China Eastern Airlines Increases Revenue with Tableau

Using Tableau, last year we owned a 2 percent increase in revenue, that’s $200 million U.S. dollars. If you want to own the money in the aviation or transportation industry, you're using Tableau.

China Eastern Airlines is a major Chinese airline operating international, domestic and regional routes. It is China's second-largest carrier by passenger numbers and the world’s third-biggest carrier by market value. At the 2011 U.S. Tableau Customer Conference, James Pu, senior executive of networking and revenue spoke with us about how the airlines uses Tableau to analyze market research, optimize its “Origin-to-Destination” routes, and increase revenue.

Tableau: How long has China Eastern been using Tableau?
James: We found Tableau, maybe one-half a year ago. We have much data to show to management, the sales channel, the pricing people, and others across the airline business. Because the airlines data is very large, it’s difficult to share with everyone. We have an Oracle database and the IE browser to show the data. But it goes so slowly. It’s so difficult to easily utilize the data. So, we searched the world of tools, and were excited to find Tableau, because Tableau is easy for not only IT to use, but for business people to use as well.
Tableau: On what type of projects do you use Tableau?
James: In six months, we’ve developed nine dashboards for separate uses. So, now we have 500 people who use the dashboards to analyze marketing, our competition, the other carriers, and our flights-to-revenues. So, the Tableau gives us powerful help. It’s easy for everyone who uses Tableau to drill down, past the peel of the orange and to the core.
Tableau: What sort of data are you using?
James: We buy marketing data from the ARC for the entire aviation industry. So, we can analyze the market shares of some ODs (origin-to-destination routes), like the United States to China. Like the JFK to Shanghai is the biggest one. The market share is different for any OD. So, we can open new flights to where the market share is bigger, so we can pick up the passengers for increased revenues.
Tableau: You use Tableau to analyze the market and make decisions that increase revenue?
James: Yes. Using Tableau, last year we owned 2 percent increase in revenue, that’s $200 million U.S. dollars.
Tableau: Do you also save TIME using Tableau?
James: Yes, we were using the Sun Oracle database. We were making Excel reports… hundreds of reports which took two to four weeks to make with multiple tables. Now, it’s half an hour or 20 minutes. We have quick response to the market, faster decisions for everything. Faster decisions for marketing and sales.
Tableau: How does Tableau compare to other business intelligence tools?
James: Tableau is useful. It is easy to use. And the response is fast, quick, fast, compared to other business intelligence tools. If you want to own the money in the aviation industry, or the transportation, you're using Tableau.