InterWorks helps companies around the world deal with business intelligence, IT services, software development, and web strategy. In this video, senior BI consultant for the Europe region, Marcel Bosboom, discusses partnering with Tableau.
Tableau: What types of customers come to InterWorks for help with Tableau?
Marcel Bosboom, Senior BI consultant, Europe: We have a lot of customers. There's actually no vertical where we are not present, because we've been a long player in the Tableau world. We've been implementing for Tableau for small companies that have just two, three people working with Tableau, to companies that are the size of Facebook, Apple, and Unilever, the larger names in the organizations, enterprise customers who we've been servicing and helping them on a day-to-day basis, even now today.
Tableau: What are some typical issues clients bring to you?
Marcel: A lot of the problems the customers have is that they have these old tools already in place and we call them old tools even if they're just from the past five years. But, their problem is that they can't translate their data into quick reporting. So what we do is we give them the ability to just connect to that data and actually do analysis, not just create some kind of report that they get on a daily basis, but something that they can connect to, look into, click on different data points and see what that is really about and dig deeper into the data.
And that's where InterWorks helps their customers with all the information that they need about knowing what you can do with your data, to the point that it's visualized. And that's where we use Tableau. And that's our only tool that we use to visualize data, because we believe that's the product to use.
Tableau: What’s partnering with Tableau been like?
Tableau is very focused on being connected with their partners, as well. So as we put energy into the relationship with Tableau, Tableau gives us back the information that we need to help our customers and leads that we develop—and leads that they develop that sometimes need our support, because we are in the field. We are at the business.
Marcel: It's an exciting environment knowing everybody at Tableau. It's our main product that we believe in and we built a complete ecosystem around it that we can support the customers using Tableau. And what Tableau has got on the roadmap for creating for the future I think it's going to be a lot more fun and our business is going to grow a lot more. We are already over 150 employees worldwide, and that is growing very fast.
Tableau is very focused on being connected with their partners, as well. So as we put energy into the relationship with Tableau, Tableau gives us back the information that we need to help our customers and leads that we develop, and leads that they develop, and sometimes need our support, because we are in the field. We are at the business. We've been helping customers like Facebook, like Unilever, like Nike, all these customers we have supported already with implementing Tableau.
Tableau: How long have you been working with Tableau?
Marcel: I've been working with Tableau since 2007. It's been an awesome experience. We've found from version 3.5 to now almost version 9 it's been an exceptional ride, all the new features, all the things that you can do with it now, in contrast to what we could do in the past, the ways that we can visualize data, how easy it is, how easy to use. That makes it for us a great tool to actually give it to our customers and say try this and see what you can do with it. And basically that sells them the product, sells them on it, and makes them excited about doing something with their data.
Tableau: Can you say more about how Tableau has transformed your job?
Marcel: Yes, I was a CIO for Europe. I was responsible for seven countries making sure all the data was connected and making sure the infrastructure was working in Europe. And I had the trouble that I had an SAP system, an ERP system from Exact Software, a unit for all kinds of different countries that had their different financial software, different logistics software. And I had to make reports. I used Business Objects at the time, so I would generally spend one-and-a-half weeks just making the reports each month. I went from that, spending a little over a week in time developing a database and developing the reports, from spending that one-and-a-half weeks of time every month to just spending one day making sure I've got all the data, data analytics, and show that every Monday, hey, this is the new data for this week, instead of showing every month.
So we were very agile all of a sudden. And for me that meant that freed up time to really help the organization make better decisions on finances, make better decisions on logistics, make better decisions on what to do in sales.
That really helped us in developing and for me that made my life a little bit more exciting than being locked up just creating some reports and today I'm helping a lot of other customers using Tableau. And that's an exciting environment, because I go to all these small companies and big companies and helping them understand what we can do with Tableau for them. So for me it's been a roller coaster ride for the past years, kind of fun.
Tableau: Can you tell us more about InterWorks?
Marcel: Well, InterWorks is a global company. It's not only Europe; we are active around the globe. We have a team in the States; we have a team in the UK, in Holland, in Germany. We are present throughout the business areas where you are. So whatever vertical you're active, we can help you. And one of the things that should show you that we are really committed to the Tableau environment is that we've created a new package called the Power Tools for Tableau, which is as program suite that enables you to work better with Tableau. It enables you to manage your workbooks, audit your workbooks.