annual hours saved
“The scale of the data was too much to handle.”
Gaylord Chemical Company is the world’s preeminent producer of dimethyl sulfide, dimethyl sulfoxide, medical-grade Procipient®, and AgXalt™. The company’s history dates back to 1962 when, under the ownership of Crown Zellerbach, it began an aggressive and comprehensive research program into the manufacture of the chemicals it now produces. The results of this extensive work would later give Gaylord an astounding depth of knowledge about these products.
What Gaylord didn’t have in 2022 was a low-effort way to present and analyze data. The company used Tableau, but not as extensively as they could have been.
Artie McKim, Gaylord’s vice president of technology, heads up a new business development group charged with developing and managing an opportunity pipeline. Essentially, he is responsible for placing a value on the opportunities that the team develops. He needed an effective reporting tool, so he relied on Tableau.
“I started working with Tableau as sort of a hobby about ten years ago,” said Artie. “With that knowledge, I developed a Tableau dashboard built with data sourced from an Excel file containing opportunities. Fortunately, the team was pretty successful and built out a pipeline of several hundred opportunities. Unfortunately, the scale of that data was too much for me to handle.”
Managing the opportunity data was too much for Artie. He had to pull data from Salesforce, clean it, import it into Tableau, then pull reports to present to leadership and investors—and every task had to be done manually.
“I knew we weren’t using Tableau to its fullest extent nor in the most straightforward way,” said Artie. “But one day, there was a breaking point, and I knew I had to get out of the data-cleaning and dashboard-building business.” That breaking point came when a staff member who helped Artie process the data to create the necessary dashboards left the company. Artie would have to take on extra work, and he simply did not have the time.
“We all realized we needed an automated way for the business development group to collect information in Salesforce and create reports in Tableau,” said Artie. “Furthermore, all this had to be doable without the need for the sort of manual interactions I was increasingly getting involved in.”
DataDrive provides analytics consulting for the world’s largest brands, delivering powerful data products to drive real business value. The company empowers users to maximize their investment in Tableau by eliminating manual spreadsheets while growing their business with data-driven decisions. It does this without requiring the hiring of expensive data teams and managing a complex infrastructure.
After meeting with the Gaylord team and the company’s stakeholders to gain an understanding of its data gathering and reporting needs, the DataDrive team recommended the Tableau Cloud Jumpstart service. This service is DataDrive’s signature approach to delivering implementation, actionable insights, administration best practices, and end-user training in less than 90 days.
Next, DataDrive converted Gaylord’s Excel-based reports and turned them into interactive dashboards for executive audiences that are updated daily. Following this, DataDrive helped Gaylord get a solid foundation on the Tableau Cloud platform. DataDrive then set up new users with proper security and defined a content strategy for publishing dashboards into appropriate business functions defined on Tableau Cloud.
Additionally, DataDrive conducted a multi-day Tableau Desktop training for business users to support them in understanding how to connect and build visualizations on their own. This helped generate new use cases for data automation and pushed the adoption and usage of the platform.
“Adoption and engagement with Tableau and its dashboard have gone very well,” said Artie. “The key users were hungry to use the tool more broadly.”
DEVELOPED A FULLY-FUNCTIONING TABLEAU INSTALLATION
“The DataDrive team took what I started in Tableau and made it work,” said Artie. “I now have the enhanced ability to talk about issues that are important to a financial audience.”
SAVED HOURS OF DATA PROCESSING
“I used to spend upwards of twenty-four hours each quarter to develop dashboards, and pressure test the data to make sure it was solid enough to present,” said Artie. “Now, I no longer need to do any of that. The data is automatically ready to present and analyze.”
IMPROVED DATA-BASED DECISION MAKING
“Any sort of analysis based on faith or gut instinct is not a good management plan,” said Artie. “We now have the data analysis capabilities that will allow us to succeed.”
"The DataDrive team has made Tableau the tool I need it to be. The work they did helped me accomplish exactly what I needed, which is seamless extraction and reporting of Salesforce data.”