Tableau: What sort of questions do you help your customers answer?
Bill Engel, Chairman: A CMO will pick up the phone and call our people and say, "Such and such is happening in this particular store, I need to know what's happening. We're able to focus in on that store using Tableau and generate a custom report for the CMO. This is the wave of the future: Instantaneous information on who the customer is, linked to what they're buying.
Tableau: What is the biggest challenge you run into?
Bill: The biggest challenge is the amount of data that we handle. We carry 120 million households with all of the consumer data around those households. Where they shop, what they buy, the products they prefer, the brands they prefer.
We also get data from our clients, transactions-based data, what's happening at the cash register, what their customers are doing, and a number of other data sources as well.
Tableau: That is a great deal of data. How do you manage data of that size?
Bill: We integrate all these databases into one large database using our data partner, Alteryx. We use Alteryx to make sense of massive amounts of data. We use Tableau to present that so that a CMO or somebody at an ad agency who is looking at the same definition of that customer can say, "Okay, I see what the CMO's problem is and here's how we're going to solve it with media. We're going to buy these four television programs that are listed here on the Tableau Server because, you know, we have information about what TV programs these people are watching." So it's become an incredible tool. It's revolutionizing the way things are being done.
Tableau: You’ve been in the market research business for more than 40 years. Can you describe what’s different today?