Box cuts analysis time by days with Tableau and Amazon Redshift, freeing engineers to discover new high-growth markets


Increased productivity for 1,100 daily Tableau users
Seamless access to millions of rows of data stored in Amazon Redshift
Discovered device-level insights in growing markets

More than 41 million people and 74,000 organizations trust Box to store content in the cloud. These customers constantly emit data that holds critical answers about how to accelerate growth or streamline operations. Today with Tableau, over 1,100 Box employees can turn millions of rows of data from sources like Amazon Redshift into actionable insights around product usage and customer demographics. For example, Box analysts discovered a growing product presence in countries like India and Saudi Arabia, leading to a more strategic distribution of resources. And Tableau usage continues to grow as executives replace static PowerPoint slides with interactive dashboards, inspiring strategic decision making from the top down.

Tableau can connect to Redshift really fast. Redshift has very, very fast query processing time, because it's columnar based so it works very well. I would say Tableau plus Redshift—it feels like it's one thing. It works really well together.

Analysts discover device-level insights for new markets with Tableau

Starting with just a few Tableau Desktop licenses, more and more teams started adopting Tableau. About a year later, the company migrated to Tableau Server. Today, over 1,100 Box employees access Tableau workbooks on a daily basis.

Teams at Box leverage Tableau to understand how customers use the product–“features they use, how they use it, how are they not using it,” and ways to make the experience better.

“People should have access to the numbers and they should be able to understand how people interact on the product—if certain investments are paying off or if they're not paying off,” says Abhishek Gupta, Senior Analyst. “Information is truth and our dashboards are open to everyone in the company.”

Box is a multi-platform product. With Tableau, teams can understand what devices customers are coming from to optimize the user experience.

“You can use Box from your web browser or desktop clients or mobile products. So a lot of our dashboards look at all these various activities, and how and where they access their data from,” says Abhishek.

A lot of our dashboards look at all [our customers'] various activities, and how and where they access their data from.

“We have international data, we have multiplatform data, and when you combine those two you can see the things you read about, like how mobile growth is expanding all over the world. You actually see it in your own data and in how people use your product.”

For example, Abhishek explains how his team uses Tableau dashboards to determine markets with high growth—international versus domestic. They can then determine which devices are most popular in these regions.

“One of the more interesting insights we found was countries like Saudi Arabia or countries like India actually have a huge Box presence, especially on mobile products like Android, Blackberry, Windows,” says Abhishek.

With insights like these, Box can make strategic decisions about where to invest resources and re-target consumers with potential solutions.

“[For example, these insights] may tell you that you have a Middle East presence and maybe offices in other countries can start focusing on it, start using those users as a potential up-sell opportunities.”

Creating a seamless experience between Tableau Server and Amazon Redshift

With Tableau, Box can access millions of rows of data stored in Amazon Redshift—supercharging analyses.

“Tableau can connect to Redshift really fast. Redshift has very, very fast query processing time, because it's columnar based so it works very well. I would say Tableau plus Redshift—it feels like it's one thing. It works really well together,” shares Abhishek.

Abhishek explains how Box got up and running with Tableau and Redshift really quickly—saving the engineering team time and creating a seamless experience for ad-hoc analysis.

“Let's say you have an analytics team or a database engineering team setting it up. They're not going to spend days and days. You can get up and running in minutes. I've set it up on my own.It's really quick.”

“And then with Tableau, you just hook it up to the Redshift server, connect, run a query, and publish it to the Server and you're literally done in an hour. It’s great—it feels like one product.”

People should have access to the numbers and they should be able to understand how people interact on the product—if certain investments are paying off or if they're not paying off. Information is truth and our dashboards are open to everyone in the company.

Executives increase meeting productivity, replacing PowerPoint slides with actionable dashboards

This newfound data transparency allows for increased collaboration between teams, offering a central source of truth for company data: “Tableau is going to be a great central place to go and access information. And that's going to be really critical because as people ask more questions, they need to create more dashboards [and conduct] more analysis. And so that will be huge,” says Abhishek.

Instead of relying on static PowerPoint slides for meetings, teams now point to Tableau dashboards to show real-time data—reducing manual data preparation. And after meetings, users can reference data as it changes.

Even executives benefit from this approach. Abhishek shares how executives pull up Tableau dashboards in meetings to track company goals: “We have meetings with some regular cadence where we look at some [company] numbers. I've seen some executives do the whole meeting off of Tableau dashboards.”

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