Evolytics: Digital analytics consultancy turns data into stories

Evolytics is a digital analytics consultancy, with expertise in Google Analytics, web analytics implementation, and data visualization in Tableau. They provide Web Analytics Implementation Tag Management Systems, Reporting & Analysis, and Testing & Optimization services for international brands such as Hallmark, 7-UP, and Intuit.

In video 1, Ryan Sleeper, Director of Data Visualization & Analysis discusses how Evolytics uses Tableau to add interactivity and value to the reports that he creates for clients.

In video 2, Ryan talks about his personal blog, OSMguy.com. He originally started the site to talk about sports and try out Tableau Public, but realized that his blogging skills could also apply to his working life.

Boosting interactivity

Tableau: How do you make data visualization useful for your clients?
Ryan Sleeper, Director of Data Visualization & Analysis: On the marketing agency side, is data visualization an important aspect of reporting to our clients? You know, we're a third party. We're trying to partner with different companies to provide them good analysis and end up with actual recommendations.

Tableau: Do you ever get any feedback on these reports?
Ryan: Data visualization has always been a part of it, but there's kind of this culture on the marketing agency side where people are developing their reports, usually it's in Excel. They're pretty manual to create. They're not very actionable all the time, and you get that sense that you're sending out these weekly reports, monthly reports, and you wonder, “Is anybody actually looking at this?”

Tableau: Did that change when you began using Tableau?
Ryan: When I was introduced to Tableau, I knew there'd be exciting opportunities to make them more interactive, help tell stories with data. Clients would be more apt to stick with them if they saw it and interacted with it. It's just a lot more exciting and it's definitely helped progress data visualization and the adoption of its value.

In the beginning of my career, data visualization was based on static charts. And Tableau helped me by providing opportunities to make them interactive and more valuable for our clients. I would say absolutely. There's just so much more data that you can pack into the same amount of space if you can provide that interactivity like filters or tool tips and different types of interactions. It just provides so much more detail for the clients.

Building skills with Tableau Public

Tableau: What specific needs led you to Tableau?
Ryan: I run a blog on the side. It's a personal blog called OSMGuy.com. And it really was invented out of a passion for sports and sports data.

I just started to kind of try to answer some of my own questions by using Tableau Public. It's an amazing free tool that almost has all the same capabilities as Tableau Desktop.

Tableau: Was there any overlap between the skills you developed while writing the blog and your professional life?
Ryan: Sports is a great data source to use with Tableau Public because the data is open and you're not hurting anybody's feelings by sharing that data. It truly became my sandbox for developing my skills in Tableau.

I might make something a little more fancy or try to apply a little more innovative approach in my own personal blog that might not be as well received on the corporate side.

But what I found is as I was able to use my own personal blog and Tableau Public as my sandbox for developing those skills, it almost always now kind of trickles down to the corporate side.

So I get to kind of try and fail and try and fail in Tableau Public. And once I catch onto something that works, I can apply it in my day job.

Tableau: Have you enjoyed being part of Tableau?
Ryan: I like to look at the data on how many shares it gets and that speaks volumes to me on whether or not something was successful, look at the traffic, where it's coming from. And, definitely, I've had people reach out from all over the world.

The Tableau community is amazing. I'm just as accessible and happy to help as anyone and it's been really neat to establish some of those relationships beginning with the blog, taking it offline, and then eventually meeting them at the conference and things like that in person. It's been awesome.

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