How Gaëlle Periat built a career on data storytelling



Gaëlle Periat, Data & BI Manager for Ubisoft Entertainment, first fell in love with data as a developer. She soon found that her passion was data storytelling. A big part of that was “crunch[ing] data to understand people.”

Today, Gaëlle Periat works for Ubisoft, a French corporation that creates popular digital interactive entertainment and offers related services. Ubisoft recruited Data & Business Intelligence Manager, Gaëlle Periat for her analyst skillset—which included Tableau.

Gaëlle found Tableau through her job at IsCool, and rapidly moved from novice to enthusiast—spreading the word with her friends, and then professionally with executives and coworkers.

As Gaëlle rose through the world of gaming, Tableau became a constant part of her workday. When asked if Gaëlle sees Tableau as part of her future, she said, “I definitely don't see myself pursuing any of my new professional projects in data without Tableau.”


Tableau: Do you see yourself continuing to use Tableau throughout your career?
Gaëlle Periat, Data & Business Intelligence Manager: I definitely don't see myself pursuing any of my new professional projects in data without Tableau.

Tableau: What was your background professionally prior to finding Tableau?
Gaëlle: Before working purely with data, I was a developer for approximately ten years.

Like all developers, I had many assignments. On the very last one, before I turned to the dark side of data, I was in a decision support team on a large website. In fact, that is where I began to understand the value and the power of data, as we could collect everything that the Internet users were doing and point out many, many things to them.

Tableau: Did you see immediate value in your approach to data?
Gaëlle: That really interested me and at the end of about one year of development, I told them, "OK, it's cool, but I don't want to do development anymore; what I want is to crunch data, to understand people. There you have it—I want to tell stories about what people are doing on our website."

I told wonderful stories…and then I started to share that with friends, with people that I liked, and then professionally.

Tableau: Can you describe your first encounter with Tableau?
Gaëlle: When I arrived at IsCool, they told me, "Hey, here's Tableau; it’s going to be your best friend for life." And I said, "OK, but no training, nothing at all?" They said, "Well, no, it's really simple, you'll manage."

Tableau: Did you?
Gaëlle: Actually, it was really simple. I told wonderful stories about the video games we were creating at the time, and then I started to share that with friends, with people that I liked, and then professionally. I did a certain number of conferences, and one day I met one of the founders of BlaBlaCar, and then, there you have it, we talked data...

In the same manner, he told me, "OK, that's super, do you feel like coming to BlaBlaCar to do data work?” I said, "Well, yeah, why not?” There you go, I did that in video games; I'll go see what I can achieve at BlaBlaCar.

Tableau: Can you share more about that transition?
Gaëlle: I actually brought Tableau to BlaBlaCar. When I arrived, I called my Tableau account manager and told him: "Hi, it's Gaëlle from IsCool, who is now Gaëlle from BlaBlaCar, now I need Tableau at BlaBlaCar. How can we do that?" So, we began like that, with a few Tableau licenses and now, practically the whole company uses Tableau.

Tableau is always in my tool bag.

Tableau: Have you found the same continuity and ability to move fast with Tableau?
Gaëlle: In the same manner, at Ubisoft, it was, "Hi, we like what you are doing, could you bring a little of your expertise our way?"

I told them "yes." Obviously, because I love creating, I love sharing and there I was fortunate enough that they were already using Tableau; but I thought that we could do even better. That is to say, that we could still involve other people, and then go even further in data visualization.

Tableau: Did you have any Tableau training?
Gaëlle: When I learned Tableau, I had no training, so I joined the community and there, in the same manner, you can ask questions that seem a bit simple or a bit complicated for you, and there is always someone who answers you.

Tableau: Do you use the Tableau community forums?
Gaëlle: As it’s a worldwide community, the benefit is that you can ask a question before you go to bed and, by the time you get up, a nice American has answered you. Also, what's crazy is that if you really have a big mental block, you can post your file, and someone will correct it and return it to you, saying, "Well, there you go, you should've done this, you should've done that." So, in terms of community it is really exceptional.

I have never seen a community for another product that was so proactive towards other users in any case. I am carrying out my third project today, and Tableau is always in my tool bag.



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