Stylight saves “hundreds of hours of manual work” with Tableau Online

Online fashion specialist Stylight uses Tableau to support decision-making processes in its departments and locations around the globe. Through automated analyses and reporting based on a variety of internal and external data sources, the company was able to significantly reduce the formerly required manual effort.

Thanks to report automation, we're already saving more than 100 hours of man hours per week.

Tableau: Please provide us with your personal details and information about your company.
Dr. Konstantin Wemhöner, Head of Business Intelligence: My name is Dr. Konstantin Wemhöner. I manage Business Intelligence at Stylight. Stylight is a platform that combines content with e-commerce. Every day our editorial team picks the latest and best in beauty, lifestyle and fashion, and aggregates it to inspire our customers. Customers can then shop for fashion directly on our website.

Tableau: What is the Tableau solution used for in your company?
Dr. Wemhöner:We use Tableau in the Business Intelligence Department, where we prepare reports for the various departments and provide assistance in decision making. We currently have four active users in Business Intelligence who prepare reports, but various departments receive the reports via Tableau Reader and Tableau Online. Ultimately, it involves more than 50 people.

Tableau: What data sources do you use?
Dr. Wemhöner: As an e-commerce business, we have many online data sources, of course. We use Tableau to integrate and combine various data sources to create information that wasn’t previously available in that form. We support management using key financial indicators and our Marketing Department with performance data in terms of users. Also, in fashion-tagging for products—specifically how we tag—reports on how well certain products are tagged, etc.

Our main data source is currently Amazon Redshift, which we use as a data warehouse. Furthermore, we integrate Google Analytics and data from online platforms like BuzzStream or Google AdWords via various custom-written ETL scripts.

Tableau: How satisfied are your users?
Dr. Wemhöner: Users are very satisfied. Tableau allows end users to further focus on specific data in the reports we prepare at Business Intelligence and go into greater detail. The rollout was very simple, and the product is very intuitive for our users.

Tableau: What do you like about Tableau in particular?
Dr. Wemhöner: It's the fact that users can access the data themselves instead of receiving static reports in PDF or Excel files. They're not just confronted with data but can search for new information in an interactive manner. The departments have, of course, a far deeper understanding of their work, and we support them with the initial preparation. The decision-making process, however, takes place in the department.

Tableau: What benefit has the solution brought to your organization?
Dr. Wemhöner: In the first year of using Tableau, we managed to reduce the manual work previously required when aggregating data from various sources in Excel or Google by more than a hundred hours. This means the departments can save more than a hundred man hours. They can use this time to actually do the work they want to do and not just update Excel sheets.

In terms of information we can generate far deeper insight by aggregating data sources that we previously couldn't connect with in this way. In particular the integration of Google Analytics with our in-house data is a great help.

Tableau: What was the situation like before you opted for Tableau?
Dr. Wemhöner: I've been with Stylight for one year, and Business Intelligence at Stylight was sort of established at the same time I started. Before then, a lot of reports were kept in Excel and Google spreadsheets. Updating those spreadsheets involved a lot of manual tasks. Our challenge was to find a tool that would support us in making these manual tasks easier, and which also provided the option of communicating easily between the different offices we have in London and New York. And that was when we came across Tableau.

Tableau: Why did you opt for Tableau?
Dr. Wemhöner: When I started working here, we took a two-month period to collect information about solutions that would help us visualize our data and distribute it between continents. We tested Tableau over a period of two weeks, and it was really helpful that the entire setup and management of the server system was handled by Tableau.

This enabled our team of back then only two people to provide a company with two hundred people with the reports they needed.

Tableau: Are there any key aspects that should be mentioned?
Dr. Wemhöner: Over the course of our work with Tableau, we've noted that there is a very active community. Many of our questions were answered by the community within a couple of days, if not hours, or they had already been answered online. This is very helpful for us, and we have the impression that Tableau is being used by more and more companies. The exchange between various companies and sectors shows us use cases that we've not seen previously, and helps us continue our development as BI.

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