and how much they use the technology,” says Skoe. “The FINN.no teams are very data-driven, for example, and we saw their use of Tableau increase from 50 percent to 90 percent in one month.”



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