Media Impact sees a future with self-service data—reduces reporting effort by 95%

Media Impact has its headquarters in Berlin and runs 5 regional branch offices. With more than 90 print and online/mobile publications, the company has a net reach of almost 90% in Germany. After evaluating SAS, QlikView and Oracle, Björn Leffler, Team Lead, Systems and Projects in the commercial department, explains that the company chose Tableau because “it enables you to see things you never saw before.” With Tableau, Media Impact’s service cost center reporting that used to take two days, now takes about 30 minutes—reducing effort by roughly 95%. Media Impact also uses Tableau to analyze the profitability, popularity, and customer resonance of ad formats and placements to optimize their online campaigns. Due to project success, Media Impacts continues to automate processes. Björn shared a goal to “not send out reports, but give users access to data” through Tableau dashboards.

Tableau: Can you share some details about Media Impact? Björn Leffler, Team Lead, Systems and Projects: Media Impact is a joint venture by Axel Springer SE and Funke Mediengruppe. We are advertising marketers, marketing ad space in print and online media that is published by Springer and Funke, as well as third-party clients.

Service cost center reporting used to take two days. Now we are doing that in 30 to 60 minutes.

Tableau: How do you use Tableau on an everyday basis? Björn Leffler: At the moment, we have 100 to 120 users. Tableau is used for cost service center reporting. We also drill down into our digital marketing efforts. We are looking at our advertising formats, which ones are most profitable, which ones aren’t, and what products are the most popular with our customers. For that, we are using Tableau in combination with Alteryx.

And finally, we use Tableau for traditional revenue controlling, analyzing our sales regions and marketing sectors. Our data sources are an SAP SD system, SAP R3 and Smart Ad Server, which controls our campaigns. Especially in Yield Management we use Alteryx to get our data from the Smart Ad Server and SAP SD into Tableau. Tableau: How satisfied are your users? Björn Leffler: Our users are very satisfied with Tableau. As soon as they see how easy it is, how good it looks and what you can do with mouse overs and filtering, people are blown away. So yeah, they are very happy and we are getting really positive feedback from the departments. Tableau: What benefits has the Tableau + Alteryx solution brought to your organization? Björn Leffler: Now we are using modern technology that is developed dynamically. And of course we are saving a lot of time.

We’ve set up service cost center reporting with Tableau. That used to take two days, now we are doing it in 30 to 60 minutes. That is an enormous amount of time saved. And that’s actually our goal: to automate processes and not send out reports, but give our users access to data that is currently coming to their inbox as a report on a weekly basis. We want them to be able to access current data every day. What we pull from the systems is business data and financial data. And we always have planning and forecasting data which is only available in Excel. With Tableau we can just add these and have access to everything in one interface. That is the big advantage of Tableau.

Now we are using modern technology that is developed dynamically. And of course we are saving a lot of time.

Tableau: What was your business intelligence solution before Tableau? Why did you choose Tableau? Björn Leffler: Initially we had a really old system.
We looked at SAS, QlikView and Oracle. But we decided to go with Tableau because it is innovative. It enables you to see things you never saw before. There are visualization types we never even thought of before. It’s an amazingly powerful tool. Tableau: What are your next steps? Björn Leffler: Our next big step is to deploy a management summary for our executives. That will mainly be the big picture revenue reporting at first. But we are going to migrate our entire reporting to Tableau.

I think training is an important factor, and Tableau offers resources right on their website. You can learn a lot without having to book a two or three day course. We wish other suppliers would offer that. Of course, things are always moving forward and there are new developments. We like to be kept in the loop about these things. What are the new possibilities? There is always something interesting or downright important happening. And Tableau is doing that.