Telefónica empowers 500 employees to spot market opportunities with Tableau


Enabled ca. 500 employees to create analyses in Tableau
Supports customer communication by identifying network errors
Spots market opportunities before competition

Telefónica Deutschland is leading the mobile market in Germany by customer count. The company supplies mobile and landline services—including telephony, data, and value-added services—to roughly 52.9 million households and business customers. Supported by Tableau technology, Telefónica Deutschland ensures a comprehensive depiction of all their processes. This allows employees to quickly see and react to challenges. For example, when the network technology team spots recurring error patterns using Tableau, they can fix the problem before it affects customers.

This self-service approach appeals to many employees throughout the company and roughly 500 were actively using Tableau only a few weeks after it was first deployed. Jürgen Herr, Manager Analytical Processes and Monitoring at Telefónica Deutschland shares how analyzing data in Tableau allows Telefónica to identify market opportunities ahead of the competition.

The Tableau platform helps us make well-founded decisions based on accurate and current data. For companies competing in this dynamic telecommunications market, that’s practically essential for survival.

Growing adoption from zero to 500 Tableau users within a few weeks

The German telecommunications market is highly competitive and driven by constant innovation. Companies that fail to react immediately to network issues, current technology trends, or changing customer expectations lose market share quickly.

Although Telefónica Deutschland had solid processes, the Business Analytics & Artificial Intelligence unit struggled to keep up with the varied and numerous demands from employees across departmental functions, including controlling, network technology, sales, and marketing.

"Market and technology in our sector are evolving rapidly, and traditional reporting can’t keep up with the demands of our employees and departments,” said Jürgen Herr, Manager Analytical Processes and Monitoring. “Our Business Analytics & Artificial Intelligence unit was working at full capacity just creating all the additional reports and analyses necessary for day-to-day decision making."

Telefónica Deutschland decided in 2016 to democratize company data and empower employees with self-service analytics and reporting that provide important insights for their work.

With Tableau Server, Telefónica Deutschland provides its employees with a business intelligence platform that allows them to use data from the past to understand the present and make better decisions for the future.

"We created a platform that is open to all employees on the intranet," says Jürgen Herr. "There, we provide certain information and analyses to everyone. Then there are numerous private sites run by the individual departments where only they have access and analyze their own specific questions and data volumes."

To grow adoption, the Business Analytics & Artificial Intelligence unit regularly hosts internal webinars and requests feedback from employees to understand their needs better.

There are many interesting new projects in the pipeline. Among them, the automated monitoring of standard processes for server loads, network loads or error messages. Certain threshold values trigger automatic alerts, backed up by Tableau dashboards that allow interactive drill-downs into the root causes.

Network technology team discovers error patterns across server logs

The self-service approach has already paid off for Telefónica Deutschland.

"The Tableau platform helps us make well-founded decisions based on accurate and current data," says Jürgen Herr. "For companies competing in this most dynamic telecommunications market, that’s practically essential for survival."

For instance, the networking technology team recently spotted repeating error patterns by analyzing error messages and server logs. This allowed the company to identify and fix the root causes before they affected customers.

The new freedom in quickly answering questions with self-service analytics is especially welcome in the departments’ day-to-day business. Jürgen Herr explains how self-service has "removed bottlenecks." Before, teams were reliant on the business intelligence team for each new question that popped up. Today with Tableau, employees have an enterprise-ready, governed platform for analysis—and the Business Intelligence & Artificial Intelligence unit has more time to focus on strategic initiatives.

Looking forward, Telefónica Deutschland plans to significantly increase the number of Tableau users: "We want to run more analyses on Tableau going forward," says Jürgen Herr. "There are many interesting new projects in the pipeline as well. Among them, the automated monitoring of standard processes for server loads, network loads or error messages. Certain threshold values trigger automatic alerts, backed up by Tableau dashboards that allow interactive drill-downs into the root causes."

Jürgen Herr summarizes: "We are very happy with our new Tableau solution. We expect to gain a lot of interesting results and impactful business insights from analyzing our data—and we are very much looking forward to that."

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