VMware on Tableau Drive: "A new strategy gets people excited about data"

VMware is a Silicon Valley-based virtualization and cloud infrastructure provider. The company has more than 18,000 employees globally and 500,000 customers.

In video 1, Manager of BI and Analytics Ginger Victor explains how using Tableau for visual analysis is helping VMware keep pace with rapid growth—and prepare for more.

In video 2, Ginger talks about the benefits of adopting the Tableau Drive methodology for deploying self-serve business intelligence.

This has been a paradigm shift for us in what the direction that we want to be going. We want IT focused more on the bigger strategic part... And we want to give more freedom to the business to do the analytics that they need to do.

"A new strategy gets people excited about data"

Tableau: Tableau is growing fast at VMware—how has Tableau Drive methodology helped?
Ginger Victor, Manager of BI and Analytics: Innovation is hopping right now. It's hopping. I think it's great. It's where we want to be going.

The big thing is that our company has grown substantially over the last five years. And it used to be sustainable when we were a little bit smaller, you know, to have these pockets of the organization doing their own reporting, doing their own analytics, doing things in spreadsheets.

But the reality is we need to grow, we need to keep growing, and we need to be able to scale our information. And we also need to be able to start having new ways to look at the business to make sure that we're growing in different ways.

We had other BI tools out there. We had actually thousands of reports in some of our corporate-owned tools right now, and the reality was we weren't getting adoption from them. So what we did is we identified organizations that really wanted to do this early onboarding of Tableau.

Tableau: How long have you been working with Tableau?
Ginger: It's been about six months now, and we have around 300 people onboarded, and over 30 groups right now. We have two servers that we've implemented.

Tableau: And how it’s going?
Ginger: I love that I'm already seeing a huge backlog of requests in terms of people wanting to start moving their stuff over into production, and getting more eyes on it and getting more visibility to the solutions that they're building.

And it's amazing just now that they're starting to experience information a different way, how much more they're requesting. Now I have all these other things that I have never been able to really look at in this type of a way.

They want more and more and more data visualizations and are really starting to push back from a business perspective, saying, 'I don't want this information coming in PowerPoints, I don't want it in spreadsheets anymore.'

This is the way that I want my business to start thinking about information.

Tableau: What’s been the biggest factor in this transformation?
Ginger: And I think a lot of that came from the flexibility and also the ability for them to do the one-off analysis without having to go through this long, drawn-out process of building the requirements, doing the design, and then by the time you do the implementation, what they were wanting and expecting has already become stale.

I know my business now, I know how we're measuring it today. They really want to push the envelope to use Tableau to give them new insights that they've never had before.

"A paradigm shift for business and IT"

Tableau: How would you describe the overall effect of Tableau Drive?
Ginger: This has really been a paradigm shift for us in what the direction that we want to be going. So we want IT focused more on the bigger strategic part, the data, the enterprise data, making sure that the tools are working well, that they're supported.

And we really want to give more freedom to the business to do the analytics that they need to do. So we want them to focus more on the end state and the analytics, not in managing the data and the information.

Our IT is more focused now on things that are really valid and really want to be moved over, while the business has the freedom to really figure out what they want to be doing and the analytics that they want to be running for their business and doing it real time. So I think that that's been definitely the reason why we wanted to go with a less traditional SDLC process.

So it's more connecting the dots for people, making sure that we're making it easy for them, giving them best practice, giving them standards, and really just that focus on enablement and making sure that they feel like they're able to do their job successfully

Tableau: What’s the biggest single difference since adopting Tableau?
Ginger: I think the biggest thing for me is just this different level of excitement that I'm seeing throughout the organizations, and that we really needed -- we couldn't keep evangelizing what we were already doing in the organizations and the toolsets that we already have. And I think the great thing is that bringing on Tableau and bringing on something that's been this exciting and empowering for the business has been a way that we can really start looking at that paradigm shift that we want to do for our company

You might also be interested in...