Seagate Innovates by Putting Data in the Hands of Business Users

Tableau: Tell us a little bit about Seagate. What does your company do?
John Ostdiek, VP of Sales Operations: What we build and what we do are probably two different things. We build hard drives. But I think what we do is we store the world's memories.
Ganesh Paranthanam, Manager, Accounting/Finance: Anything that you have in your pocket right now, purse, maybe a cell phone, if you are carrying an iPad with you…
Gina Taramasso, Project Manager: …hard drives in your car, in the plane that you took to get here, in your laptop…
John: Your digital life is basically what Seagate provides.

Tableau: How would you describe the culture at Seagate?
Gina: Innovation is definitely on our mind. All the time.
Ganesh: We see the differences that are happening in the marketplace, we see the change.

Tableau: Your company is about inventing the future in many ways. Tell me about that.
Gina: Right now, we talk in terms of terabytes, and in the not so distant future we're going to be shipping zettabytes of storage. The need for storage is only increasing, it's increasing exponentially.
John: Seagate's culture of innovation is all around bringing inventions that have never existed before.

Tableau: Can you tell me how you use data to answer your questions at Seagate.
Ganesh: People are very passionate here. There is no problem that's too small to fix, and there is no problem where everyone's not going to collaborate.
Gina: We have information from our sales group, from our finance group, and from operations…
Mike Mixon, BI Program Manager: There's revenue data, there's market share data, there's sales and marketing data.
John: Moving to Tableau really allowed the business to take over the creation, the generation of those types of analytics, which made a huge difference.

Tableau: How so?
Ganesh: Because everybody is looking at the same data in the same way, and they can always drill down and see what they want to look at, decision-making happens much faster
Mike: They can immediately see what's going on and move on to the next question, the next meeting, the next whatever.

Tableau: What benefit does that offer?
Mike: Now, "what-ifs" are cheap. It's empowering in the sense that they can ask questions of the data and get answers without having to go to someone else.
Gina: You’re having a conversation about the data. You're not held back by limitations that would prevent you from really getting to know your data.

Tableau: Would you say that your professional life is improved now that you use Tableau?
Ganesh: For me, data is no longer just a bunch of rows and columns. It's actually something more meaningful. It's actually a story that I can tell someone else.

Personally, Tableau has impacted my ability to make more rapid business decisions.

John: Personally, Tableau has impacted my ability to make more rapid business decisions.
Gina: Tableau has fundamentally changed the way I think about data. I am super impatient now. I think all questions should be answered quickly.

Tableau: What do you think is the next step?
Gina: We’re never satisfied with the status quo. We’re always looking for a way to innovate, a way to push the envelope.
John: Not only are we working on just the technology, but (also) innovation in supply chain, innovation in demand and supply planning processes, innovation in business processes, we’re really trying to make the most efficient business that we can.