Tableau: What has been the reaction to Tableau?
Meghna I would say people always want more. And I think that was a big part of how Tableau even became this big enterprise-wide solution at Groupon that it's become.
If you log into Groupon's Server environment, you'll just see hundreds and hundreds of dashboards. And that's primarily how people interact with it. I think that's the nice thing, we used to be in a phase where we had to e-mail files around, and now you can just click on a URL and it takes you straight to what you're supposed to be looking at. So that's just made it really easy for us.
Tableau: What impact has Tableau had at Groupon?
Meghna I would say it's increased productivity a lot, because people used to engage in a lot of manual reporting activities before that are now automated with Tableau.
We’ve got all of these weekly meetings that analysts would routinely spend a lot of time preparing for in the past. If the meeting was on Wednesday, it would take all day Monday and Tuesday to prepare for that meeting. And now I'm seeing people are able to actually meet on the data and start discussing it on Monday afternoon.
When people are able to start out with that common base of knowledge, and when that common base of knowledge is so visual, highly interactive, and easy to slice and dice, you can just cut to the chase and get to the decision-making. That's what's really simplified and democratized this process for us.
Tableau: Are you seeing any other benefits since implementing Tableau?
Meghna If you were to quantify the cost savings from people not having to spend three days on a task that now takes just half a day, I'm sure those would add up and be huge. But we haven't actually gone out and tried to do it, although that would be a great idea.
Tableau: What data sources do you connect to?
Meghna There are people that probably exclusively use Excel as the data source of choice. I personally tend to hook directly into our data warehouse wherever possible. It creates more automated and streamlined reporting and analysis.
There are also integrations that you can do with Hadoop and R. I've seen people across the company use those as well. I think that's a really exciting phase of Tableau's product development is all of the different data sources that you can connect to.
Tableau: How has Tableau streamlined data analysis across Groupon?
Meghna Before, people tended to sort of go off and do more sort of ad-hoc analysis. With a Tableau solution like this one, and many other reporting solutions we have around our products, people are able to come to one common source of truth.
That really makes a difference because when you're sitting in a meeting, everyone at least agrees on the numbers, right? In a lot of contexts, you've got instances where people are actually coming from a different base of knowledge. And you first have to reconcile that before you can actually get to the real conversation of what should I place on the home page and what should I place on this other page?