"Extremely fast and extremely efficient" —DIRECTV Colombia on Tableau

Tableau: Can you tell us about your data?
José Rafael Casas Arboleda, Manager, Marketing Decision Analytics: DIRECTV Colombia is a big data company.

We have several hundreds of thousands of subscribers. Each of these every month generates transactions for billing, collections, customer care, and so on. So we generate about hundreds of millions of data records yearly. That's a lot of data.

What we have been able to do is multiply our service capacity as an area for the rest of the organization...we are much more versatile in providing support for the decision making. It has brought higher value to the business.

Tableau: How has Tableau performed with that quantity of data?
José: Tableau has been able to handle all that data with no problem.

So my first thought when we found out this capability of Tableau is it is fast, extremely fast and really efficient.

We are now able to take a whole lot of data, millions of records, and do an analysis right away, quickly on our Tableau Desktop in a matter of hours. So on a daily basis we can now do a lot more analysis, more in depth analysis, because we have more time.

Tableau: What was the process before Tableau?
José: In the past, most of that time was spent doing queries, doing—building datasets or maybe building data warehouses, conducting projects for developing dashboards with the traditional dashboarding tools and so on.

Before, we had to abide by the traditional methods, we had queries in SQL, we had Excel, and we had to dedicate several days with several engineers in order to have one dashboard, produce a report and be able to respond to a specific question.

Tableau: What is the impact of improving that process with Tableau?
José: We are now far more efficient than before. We feel now that we are adding a lot more value to the business.

Tableau has let us do real faster and more in depth, more profound analysis. So this has led to a better decision-making process in the company. So we have actually added value to the business.

Tableau: Earlier, you mentioned SQL and Excel—are you blending data from multiple sources?
José: There is an important part of the information that does not come from those sources, that comes from external sources and that is contained in different data systems, such as Excel, flat files, or multiple database technologies.

And Tableau has allowed us to integrate all these with the structured data we already had.
That saved us a great deal of work in data management and in the extraction and creation of structured databases to be able to make the dashboards.