Telling the story of data at UBM Asia

If you’ve attended an exhibition in the Asia Pacific, there’s a good chance that it was organized by UBM Asia. In video 1, Dave Chan, Regional Director, Business Intelligence shares how Sales & Marketing are improving performance with data insight. In video 2, Dave talks about the high-level culture change UBM Asia is seeing after implementing Tableau. Before Tableau:

  • Marketing campaign data accessible only through database team
  • Marketing teams had no insight into data quality; errors only seen after campaigns were executed
  • Sales teams manually maintained data in Excel

Now with Tableau:

  • Marketing can access all of their campaign data
  • Errors can be identified early
  • Teams are empowered to segment and target more effectively, leading to better results
  • Sales teams can view CRM data in Tableau, improving sales management insight and reducing manual efforts

Helping sales & marketing improve performance

Tableau: How are you using Tableau? Who is using it within UBM Asia? Dave Chan, Regional Director, Business Intelligence: Tableau is a tool to tell story of the data. Our use case for visual analysis is to provide a view of a marketing landscape, of a customer landscape that our marketers can understand where the customers are and the segmentation that they have possible for their campaigns. And that allows them to make use of the data more effectively as compared to always looking at the spreadsheets and keeping the leads in a list. There are two main user groups within the company. First are the sales team and secondly are the marketing team. They use it quite differently. For sales they use it as a reporting engine for the CRM system where we aggregate sales information, the pipeline information in Tableau, so the sales managers can keep track of the sales progress with a Tableau dashboard anywhere they go. For marketing Tableau is the core of the operation, because now every campaign selection has to go through the Tableau dashboard, whereas in the past it's been handed over to them from a dedicated database team. Tableau: How did this work before Tableau? What’s the difference now? Dave: In the past that they had no visibility of data quality issues that they faced when they sent out campaigns, they only know that some campaign was not successful when some customer, we were not able to reach them properly. And now that they have the picture and they have the access, marketers can directly influence the quality of the database, and by doing so they're encouraged to segment more, to target more better and to also track their performance closer. And that allows our entire organization to be very focused on some of our major indicators of the business, for example, how many customers are we adding to the databases, are we on track with our sales target, are we improving the quality of our databases. If we didn't have Tableau we would continue to struggle with huge spreadsheets, and a lot of the insights that are hidden in the data would be lost forever. Tableau: Can you tell me a little more about what sort of data marketing is looking at in Tableau? Dave: For our marketing users the base questions that they will have on the data is how many customer are there in each segment, and in terms of demographics and in terms of the customer behavior. We run exhibitions, and so we have visitors going to each event, to each hall in each event, meeting different exhibitors. So there's dual location data, there are their demographic data, which company they work for, and there are also how many times they visit the event, are they loyal or are they new, which channel they come through as a customer. So all of that information can be potentially used for targeting. And therefore that dashboard that we built for marketers will allow them to answer questions along all of those perspectives, and in the end they will have a fine target list for their campaign executions.

If we didn't have Tableau we would continue to struggle with huge spreadsheets, and a lot of the insights that are hidden in the data would be lost forever.

Getting data to the front lines.

Tableau: How would you summarize what Tableau brings to your business? Dave: The main thing that we couldn't do without Tableau is we couldn't bring the data directly to our front line. There is just no way. There are tools out there who can help our marketers select data and help them look at the quality of the databases, but the interfaces are still very, uh, technical. So we might have some users who are technical enough to make use of it but across Asia the standards are not to that level. So we will have users who will say that they don't have time to learn the tool, um, or they would say that, uh, this is someone else job. But with Tableau that there's no excuses. The dashboards I just click and slide and click, so there's not too much technical knowledge that you need to have to operate Tableau Server, as you operate phone apps. So taking that excuse out and bringing the people and process alive then we're able to solve the problem of delivering data directly at the front lines. Tableau: At a high level, can you describe the benefit you’re seeing from Tableau? Dave: So Tableau delivers two main benefits to our business. First of all, it's a change agent, so it facilitate a culture change. So in the past, we used to have a database team or IT functions who are dedicated to provide data to the business. So the business has very limited visibility to the database that they use to run their business. And with Tableau we allow them to have direct, easy access to their databases. And secondly is that it raises the standards of presentation of data within the company, that now they will be able to supplement their analysis with clear data so there's less confusion, and that our users are able to present with more clarity and able to be more convincing and they will be able to leave discussions with stronger conclusions because all of the conclusions are being backed by solid data that you can drill in and out, you can summarize in one way or the other. Tableau: That’s great! And how does it feel to be involved in helping your company this way? Dave: I feel proud to be part of the journey, really to bring this fantastic tool to the company. It's been used in Asia initially, and now that it's also being used in other parts of our business, in Europe and the U.S., having seen many of the demos that we do, and having seen the impact that it has on the organization. Tableau: Finally, can you share how you got started with Tableau? Dave: We started bringing in a Tableau consultant from Singapore to train the team of 10 in the office onsite on our specific use case. The consultant actually built some dashboards specific to our use cases and even wrote a custom program to bring our unique data into Tableau. And that really set us in the right direction, and we are very grateful for having him there, because now that everything that we do are based on the original work that had been set and done for us that we can leverage on that experience. The professional services is part of the Tableau Server start package (Server Rapid Start) where we start implementing server. We wanted to get things right on hardware and software, and as well as the knowledge that are needed. And that's why we contracted the professional service to help us.