Tableau: Can you describe what Anomaly does?
Brendan Mathias, Head of Analytics and Visualization: Anomaly is a boutique research and analytics division of IPG Media Brands.
Tableau: And what do you do at Anomaly?
Brendan: So head of analytics and visualization is really working with clients, predominantly in the media space, to understand what are their needs are, or really try and understand what's driving their media investments. We work with those clients to understand how can we improve the efficiency of their investments and look to optimize them over time.
Tableau: How were you looking at data before Tableau?
Brendan: Prior to using Tableau there wasn't much visualization that was utilized at Anomaly. It was mostly Excel, just presenting information in Excel through tables and graphs.
Tableau: What do you like about Tableau?
Brendan: Tableau is great at disseminating information and it's a great tool to consolidate information.
Tableau: Do you blend data from multiple sources, then?
Brendan: We do a lot of blending of data. I would say we connect data that might not have a connection in place. We blend data together to try and create things like return on investment.
Tableau: How does Tableau Server help you communicate and share your insights?
Brendan: So some of the benefits we get with Tableau Server is we're able to disseminate multiple dashboards to clients. There are a lot of security features that come with Tableau Server, as well as the main processing power behind the server helps us scale out to multiple clients.
Tableau: How do your clients typically react to seeing Tableau in action?
Brendan: So when my clients typically see Tableau for the first time they get gob-smacked, particularly because they have never seen the data in that light. They've always seen numbers charts and tables. But, Tableau just brings data to life. And so it really is a visualization tool that enhances the numbers. And so they've been gob-smacked.
Tableau: What do you like most about using Tableau? What makes the biggest difference to your business?
Brendan: I'd say the speed of Tableau is remarkable from many other systems that I've used. It's very good at pulling information together, but also processing it. So the speed is fantastic when you want to do on-the-fly calculations.
One reason why I think Tableau is great is it’s really backed by a lot of robust functionality. And it's really a buzzword in the industry.
Tableau: Do you highlight your use of Tableau in your own marketing efforts?
Brendan: So when I mention to clients that I'm using Tableau they have a lot of confidence. If I used a system that was probably not well known they might be reluctant to utilize our services. But, when I mention that we use Tableau there's a lot of enthusiasm behind that, because they're quite familiar with it and they've heard some great things about it.
Tableau: Where do you think you’d be without Tableau?
Brendan: Good question. It's a hard one to answer, because Tableau, it's really propelled us in a space that we've never been before. So to turn it off it's hard to believe. I don't think I'd want to go back there. I've been quite amazed. We've been on the journey with Tableau for maybe about two years. And it's really propelled us in a space where I haven't been with any other BI system before.