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‘Analytics Harness Actionable Insights From Data For Smart Business Decisions’

Author: Prateek Shukla / Source: BW Businessworld

‘Digital India’ programme is about using data intelligently and empowering everyday people like you and me to leverage on data

Since businesses are leveraging the data to form actionable insights, data analytics firms are witnessing immense popularity. Tableau a software company headquartered in Seattle, Washington, United States help companies see and understand their data.

In an exclusive interview with BW Businessworld, Anand Ekambaram, Director, Tableau India speaks about how data has become gold mine today, importance of analytics, Indian IT sector, Digital India and more.

You are working with big companies like Ashok Leyland, Marico, Lenovo and others. How difficult is it to manage all your clients?

India is one of the strategic markets for Tableau and we have been investing in this market since 2014. We started with a team of four people and now we have about 40 employees supporting the India business. The response since our launch has been tremendous from our customers across industries. We feel rewarded to be an enabler in their journey to build an analytics culture in their organisation.

A relentless focus on our customers is one pillar that has guided Tableau on this road and this has helped us build great relationships with our customers. Our every decision is aligned with our customers’ needs and we want to make them successful.

Tableau has a strong customer-oriented culture, with a large and devoted base of customers ranging from start-ups to non-profits to government institutions to global enterprise businesses and we are constantly working to build additional mechanisms to ensure customers are always first in all of our minds.

Tableau as a product really helps people transform data into actionable insights and many of our Indian customers really love our solution! Our customers have witnessed how Tableau has enabled them to harness the power of data, derive actionable insights and business value as well as cultivating a data first workplace.

How can data be transformed into actionable insights?

At Tableau, we believe that a picture is worth a million rows. Humans are able to comprehend data better through pictures than by reading numbers in rows and columns.

Humans have very powerful visual systems. Being able to visualise your data allows you to exploit the power of the human visual system to empower people to understand data to make better decisions.

Visualising data is important regardless of the size of the data because it translates information into insight and action.

By visualising and analysing data, you are able to ask more effectively and answer important questions such as “Where are sales growing,” “What is driving growth” and “What are the characteristics of my customers using different services?”

Tableau believes that analytics will harness actionable insights from data for smarter real-time business decisions.

Analytics goes beyond creating charts and images, for us the picture is the means of communicating the data and a way of asking questions of the data.

We help people answer deeper questions from their data by making it easier for them to interact with their data and ask new questions. You discover the real meanings in data by testing hypotheses and chasing hunches. It is not just about showing a result; you have to show how you got there and defend your answer.

How does data analytics help grow a business?

Data is a goldmine. As businesses become increasingly data driven, the need to derive insights from huge chunks of data continues to increase, leading to the demand for self-service big data analytics.

Every line of business can be optimised by implementing insights derived by big data analytics tools. By using technologies such as predictive analysis, trend monitoring, real-time data visualisations and dashboards, big data converts each and every action of a customer or business function into quantifiable insights. These insights may include consumer behaviour, sales effectiveness, revenue management, supply chain management, marketing campaign efficiency etc. that will help empower businesses to make insights-driven decisions.

Today, we have access to high volumes of data, coming from a variety of data sources. Technologies such as Tableau allow you to combine data sources so you can see the data across the business and ask questions in real-time. This provides a competitive edge over companies who may be waiting to analyze data until, say the end of a week or a quarter. There is no reason not to be making decisions and changing course as you learn from your data.

Even in areas like social media, Tableau, for instance, has been able to help customers understand the impact of their social media campaigns by delivering insights on the performance of every post, segment data by demographics and geography and identifying loyal advocates.

The applications of big data analytical tools thus can be across verticals and almost all industries may…

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