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Democratizing Data

09 October 2013 | Zilliant

By Ted Wasserman

Have you ever heard the idiom, “a picture is worth one-thousand words?” Of course you have! It is instantly relatable to people because it hits the core of how the human brain processes information: visually.

That’s what we are all about at Tableau: enabling organizations to instantly see patterns in their data in a visual paradigm. It’s rather hard to do that equipped with a 1,000+ line spreadsheet and relying on a lengthy process to infer the same patterns.

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For us, visual analytics doesn’t mean some fancy charting tool. It’s about the iterative process of exploring your data, spotting trends and outliers, bringing in data from different places into the same view, quickly answering one question, then another and another. That’s where legacy tools have struggled to enable companies in the past; they’ve failed to allow users to engage in the data and make timely data-driven decisions.

Democratizing Data

Data scientists are a fundamental part of any organization. They usually have highly technical backgrounds and their insight and skills are absolutely key to successfully leveraging big data. However, we believe that everyone in your organization, not just data scientists, need to be able to make informed decisions based on real data, not just a gut feeling.

Companies who consistently make decisions based on data outperform their peers. However, consider what the current process for arriving at data-driven decisions looks like in most organizations today. When people with non-technical backgrounds have questions that data can answer, they rely on a team of technical experts solely dedicated to providing data analysis. When you have an entire organization relying on the skills of this team, before long, they are facing a pretty heavy backlog of change requests and new reports. Once the requests are finally fulfilled, the information is likely to be days or weeks old.

A modern, easy-to-use visual analytics tool has the potential to remove this bureaucratic backlog. The team of data scientists can instead focus on more strategic goals and the rest of your organization can have self-service access to the data and answer their own questions.

Evolving the Platform

As the needs and sophistication of your analytics change and grow, your tools should as well. We released Tableau 8.0 earlier this year to rave customer reviews! Tableau 8.0 offers better performance, native access to new data sources, new web and mobile capabilities, and additional analytic capabilities such as forecasting. I highly recommend you take a look at it today and discover for yourself how Tableau has the transformational power to change how your organization uses data.

Ted Wasserman is a product director at  Tableau Software, a company that makes it easy for people to see and understand their data. He will be speaking at MindShare 2013, an event for Zilliant customers, which will be held in Austin, Texas, on October 15-16, 2013. Tableau is embedded in Zilliant products to provide customers with best-in-class data visualization to see the predicted impact of prices changes, opportunities for retention and cross-sell and reports on price and sales performance.

Stay tuned to The Zilliant Blog tomorrow for another post from Ted on building a culture of information sharing and data-driven analysis.

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