Tableau gets a clear, fast view of sales and workforce planning data

Data visualization leader shrinks HR and sales planning time, boosting data visibility and collaboration

Efficient Sales PlanningConnected HR, Sales & FP&A

Data visualization software company Tableau used to spend more than 30 hours a week on data-crunching chores in sales and workforce planning. Moving processes to Anaplan and integrating the solution with existing HR software and Tableau’s own products cut that time down to less than 10 hours, improved collaboration, and gave the teams control over their data.

I don’t know that I could survive more than a couple of planning cycles without Anaplan.

Wyatt Albertson, Senior Manager of Sales Strategy and Planning

Tableau’s mission is to help people see and understand data. Logically, the people who work at Tableau want their own company data to be easy to find and simple to comprehend. But before Tableau began using the Anaplan platform, the company’s time-consuming, spreadsheet-based solution for workforce planning required more than 30 hours per week to consolidate headcount and sales data from across disparate systems. The teams responsible for each part of the planning process were continually being chased down by stakeholders who needed assistance to understand the data.

After finding little success with other solutions, Tableau’s business operations team realized that it needed a more agile workforce planning tool. For several years, the company found success using Anaplan for sales planning, and leadership saw an opportunity to extend the use of Anaplan into its workforce planning strategy. Deployment was quick: Within four weeks, Tableau quickly replaced manual, spreadsheet-based workforce planning and gained the agility to plan effectively.

Leveraging the Anaplan platform, Tableau has dramatically reduced the time spent on workforce planning. The process, which used to take more than 30 hours a week, now takes less than 10; this frees up time for value-added processes instead of consolidations and has transformed the work-life of people using the system. “I don’t know that I could survive more than a couple of planning cycles without Anaplan,” says Senior Manager of Sales Strategy and Planning Wyatt Albertson.

Having the data in the cloud enables easier collaboration across the business and simplifies the task of making real-time configuration changes. Like their colleagues in sales, workforce planning teams can modify formulas and create additional attributes without any system downtime.

Tableau chose Anaplan for its flexibility and customizability. The Anaplan platform was quick and easy to integrate with external systems, such as HR and recruiting tools, and also with Tableau’s own platform for data visualization. Self-reliance was another important factor, with the ability to edit, forecast, and interpret data—without needing to question the data’s accuracy—making Anaplan a clear frontrunner over competing solutions. “Our sales plan is no longer a black box,” Albertson says. “Our sales organization has real-time access to their sales plan.”