Huel creates a thriving data culture with Tableau, inspiring business agility and revenue growth


Deeper customer understanding improves customer experience and loyalty
Agile, data-driven decision-making fuels maximum marketing and sales impact
Data skills central to talent development, driving momentum behind data-driven strategy

Huel offers nutritionally complete, convenient, affordable food with minimal impact on animals and the environment. Since its launch in 2015, the company has sold more than 100 million meals in over 100 countries to a global customer community of ‘Hueligans’.

Here, Jay Kotecha, Data Scientist, reveals how Huel is creating a company-wide, self-service data culture with Tableau, inspiring rapid, informed insights, business agility and revenue growth.

Tableau is central to our data culture, which goes beyond mere reporting. It empowers our employees to explore the data, to confidently analyse and tackle complex business challenges, meaning everyone has a stake in driving our growth.

What brought you to Tableau?
We were running data at Huel using Excel, Google Sheets, and other manual reporting processes. Analysis was taking too long, demanding too much effort, and delaying decision-making. Tableau was a compelling answer to our problems, offering interactive analytics that everyone can use to answer their own questions.

We found it easy to pull data from our data warehouse: it’s intuitive and easy to deploy. In fact, we were analysing our data within hours of adopting the platform. Tableau is ideal for a fast-growing start-up like Huel, scaling seamlessly in line with our business and data growth.

How are you using Tableau to improve business performance?

Tableau is helping us democratise data across Huel, creating a culture focused on data-driven decision-making. All of our employees in the U.K., U.S.A., and Europe are now able to explore and integrate the data. Tableau dashboards are one of the first things many employees check when they arrive at work each day.

Our marketing teams use Tableau to analyse and share metrics on channel and campaign performance. They can see which channels and products resonate most effectively with customers, so they can adjust spend for maximum impact.
These insights allow the business to pivot at speed and deliver greater customer service, ultimately driving customer lifetime value.

For instance, our team uses the customer service dashboard to catch any service issues early on, and ensure an uninterrupted customer experience. Product Development teams can explore data on product popularity to determine where demand is concentrated and mix new food flavours to meet customers’ expectations. Tableau also helps us analyse our customers’ lifetime value by geographic locations and product types to improve sales growth.

Our marketing teams use Tableau to analyse and share metrics on channel and campaign performance. They can see which channels and products resonate most effectively with customers, so they can adjust spend for maximum impact.

How is Tableau changing people’s mindsets and attitudes towards data?

It’s had a huge impact. A data culture now runs from top to bottom throughout Huel. The senior management are massively supportive of Tableau too. During our bi-weekly ‘all hands’ meetings, for instance, the CEO and CFO will regularly feature numerous Tableau dashboards.

We now have complete trust in the data. Our data warehouse is up-to-date, secure, and clean, so people are confident in their decisions when accessing Tableau. We no longer hold the keys to the data, rather everyone has the means to explore it themselves.

We’re also prioritising data skills as part of our talent development, with training and drop-in sessions to upskill employees. We introduced Tableau to our ‘Coding and Cocktails’ sessions (get a question right to get an ingredient of a cocktail), all geared to making people passionate about data and driving momentum behind our data-driven strategy.

Tell us about the Snowflake data warehouse integration with Tableau
Snowflake and Tableau are a great match for young, cloud organisations like Huel. Both technologies deliver performance and simplicity. Tableau connects automatically to Snowflake without any additional coding or legwork, so set up is quick and easy, and we can scale alongside the business.

It’s had a huge impact. A data culture now runs from top to bottom throughout Huel. The senior management are massively supportive of Tableau too... the CEO and CFO will regularly feature numerous Tableau dashboards.

How do you see the relationship with Tableau developing?

It’s all about empowering the full organisation through data, and making that as efficient as possible. That includes training in every business unit and automating more processes for even quicker insights.

And finally, how is Huel managing through the Covid-19 pandemic?

Huel’s data-driven strategy is helping the business work through the pandemic and adapt to the new business reality. Tableau enables us to pivot and react with greater speed and clarity. Employees are exploring data from across the whole organisation and turning it into insight we can act upon, whether that’s revenue forecasts, distribution effectiveness, or marketing spend. Tableau makes us more agile, meaning we can continue to deliver a brilliant service for our customers at this time.