Tableau: What does the Directorate of Fisheries do?
Bjørn Sætren, CIO: One of our main tasks is to provide information to the fish industry and the farming industry in Norway.
So we basically gather information about how much fish is caught and how much they are allowed to catch, and we can follow up the governance of the fish in the sea, which is very important for Norway. Also, for the fish farming, we monitor and follow up all the fish farmers in Norway and ensure that they have the right conditions for the fish and the food is good and fresh.
And we need some kind of tool that can help us with this. And then we made a process finding some possible tools and we ended up by selecting Tableau for this.
Tableau: That sounds like a lot of data to look at!
Bjørn: We have, for sure, a lot of big data sets and information. The sales information from the fishermen to the firms on shore is maybe like 14, 15 million records that we are analyzing. That's one of the big data sets we have.
Tableau: How were you analyzing this data before you found Tableau?
Bjørn: People were using kind of different query tools directly into the data, spending a lot of time on making programs for selecting data and asking questions one at a time. So basically things were done but in a much more inconvenient way than we can do now with Tableau.
Tableau: What was it about Tableau that convinced you it was the right choice?
Bjørn Sætren: The self-service parts of the Tableau are important to us—that each user can find his necessary information at the moment he needs it, without asking anyone in IT to produce some reports.
We have tried to pick a tool which can sort of cover all kinds of areas in the organization, both internal with the HR and finance, but also externally to our users and internally to the staffs working with the government or fisheries, for example. So we tried to pick one tool covering all areas.
From an IT perspective, we spend less resources on creating reports. We can spend more time on other tasks, like building web services or things we need to do...For the users in general, they get more and better information directly into their hands, which is very good.
Tableau: Are people surprised at anything about Tableau?
Bjørn: Basically I don't think people were aware that there was this kind of tools available that were this kind of easy to use, fast and without any programming or anything. They could just do what they actually like to do, to go to the information and try to make decisions. So it was very positive. It was a big change for them that now every user can do his own analysis, find his own data and so on.
So we decided to buy this tool to give all the users a way of gathering information themselves, and consuming information directly without going to IT and ordering some new reports or new queries. So that's a very important incentive for us selecting Tableau. The self-service parts of Tableau are important to us, that each user can find his necessary information at the moment he needs it, without asking anyone in IT to produce some reports.
Tableau: Has Tableau made you more efficient?
Bjørn: From an IT perspective, we spend less resources on creating reports. We can spend more time on other tasks, like building web services or things we need to do. So for IT it's a relief that we can avoid using the time on building reports. That's a good effect for that. For the users in general, they get more and better information directly into their hands, which is very good.
Tableau: As a CIO, is there anything else you think it's important for people to know about Tableau?
Bjørn: Yes, one of the most important things was that it should be easy to manage as a software. We don't want to build up a big organization for managing the software itself. That's from the IT perspective. It was a good tool, because it's very easy and simple to manage. The other part was that we want to spend our resources in IT on programming solutions, which we cannot buy on the shelf. And the typical style of information systems like Tableau it's possible to buy from the shelf.