Facebook "Likes" Tableau, a TCC12 session recap

A post from Diane Camber, a member of Tableau's Sustaining Engineering team, at the Tableau Customer Conference:

Namit Raisurana, Business Intelligence Engineer for Facebook, and a part of the Data Analytics team, has a rare insight into Facebook's BI story that he shared at TCC12 on Wednesday afternoon.

Namit RaiSurana of Facebook

Raisurana made a compelling case that Facebook has a staggering amount of data flowing in everyday. However, the company was not taking advantage of the knowledge locked into that data. Raisurana said that they decided to adopt an advanced analytics tool. So, after extensive research of the BI market, Tableau Server and Desktop were selected as Facebook's data analysis solution.

Tableau was adopted and embraced internally at Facebook because "Tableau offered us data discovery" Raisurana said. "Users can discover for themselves" what their data has to offer. Facebook now embeds Tableau dashboards in their Salesforce views and Facebook employees have unprecedented freedom to explore their data.

Raisurana worked with consultants Dan Murray and Ben Sullins from InterWorks, Inc. to roll out Tableau Server at Facebook. Raisurana and his team from InterWorks developed a data visualization culture with an internal Tableau forum at its foundation. Facebook software engineers offered their own visualization solutions through hackathons that extended Outlook email functionality, viewing logs and errors, and other business operations.

Guy Bayes from the Facebook Analytics team went on to outline future plans for Tableau at Facebook. Scaling up to handle even more data in the future and implementing Tableau version 8 are top priorities for his team. "We will be opening up Tableau to the entire company", he said. Dashboards will be possible "without having to spend weeks programming in Python", said Bayes. The data exploration experience will be "seamless" for Facebook employees, he said.

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