Valyoo, a New Delhi-headquartered e-commerce company, specializes in category-specific online shopping destinations. Valyoo currently maintains four sites: LensKart for optical products; WatchKart for quality time pieces; BagsKart for purses and bags; and JewelsKart for jewelry. All of Valyoo’s sites have experienced rapid growth in the past year.
A data-driven company from the beginning, Valyoo wanted to increase its reporting efficiency, help managers make decisions faster, and keep up with increased reporting demands without hiring additional staffers.
Show Me the Numbers
Since its inception in 2010, Valyoo management has been focused on the numbers. And they credit that focus with helping to drive the company’s amazing success—Valyoo has grown from roughly 100 employees to 500 in little more than a year.
In early 2012, the analytics team was using Access and Excel to meet reporting needs—and Nikhil Doegar, Head of Business Intelligence & Analytics for Valyoo could see that demand would quickly outstrip what his five-person team could produce using these tools.
“In a company growing at 20, 30 percent month over month, if managers were to keep depending on the analytics team to build them data, by the time they got the data it would be very late,” Doegar says.
“Like any e-commerce company, we have a lot of data. As an analytics team, it's very difficult when every time somebody has a requirement, you have to go into the database, pull out data, and then create something for them and send it to them.”
For a typical request, for example, the team would pull data out of the Microsoft SQL Server database and then create pivot tables in Excel. He estimates that his team spent approximately four hours per day building these repeated reports with fresh data.
In general, Valyoo is a very data-driven company. “The culture is such that they want to see all the numbers,” explains Doegar. “When management looks at reports, they are really focused on seeing the actual, absolute numbers.”
For example, the company closely watches Google Analytics data to understand its customers’ behavior on-site. The faster the analytics team could process the data and report on it, the sooner senior leadership at the company could make strategic decisions. While the team got this information out as soon as possible, Doegar knew the manual process could be improved.
Looking for a Better Way
Doegar began his search for a better solution, and he had a very clear idea of his requirements.
“Our goal was to get an automated tool which firstly would help users to get the data real-time without having to come to the analytics team. Secondly, to make users able to visually understand the data and not just have an Excel sheet or a data dump in front of them. And third, each department in our company depends a lot on data. So we have to be able to develop a dedicated dashboard for each team where they can look at the data and have everything to help them make decisions going forward.”
In addition to Tableau, Valyoo considered QlikView from QlikTech.
“We evaluated both QlikView and Tableau. We used the Tableau 14-day trial and we thought it was easier to implement and it fulfilled all our requirements,” says Doegar. “We just tried to replicate some reports which we already had in Excel. It worked pretty well—it refreshed automatically, no one had to spend time pulling data and refreshing it.”
The team is using Tableau Desktop to author its visual reports; Valyoo is using Tableau Server to more easily share interactive data visualizations. The company trialed Tableau 7 but quickly migrated to Tableau 8 when it was released a month after the initial purchase. Most of the company’s reporting has been developed in Tableau 8.
All in all, Doegar found the migration straight-forward. “There were some initial settings and things which obviously we did not know, but then the sales partners in India, Corporate Renaissance Group (CRG), helped us set it up. It was a fairly easy process, not very difficult,” he says.