Tableau beds down Telstra Super


news US business intelligence vendor Tableau Software has claimed Telstra’s superannuation fund Telstra Super as a major Australian client, with the company deploying Tableau’s solution to gain additional insight into its membership and transactional data.

Tableau doesn’t have a high profile in Australia, but is well known in the US. It’s a privately held company specialising in taking complex datasets such as databases and spreadsheets and generating more user-friendly visualisations from them such as graphs and charts. In February this year analyst firm Gartner rated the company as a ‘challenger’ in its business intelligence Magic Quadrant report. “Tableau is challenging traditional business intelligence technologies,” said Christian Chabot, Tableau’s CEO and co-founder, when Tableau won the challenger spot in the Gartner report. “Tableau is in the Magic Quadrant because customers are benefitting from our disruptive and refreshing approach to business analytics.”

In a statement released this morning, Tableau said Telstra Super had used its business intelligence software to “centralise, analyse and interact with member and transactional data like never before”. Telstra Super is Australia’s largest corporate superannuation fund and has some 100,000 members and more than $11 billion in assets.

“Tableau allows us to build on our unique segmentation model and access the massive amounts of member data collected throughout our history. We’ve been able to bring a large and diverse membership demographic to life in ground-breaking visual ways,” said David Calistro, Business Intelligence manager at Telstra Super. “With the Australian retirement savings industry in a prolonged state of government-driven reform, these deepened insights are essential to helping us make informed product development and member service decisions, as well as developing more meaningful relationships with our stakeholders.”

Calistro said that Tableau’s visualisations and dashboards better enable Telstra Super to analyse: Member analytics and segmentation in support of marketing and communications activities; member profiling to enable new business, and product strategy and development; service and fund performance analysis to facilitate market and competitor benchmarking; and management reporting and KPI dashboards to business stakeholders.

“Australian companies like Telstra Super are accumulating huge volumes of data and need ways to see and understand it better,” said JY Pook, VP of Asia Pacific for Tableau. “Tableau’s fast, easy, self-service analytics can help to get a better picture of business intelligence and identify issues and opportunities that might pop up before they even happen.”

“In 2011, business users continued to exert significant influence over BI decisions, often choosing data discovery products in addition to/as alternatives to traditional BI tools,” according to the report. It continues to state there are “differences between Business Users and IT in how they drive product preferences. The crux of the conflict remains the same as last year: business users demand easy to use, flexible products that put analytic power into their own hands, against IT’s desire to maintain standards and create a supportable BI environment with predictable performance and quality data.”

The business intelligence market is dominated by a number of major players such as SAP’s Business Objects, IBM’s Cognos, Oracle’s Hyperion, SAS and MicroStrategy. In this context, it’s very interesting to see smaller players such as Tableau winning major clients in Australia such as Telstra Super. I suspect that the business intelligence software market can be quite niche at times, with the major suites supporting most datasets and APIs, but smaller players like Tableau able to provide more targeted solutions that can at times suit certain purposes better. This article reminds me of one we did about service management vendor BMC a few weeks ago — where I pointed out that there were also a variety of service management solutions beyond BMC out there.

Image credit: Tableau Software