Zilliant Offers on-Demand Business Intelligence with Tableau

Zilliant's price-optimization and sales-effectiveness applications help companies price more profitably and sell more effectively using data-driven science instead of guesswork. In this video, Eric Hills and Dave Kurak stopped by to share with us what a difference Tableau is making for Zilliant and its customers.

Tableau: How is Zilliant using Tableau with your clients?
Eric: We use Tableau to help the customer understand their business and where there are opportunities to grow. Tableau’s visualizations play a critical role in the value we create for our customers by helping us really see top-down and bottoms-up what's going on in businesses and how our science-based models can really help them not just understand but actually predict what's going to happen in their business.

Our mission is to help our customers grow their top and their bottom line and P&L growth is a senior executive priority. So Tableau gives us the ability to help busy senior executives visually understand how their business works, where the opportunities are to improve, and ultimately how to change, how to make better decisions to drive and capture those improvement opportunities.

Tableau: How did you get started with Tableau?
Dave: We use Tableau daily, but it all started with our scientists that help create the algorithms for the price recommendations needed a way to help visualize all the data and statistical information. That really got us onto Tableau and then we made a decision to just incorporate it in our product and let our customers author and create their own content.
Eric: Over the years, it's evolved into an OEM relationship where we've embedded Tableau Server content into our applications, as well as continuing to use Tableau Desktop to do the customer data analysis.

Tableau: Tell us about that product and how it incorporates Tableau.
Dave: I focus on a product that's called Margin Max that helps companies make better pricing decisions. We take a lot of financial transaction data from our customers, break it into segments, and provide guidance and price recommendations and a set of analytics that helps companies understand how their business is progressing with regards to the prices that we're putting in market.

Tableau’s dashboard is great; it’s embedded within our application through the web, and it's just a very easy way to visualize a large amount of data. We have customers with thousands and sometimes hundreds of thousands and millions of SKUs, and we're able to represent all of that data in a pretty compact view and use the colors and the different visualizations to help highlight what we're looking for.

Tableau: How has Tableau impacted business?
Eric: Tableau has been a strategic capability for Zilliant and for our customers, because it enables us to do better work faster. Prior to working with Tableau, using more traditional BI, it would sometimes take 3,000 to 5,000 hours to implement our technology. These days that's more like 500 to 1,500 hours. We are enjoying a 3 or 4x improvement in productivity, and a lot of that has to do with the fast, easy visualizations we get through Tableau.
Dave: Tableau has been a game changer for us. We came from a world where we were creating a lot of analytical content and trying to lay this down to our customers and adapt their business to this content. And now we're shifting toward going in very lean. We're focusing on having the right data, and then we're able to very quickly build the right content for that customer, at that point in time—as opposed to trying to build the perfect set of content for everybody.

Tableau: What is it like to work with Tableau as a company?
Eric: Tableau has been a great partner to Zilliant. The people themselves are really high quality; they're very passionate, and have been very responsive. Tableau’s product is top-tier, high-caliber technology that we can rely on to be very robust, reliable, scalable, and dependable. That was critical in our decision-making around embedding the technology into our product, because essentially we are only as good as the components we put into our product. And Tableau's vision and reputation in the marketplace—as with any business when you associate with winners, with high-growth, high-caliber companies—brings some of that aura to Zilliant itself.