REA Group brings marketing data to the masses
REA Group operates Australia's leading residential and commercial property websites, including realestate.com.au and realcommercial.com.au, along with other popular sites across the globe. In video 1, Stacy Sterling, Marketing Analytics Manager, shares how Tableau allows employees to easily see and interpret their own data and better contextualize business goals. And with Tableau Server, REA can share real-time data on screens all over the business. In video 2, Stacy explains how decentralizing data access results in empowered, more solution-oriented stakeholders in the marketing department. Executives can see all of the data in a central location for faster, better decision making. As more users engage with data, Stacy says that “analytics are now in the hands of people who understand the business context the best.”
Tableau: Can you describe one of your company goals? Stacy Sterling, Marketing Analytics Manager: Within the company, our motto for the consumer experience on the website is to make our property process simple, efficient, and stress-free. Tableau: What inspired your business intelligence (BI) solution? Stacy: What I wanted to do was take that way of thinking about our consumers and implement it into the way that we use our own data internally. This way, we can make sure that everyone has access to the data in an easy way and an understandable way so that they can use it to make their own decisions. Tableau: What type of data do you collect and analyze? Stacy: We're really lucky at REA as a digital company that we have so much of our own data. So we're collecting a bunch of website data in terms of consumer behavior, but we also have so much property data and a lot of external sources as well.
To get the users within the business to realize how data can inform their own actions is one of the best parts of my job.
Tableau: How do you share data across the company? Stacy: One great thing about being at a digital company is that we also have screens all over the business. So through Server, we can actually connect the dashboards in the business to live, real-time data. So anything that's getting updated, whether it's traffic data or whether it's brand health data can be seen on screens throughout the business. We also have a community page that is serviced through Jive. And we've integrated Tableau Server within that so that people can log into a page and see overall company metrics through that as well. Tableau: How do you manage security? Stacy: We've used Server to control the permissions of who can see what, so that it creates a safe environment while still being quite open and transparent. Tableau: How do users benefit from having enhanced control of their data in your organization? Stacy: I think what's been critical about the users actually having control of their own data is that the analytics are now in the hands of the people who understand the business context the best. Tableau: Has this had a personal impact on you? Stacy: To get the users within the business to realize how data can inform their own actions is one of the best parts of my job.
A story of decentralization
Tableau: How would you describe the “Tableau story” at REA Group? Stacy: So the Tableau story at REA is one of decentralization. So with decentralization, our BI team has worked closely with the different stakeholders across the business to empower us to use certain types of data. Tableau: Who are the stakeholders, and what kind of data do you use? Stacy: Primarily, I work with stakeholders within the marketing team, and we're responsible for brand advertising, tracking brand health, making sure that we get traffic to our site. Tableau: What kinds of changes do you notice once the stakeholders gain more control over data? Stacy: So when my stakeholders have the direct access to the data that they want to see, and they get to have this engagement with it and play around and explore it with themselves, I think they feel a deeper connection to it. And I think it feels more relevant to them. Tableau: So, how does this autonomy contribute to better business results? Stacy: Unlocking the data and making sure that each person in the team gets to see it allows for every different perception to come in and bring in a different understanding of what's actually going on and how we can fix it.
When my stakeholders have the direct access to the data that they want to see, and they get to have this engagement with it and play around and explore it with themselves, I think they feel a deeper connection to it. And I think it feels more relevant to them.
Tableau: Has Tableau has changed how your company does business? Stacy: Our executive leadership team now has access to the dashboards, and that's their primary source of business data all in one place, we've started to get lots of different requests top-down throughout the business for similar dashboards to be created for other lines of business, for specific products. So I can see Tableau really expanding within our company. Tableau: What was the workflow at your company before Tableau? Stacy: Previously, we had two Yellowfin report creators. And all of the requests for the business got funneled into those two people. And as you can imagine, it was quite a bottleneck. Tableau: Why did your team decide to use Tableau? Stacy: They landed on Tableau and started to use a few power users within the business who had been using the BI team the most for those requests to see if this tool would be suitable. Tableau: How long did it take to make that decision? Stacy: As a result of having a few people in the business who really felt like Tableau was doing a job that the company previously hadn't been able to do, we started to get a little bit of a groundswell for people who were demanding access to their own data as well. Tableau: What part does your BI team play specifically? Stacy: The relationship between the BI team and the rest of the business is that they'll provide support for Server, and they've also provided initial internal training and resources for any new users to get off the ground. We have a reporting guild within the company, which consists of Tableau users from all across the business. And it's a way that we can see internally what projects are being done and how different parts of the business use Tableau.