Background to Implementation
Previously, Queries Were Entered Manually
Empowered by the mission to “make small businesses the focus of global business,” freee offers SaaS services like “Accounting freee” to enable anyone to be free to run their business however they like. They actively support the trend of improving small businesses by stimulating large enterprises, making society more interesting, and improving the world as a whole. To that end, they aim to provide service at a world-class level of quality, continually making improvements to the products themselves as well as their responses to customer inquiries. Tableau is used as the analytical platform that underlies all of this.
“At freee, we have been data-driven since our founding and also got into analytics at a very early stage,” said freee CIO Teppei Tosa. He says that many personnel are capable of actually writing lines of SQL. “However, the organization has grown so rapidly that I can no longer say that everyone can write SQL. In order to sustain a data-driven company culture, it was necessary to create an environment in which people who can write SQL and those who can’t are able to talk to each other on the same playing field.”
Regarding the time before Tableau was implemented, “We built a data warehouse with Amazon Redshift and extracted data using Redash,” said Analytics manager Yosuke Sekikawa. He explained that to produce data, people would write their own queries and visualize the results in Redash or in a spreadsheet. “However, this approach had limitations. Since visualization was labor-intensive, only one pattern of visualization was possible, and this made exploratory analysis difficult.”
Tableau Implementation and Operation
Tableau Implemented to Visualize ROI
To resolve these problems, freee began considering how to create a new analytical infrastructure. They would select an analytical tool that can be used with Google BigQuery, to which they would be extracting data.
“Since we knew we would be using Google, our first candidates were the BI products that Google had acquired,” said Sekikawa. However, they ultimately selected Tableau and submitted the proposal to adopt Tableau to the CIO (Tosa). Tosa approved of Tableau implementation immediately. He explained the reasons as follows: “I already knew of Tableau. I thought it was a good idea to implement something that would be easy to use on the front lines, and I felt that it sufficiently guaranteed security as well.”
The big prerequisite to approving of Tableau was ROI visualization. After using it for six months, they compiled a performance report to see what impact had been made.
The first team to use Tableau was the Support Team. This team was proactive about using Tableau from the very beginning, said Sekikawa. Next, they began performing analysis for the purpose of improving products. They also started visualizing product usage rates and churn rates. They implemented Objectives and Key Results (OKR) as a method of objective management. Further, they worked to quantify performance.