Camelot Strategic Marketing & Media: Pushing Business Forward

For executives who are used to taking on 7,000 page PowerPoint decks trying to find an answer, now one dashboard from Tableau, they're there. They don't have to wait; they don't have to read; they interact.

Camelot Strategic Marketing and Media is one of the largest privately-owned strategic marketing and media services companies in the U.S. covering all types of media including interactive, print, radio, television and out of home. At the 2011 U.S. Tableau Customer Conference, vice president of emerging media and technology, Stuart Watson, spoke with us about how Camelot is using Tableau to differentiate their services by presenting data in meaningful ways to show clients how they’re “moving the needle” and driving business.

Tableau: Can you tell us what business issue brought you to Tableau?
Stuart: We look for things that are going to be able to help set us apart. And so we said, hey, how can we start to differentiate ourselves? And one of the key ways is presenting data in meaningful ways. We have a cycle for reporting with clients; here are the results, analysis, conclusion, and call to action. One of the beautiful things about Tableau is in one shot, a dashboard or just a worksheet, we can get all that done and the client immediately knows what we're going to go do.
Tableau: And how does that impact your business?
Stuart: I think that's the biggest thing for us is truly showing what we're doing for our clients is having an impact on their business. Tableau is really powerful and helps us get to indicated actions and move more quickly, so our client's business is moving forward.
Tableau: Was there a particular problem you were facing?
Stuart: In everybody's industry data is growing, right? Our biggest challenge is taking performance data from one system of record and tying it back against cost data. So, we do that back in a cube or SQL structure, but once we get all that done, then we've got to bring it to life, right? Our dashboards help us optimize the media on a daily basis, and then weekly be able to review that in a rolled up manner very efficiently with the client, so they know every day we're working on their business.
Tableau: How does dashboard interactivity come into play?
Stuart: So, starting a dashboard out with ‘here's the overall picture’ and then using the interactivity to be able to say ‘here's what's moving my business’—here's a filter that says I need to find media placements that are really cost-effective and driving this kind of efficiency from a conversion or a click-through perspective.
So, looking at a broad spectrum of situations that you're going to want to optimize, the dashboards allow you to do that in multiple ways. What’s nice is you give the client (and even us) the ability to drill down and find and optimize things quickly.
Tableau: How important is it to connect to Live Data?
Stuart: One of the things that we knew would be a good differentiator for us is being able to create these dashboards that live in real time, right? I mean, interactive marketing is what happened last hour, what's happening week over week, hour over hour. When you're looking at that kind of granularity, you need to be able to respond quickly. The ability to have dashboards that help you manage each one of those channels efficiently is amazing. We wouldn't be able to help our clients drive their business if we didn't have that kind of power.
Tableau: What’s the impact on your organization?
Stuart: It's really amazing when the owner of the agency, one of the smartest men I've ever met, comes in and looks at one of the dashboards we've built, and says, “That's incredible, I know exactly what you're trying to tell me.” He's the guy who used to have 600 thousand-page decks put in front of him; now he just wants one page. Now we just show him a one-page dashboard, it's the same result. He says, “I got it, I know what we're going to go do, let's go do it.”
Tableau: What is Tableau’s impact on you personally?
Stuart: For me personally Tableau has given me the power to quickly answer questions that I may have about the data and look for insights that the client hasn't even thought about yet.
Tableau: Why is data visualization important?
Stuart: Tableau is making data human again or even for the first time. And I think that for anyone who's interested in diving into it, especially for the next generations where math is so critical, being able to actually tell the stories that we can all interpret and act on, that's even more critical. To take all this big data, terabytes, terabytes of data, and truly make it actionable in a single dashboard. I mean, that kind of power you just don't see anywhere.