The beauty of Tableau is its expressive capabilities. Employees’ curiosity and motivation also increase
NTT Docomo owns 6,000 servers. The systems running on these servers contain a huge amount of transaction data (approx. 62 petabytes). They aggregated this data in SAP HANA and established a platform that enabled real-time data analysis. They also deployed Tableau within the company and built an environment that allowed about 1,800 members of the sales team to use it. After that, they expanded their userbase in the Management Planning Department, Finance Department and Service Department. According to Mr. Hasegawa, it now has more than 11,000 unique monthly users (as of October 2019). To promote user education, they set up an “Ambassador Academy” with Tableau Software, Inc. They expanded end users by training key people as “ambassadors” who could analyze data using BI tools and train talent and by giving them promotional roles in each branch office. The idea behind this was that the whole company had to become data driven. There is no domestic precedent for operating an Ambassador Academy on this kind of scale. “It’s only about two years since we introduced Tableau, but I feel that we are in the process of establishing a culture of decision-making based on a firm grasp of data. This is because the hurdles to data usage have shrunk while the speed of data use has also increased dramatically. This has also allowed us to run our business processes faster. Tableau has now become an integral part of daily work, to the extent that we can’t remember how we managed to do our jobs before it”. Beforehand, whenever they had a managerial meeting, the staff had to come to the office at 6am to prepare materials for it. This involved extracting the data and creating graphs in Excel, but Tableau has rendered that work redundant. The freshness of the data that can be used for meetings has also improved. This is because the Tableau dashboard, which can be viewed on handheld devices, shows you data from the morning of the meeting. “After using Tableau in practice, the thing that I thought was fantastic is its expressive capabilities. With just a few intuitive user actions. it displays the data that you want to see in the format that you want to see it in. It also displays the data quickly, allowing you to look at successive sets of data without interrupting your train of thought. Every day I’m impressed by how amazing it is to be able to able to use data flexibly”. If you can utilize very fresh data immediately, you can also speed up hypothesis testing cycles. You can speed up things like establishing a hypothesis after looking at data, formulating a solution based on that hypothesis and then establishing the next hypothesis after viewing the data from the result of implementing that solution. Mr. Hasegawa says that being able to do things like these without interrupting their train of thought has increased employees’ curiosity and motivation. “The introduction of Tableau has allowed us to realize the kind of “self BI” that we found difficult previously. It also provides an environment in which users can create their own dashboards. As a result of this, the previous work we had to do creating materials is no longer required, saving us several billon yen each year. We started promoting Tableau from the top down, but once employers saw its benefits, they asked to use it of their own accord. It generated a cycle of success stories thereby increasing users who then create even more success stories”.