SMU: "Radical change comes in informed decision-making"

Tableau: Why does SMU need a visual analytics tool such as Tableau?
Fernando Betteley, Manager of Business Intelligence: When you go to a retail store and want to make changes with information, or changes in work methodologies, it is extremely complex.

Tableau is a tool that really expedites the execution of adjustments with this information and support.

Tableau: In what way?
Fernando: What Tableau does is, to have a conversation with business users in a simple way.

The ease of use... sometimes there are people that, in commercial areas in general or in business areas, are afraid of new software.

Tableau’s simplicity in making information available, to change, to navigate—people easily incorporate in the basics of these features, and they start participating and feeling ownership in what they are doing in such reports.

And the tool is so adaptable, so friendly, that it allowed us to have access to that group of people with simplicity and agility.

Tableau: Can you give us some examples of how you are using Tableau?
Fernando: Today, we are not only making projects, we are generating analytical modules in the company; analytical modules which I can use later in any company.

And we focus the tool not only in the visualization of KPI, but also in the visualization of executable actions. Executable actions in subject areas such as supply, in areas such as layout, and in areas as Category Management, inventory, and also in democratizing information about our customers’ demographics.

At the end, it is the speed with which we produce changes that arise from one meeting to the next, that provides us more credentials and more credibility within the company.

Finally, it lets us sell ourselves more. And not only internally. Today we are working heavily with suppliers—we have a strategy of sharing the company's information in order for suppliers to help us.

And suppliers are also surprised with the innovation that this project is ultimately generating for the company and the difference that this project makes compared with what you see in the retail industry.

Tableau: How does this differ from how you were seeing your data before?
Fernando: The truth is that the tools we knew were tools that were highly IT-dependent. Tableau is a tool that today, my team including myself, may produce a report very simply and fast.

Today there are very few tools in the market—at least that I know of—that have this flexibility and this naturalness between the non-technical user and the end-product visualization.

Tableau: What would you say to other retailers considering a business intelligence solution like Tableau?

Toutes les entreprises, pas seulement les commerces, ont un jour ou l’autre besoin d’informations dans le cadre de leur processus de prise de décisions. Il est possible de mettre en relation les disparités concernant les aspects techniques, le service, la qualité et le prix. Les changements radicaux sont possibles grâce à des décisions éclairées. Je pense que Tableau est un outil qui permet de prendre ce genre de décisions.

Fernando: All companies—not only retail—will come to need information for their decision-making processes.

The differences regarding technical aspects, service, and quality, price can be matched. Radical change comes in informed decision-making. I think Tableau is a tool that enables that.