Peter Appel Transport provides transport services in the Netherlands and innovates new ways to transport temperature-controlled materials. For Tableau, Business Analyst Gert-Jan Neeft worked with data in Microsoft Excel and Access. The process was time-consuming and the end results were not pleasing to the business analysts and customers of Peter Appel Transport. With Tableau, data is now fun and easy - so easy that Gert-Jan was able to create his first business report on his second day. In this video, Gert-Jan discusses how data analysis is now faster, more efficient and more fun thanks to self-service analytics. 

Tableau: What has been the most fun using Tableau so far?

Gert-Jan Neeft, Business Analyst: If you have a question you ask it and the nice thing is that it is used in all time zones, so when I am lying in bed the answer is, so to speak, already written. And the next morning I can continue with my question or with the challenge I have. And that is just fantastic.

Tableau: What led you to Tableau?

Gert-Jan: Our attention was actually drawn to QlickView by our accountant. We had a demo of it, but I thought it was rather complicated and not very intuitive to do something with one or two datasets. I then went to the most well-known search engine, Google, and soon found Tableau. I had never heard of it before, but I could download it for free for 14 days. I did that very quickly and actually got started without anything - without training, without people I knew. I just played with it in the evening.

Tableau: Did you find Tableau user-friendly?

Gert-Jan: Without ever having seen or used the tool, I had actually made my first report on the second evening. That made me very enthusiastic. I thought: yes, this is it. And then we really stopped the whole selection procedure. I went to my director, Peter Appel, and told him we needed this. And I need a licence and we need to get going. And that's like our philosophy: just do it! And he said, yes, you are a specialist in this field and if you say we need this then we need this and we will do it.

Without ever having seen or used the instrument, I had actually made my first report on the second evening. That made me very enthusiastic. I thought: yes, this is it.


Tableau: How has Tableau changed your job?

Gert-Jan: I used to work a lot with data and did that with Excel, Access, with all kinds of tools. And with Tableau it has just become more fun and it is much faster, it is much easier, you can do much more with it, you can share much easier with people, give access, authorize. The whole concept is really what I would like to have as a BI specialist within Peter Appel transport, yes it is in the package. I get datasets from customers, you read them in, and you can get to work. I can also get to work myself. That makes life a lot easier and more pleasant. I don't have to wait for other people anymore. I don't have to ask other people any more, because I can just do it myself. And with the dashboards I have created, I can very quickly give access to the right people within the organisation. They can get to work with the data. Sometimes they come back with questions, like: "I would also like this, I would also like that." We sit down for half an hour and it's sleur and pleur, "sleur and pleur" in Dutch, and that makes me happy.

Tableau: Have you found the Tableau community to be helpful?

Gert-Jan: The community is so big, so you learn very easily and very quickly every day. And as a result, your dashboards will only get better, more beautiful and faster. I'm actually saying: it really is a kind of drug. It really is a kind of addiction. You just want it and you just want more. You just want to go faster. You want to get everything out of the tool that you can. And I'm kind of in that phase now. I follow a lot of blogs and YouTube channels. I'm reading, watching, saving and getting started with everything I can find about Tableau.

Tableau: How has Tableau helped you achieve your data goals?

Gert-Jan: If I look at myself, I was very busy drafting a report and that really produced one insight and that was it. And sometimes a week's worth of data would come along and you'd refresh it and that would be that. But you want to go further, you want to really give it to the user, so that they can interact with the data. And actually increase their understanding. That is actually what I was able to achieve with Tableau.

Peter Appel Transport

  • Category: Customer case
  • Client: Peter Appel Transport
  • Interviewee: Gert-Jan Neeft
  • Role: Business Analyst
  • Service: Tableau