Retailer, ASKUL Corp. sees dramatic reductions in manpower and cost

Today, ASKUL creates sales dashboards in Tableau Desktop, sharing them with employees and merchandisers over Tableau Server. Yasukazu Watanabe, Analytics in the EC Marketing Business Unit, shares how “manpower has been cut dramatically” leading to a “reduction in cost.” The company also established the ASKUL and LOHACO EC Marketing Lab, a space to collaborate with partner companies and conduct research. With Tableau, ASKUL promotes a data-driven approach to these conversations, allowing leaders to tackle problems from several different angles. Yasukazu Watanabe says that after working with Tableau, he “can't imagine going back to working with pivot tables. Never.”

Tableau: How many people at ASKUL use Tableau? Yasukazu Watanabe, Analytics, EC Marketing Business Unit, BtoC Company, ASKUL Corporation: Tableau Desktop is used by about 20 people in the company, and also by approximately 100 people from partners working with us. About 60 people use Tableau Server. As regards the usage of Tableau Desktop and Server, Desktop is used for data analysis by the company and by analysts from partners. Since the Server is often used as a dashboard application, MD (merchandisers) and others are using it to track daily numerical data on the dashboard. Tableau: Why did you choose Tableau and how has it impacted your business? Yasukazu: Our company is carrying out "EC Marketing Lab" for partner manufacturers. For that lab, from the viewpoint of how to provide data* and how to show it clearly to the manufacturers, we examined several BI tools, and finally decided on Tableau. It might sound like flattery but now I can really see data from various angles, practically instantly. It is no longer necessary to spend time creating data-based graphs. I can take time to look at the data and do something with my findings, so I'm using my time more effectively.

Now I can really see data from various angles, practically instantly...I can take time to look at the data and do something with my findings, so I'm using my time more effectively.

Tableau: Has there been any financial impact? Yasukazu: Well, it is difficult to say how much in terms of cost to be exact, but, manpower has been cut dramatically compared to creating data in Excel and making it into tables. Taking into consideration the saved manpower, and the fact that instead of spending time creating graphs I now have sufficient time to consider various factors and generate new information, I think the creation of new things itself is a valuable asset, as well as the reduction in cost. Tableau: Has Tableau changed how you approach data? Yasukazu: Looking at the data not only from one point of view but also on various axes can lead to new discoveries. When explaining things to other people, they want to see the information from various axes. Since Tableau makes it easy to do this, I feel that the listeners’ understanding is also quick, which results in less time required. I can't imagine going back to working with pivot tables now. Never. *The data that Askul provides to the partner does not contain any personal information that can be used to identify a person.*