Ah good day to my Tableau disciples. Peace be with you. May your day be free of exploding 3D pie charts

I’d like to introduce you to the first of a regular series of short interviews, entitled “2 Minutes with…”. The more alert of you will have worked out that this is where I spend 2 minutes with an interesting person in the BI area and ask them a few questions relevant to Tableau and viz and all that. I then document what they’ve said and we all look on in awe as to how clever they are. They then slip me a backhander and we all emerge as winners. Lovely.

First up is Paul Chapman (@cheekie_chappie) of easyJet

easyjetFounded in 1995, easyJet are a British airline carrier and one of the pioneers of the “low-cost” airline boom of the 1990’s. They’ve seen very rapid expansion since formation and have always been characterized by their use of innovative marketing techniques, not least in their battle with rival low-cost operators. Check this interesting BBC documentary for some insight.

Paul1VizNinja (VN): Good morning Paul, how are you?

Paul Chapman (PC): Fine thanks, nice to talk to you again.

VN: So who are you then and what do you do?

PC: Paul Chapman, Finance Manager for Business Intelligence @ easyJet

VN: How do you use Tableau at your organization?

PC: I am leading our Tableau programme, which we have had in the business for about six months now.  We started with a proof of concept scheme of 10 desktop users with a server in a box under a desk, which has now increased to 25 desktop users, which represent each key pillar of the business and a 16 core server across two physical and two virtual machines.

VN: What has the impact been on your business?

PC: We are still looking at the art of the possible with Tableau and getting our desktop users up to speed with the fundamental and advanced training sessions, but the proof of concepts have highlighted some innovative ways in which we can visualize our data and make current reporting significantly more interactive for the end-user.  We have also set up an internal Tableau user group, which shares suggestions, ideas and best practice across Yammer and at our monthly catch up meetings.  The training has also been recognized by HR and added to the individuals training records which is also important in ensuring they are being recognized for the time and commitment they are giving to the tool.

VN: Who do you learn from in the Tableau community?

PC: I follow multiple blogs and twitter users, there are too many to mention individually but suffice to say that 85% of the people I follow on twitter and 100% of the blogs are Tableau related!  The Tableau Public viz of the day is also a fantastic resource (as are the Tableau books by Dan Murray and George Peck.

VN: In your opinion what should we be mindful of in the BI space going forward?

PC: Making sure that you don’t run before you can walk.  Tableau is only one part of the whole BI journey for us.  We are also defining the ‘Analyst of the future’ and trying to fix our underlying data warehouses and source data as well.  Another key task is defining visualization best practice and guidelines and even the colour palettes we should use.

VN: Could you give me an interesting non-work fact about yourself?

Paul2PC: When not flying planes I also enjoy taking long runs through mud, fire, water, ice and electricity – normally in fancy dress as well!

VN: Thanks for your time Paul, see you soon.

PC: You’re welcome, always a pleasure.

Hope you enjoyed the first episode of “2 Minutes with…”. As always, feedback is invited. If you’d like to be the subject of a future edition then give me a tweet and I’ll send a Ninja over.

Regards, Paul