Societe Generale creates secure, dynamic reports with Tableau

Societe Generale Group is a major financial services group in Europe. Before Tableau, Societe Generale’s teams created static PDF reports. As they embraced the world of big data, they were faced with the problem of how to display it. They needed a tool that could visualize the data in a simple, meaningful way—and securely share insights across the company.

Societe Generale is a leading European banking group providing financial services to private, corporate, and institutional clients.

When the software development team at Societe Generale started using Tableau, they found that they could easily create dynamic reports. Today, both internal users and clients can quickly create dashboards, modify parameters, and filter down into the data.

In the financial industry, security is increasingly important. With Tableau Server, the IT team can segment the data and set permissions for each department, protecting sensitive information.

Antonio Cusmano, Head of Software Development says that with Tableau dashboards, the “data practically speaks to you.”

Tableau: Why did you start using Tableau? What was your first impression?
Antonio Cusmano, Head of Software Development: Almost all companies are approaching the world of big data, and we did the same; although once we had enriched our databases and indexed a large amount of data, we had the problem of how to display it.

We didn't want to limit ourselves to simply producing static reports, we wanted to produce something dynamic, something that could be used not only passively to make decisions or confirm some data trends, but which could be used during the analysis itself.

For this reason we started using Tableau, and I must say that, as far as the design of the Tableau dashboard is concerned, we found it very easy to use, and we found it permitted extremely fast dashboard reproduction both by internal users and by our clients. We have an appreciation that comes from the fact that this data practically speaks to you once you access the dashboard.

We have an appreciation that comes from the fact that this data practically speaks to you once you access the dashboard.

Tableau: What features of Tableau have you seen the most benefit from?
Antonio: It’s very simple to see what the progress of this data is in a visual way and to be able to modify the parameters, use the filters, change the type of graphics used in order to ensure that this data is even more significant.

This is certainly an added value compared to how we used to produce reports in the past, in the classic form of printed reports or PDF reports which were then distributed.

Tableau: How does Tableau fit into your security model?
Antonio: In the world of banks in Italy, privacy-related aspects are becoming increasingly important, and therefore access to the final investors' data.

The advantage that I found on Tableau Server is the ability to segment the data, and therefore create dashboards associated with only one slice of the data— those that are to be used by the back office application in that specific office.

In this way we prevent employees from gaining access to data they don't need right from the start.

Tableau: How does Tableau meet your data needs?
Antonio: Right from the start it was easy for us to begin to actually produce dashboards from different data sources, and this is definitely one more added value of Tableau. This is very important because, being an international business and working with institutional investors and therefore not retail, we often find ourselves having to receive data flows from our counterparts that we need to process, we have to relate them to each other in order to carry out checks and inspections ourselves, at an IT level but also at a back office operations level.

With Tableau we can do this very easily. I have to say that the blending of data is one thing that is definitely an added value.

Tableau: Do you have anything you’d like to add?
Antonio: I would like to add one thing, a real improvement that I have seen is the possibility of working offline; I very often find myself traveling. I often have to travel between Milan and Turin, which are our two head offices in Italy, I am on the train and I'm operative. I can work with Tableau because I have the opportunity to work with data, which I have already extracted.

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