Tableau: Why did you choose Tableau Online?
Chris: When we looked at [Tableau] Online, it was an easy choice. We had the ability to upload some basic data sets and manipulate them, make them what we wanted them to be, and then publish it to the world and then get immediate feedback.
Tableau: Why did you choose to analyze Salesforce data in Tableau?
Chris: So we love Salesforce and it does a great job as a CRM and a lot of what it's supposed to do, but at the same time, the analytics aren't so sexy. So we like to pull everything out and put it in Tableau.
Tableau: How did you get started with Tableau Online?
Chris: So it started out as a sales platform. And we wanted to communicate where sales were occurring, what sales were occurring, what types of products. It was answering the questions who, what, where, when, how. And we could push that out in the cloud.
Tableau: Has use of Tableau Online expanded beyond the sales organization?
Chris: So we enabled our selling organization on mobile devices. They all have iPads. They have their Galaxy Notes. It was a way for us to just push legacy sales data out so they could look at the past. We started looking at it from the standpoint of there is more functionality in this business that we can use data for. So we expanded it from sales to marketing to finance to supply chain. And it continues to percolate through the organization. We're going to get there. Everybody's going to be using it one day, we plan on that for sure.
Tableau: What kind of problems were you looking to solve when you found Tableau?
Chris: Without internal communications, with factual data, we were useless. When Tableau came on board, the ah-hah moment was we can now communicate with each other, which means that we can ask our customers what they need as well. And that was very important for our future.
Tableau: It seems like communication is a critical aspect of your Tableau installation.
Chris: We said that we want to make sure that we can communicate. The number-one thing that we need from ourselves is to communicate internally, that's how a business moves forward and that's how you treat customers the way they want to be treated.
Tableau: Did that change how you worked with your customers?
Chris: Customers were not necessarily giving us verbatim what they wanted, but they were giving us Internet-based data, cloud-based data that we could then take, interpret, and run it through a marketing logarithm that we could figure out what it is that we needed to do to advance ourselves and become a company that stays around for another 120 years.
Tableau: Can you explain the “internet-based data” your customers were giving you?
Chris: They were giving us this feedback through Google, through all different types of web-based platforms that we could gather data and collect trend-based information, so when someone searches for a glass vial, what is it that they're looking for specifically and what can we take from that data to determine what we would come out to market with?
Tableau: So how do you use Tableau on a daily basis now?
Chris: I'm going to test it. If I don't like it, I'm going to change it. And I can do that very quickly with Tableau Online, even simply changing the title on the dashboard is very easy for us to do and we manage it all within our own commercial group.