NTT DATA Corporation puts data in the hands of the business, faster

NTT DATA Corporation is a large, leading Japanese system integration company. The company runs data communication and system development businesses.

Mr. Kenichi Kuroki works in the Information Technology Management Office, which provides information systems for internal use in NTT DATA and their affiliate companies. His major role includes building and expanding BI infrastructures with Tableau.

NTT DATA adopted Tableau based on the Tableau Drive methodology, starting with a dedicated business intelligence plan and then rolling it out to their companies. With Tableau, IT can easily monitor data in an integrated way, whether it is managed by a system or by a department. Business users can now analyze data and make changes by themselves, accelerating their PDCA (plan-do-check-action) cycle across the organization.

Tableau: What encouraged you and your organization to check out Tableau?
Mr. Kenichi Kuroki, Deputy Manager, System Development Group, Information Technology Management Office: When I watched the demo, I especially thought it was a very interesting tool. For those who don’t have any special BI skills, they can still operate data intuitively and easily and obtain knowledge, and I felt like that is extremely attractive. There were quite a few cases of people who started using Tableau with no BI skills and they enjoyed analyzing data while using it—and they ended up becoming fans of Tableau. I feel that there aren’t many tools like that that you can use easily.

Tableau: What does your job involve?
Mr. Kuroki: The department I belong to provides information systems for NTT DATA and NTT DATA group. I’m in charge of the relevant BI work there and my role is to build a BI platform for the company using Tableau to spread our product.

Tableau: What departments are using Tableau at NTT DATA?
Mr. Kuroki: Firstly, we have been trying to expand this product into companies for the head of the organization and their network of staff, where the important decisions are made inside the company.

We had a small start in terms of the number of users, so we don’t have many so far, but 15 organizations introduced themselves four months after starting and the number is increasing.

There were quite a few cases of people who started using Tableau with no BI skills. They started enjoying analyzing and using it—and they ended up becoming fans of Tableau. I feel that there aren’t many tools like that, that are also easy to use.

Tableau: How large is the data you work with, and in what formats or systems?
Mr. Kuroki: Currently, we work on a couple of million rows of data, we would like to take care of tens of millions of rows of data. We use various data formats such as Oracle, Excel and Access. For example, when we don’t have enough system data for necessary analysis we fill in the gaps with data using Excel and "blend" it all and use it.

Tableau: Was there a particular problem you were facing?
Mr. Kuroki: The work environment of each company structure is varied, so we have carried on conducting necessary analysis in a timely fashion with each organization utilizing Tableau, so that we can provide analysis in a timely fashion that matches the work environment.

In the past, the IT department used to listen to the requests of user departments and offered to develop reports. But with that, we couldn’t avoid taking too much time before providing reports and had problems answering the detailed analysis needs.

Tableau: What does Tableau allow you to do?
Mr. Kuroki: Up until now, both data managed in the system and individually managed data at each organization was monitored individually, but Tableau made it all in one to allow for easy monitoring. Also, fixing how the report looks in detail and adding contents are done quickly by user department staff and this is the effect we can see. From these things, we have been working on it hoping to accelerate the PDCA cycle of companies and each organization.

Tableau: What are the most important benefits for you from Tableau Server?
Mr. Kuroki: The biggest merit of using the Tableau Server is being able to securely share reports in a timely fashion, I believe.

Tableau: How did your implementation start?
Mr. Kuroki: For introducing Tableau, the introduction methodology regarding self-service BI named Tableau Drive is a good reference, I think. Based on that, we are working in four divided phases. Grasp the current condition first, organize the future structure, do plot typing and sort the base of development for the company and develop it in actual companies, that’s the flow.

We incorporated the know-how that was gained in the development as an additional element in Tableau Drive and we are managing it as our own unique methodology now. We have been utilizing it for other companies’ Tableau introductions as well.

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