Peter Appel Transport provides transportation services in the Netherlands and innovates new ways to transport temperature-controlled materials. Before 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 pleasant for Peter Appel Transport's business analysts and customers. 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 has now become faster, more efficient and more fun thanks to self-service analytics. 

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

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

Tableau: What led you to Tableau?

Gert-Jan: Our attention was actually caught by our accountant on QlickView. We had a demo of it, but I personally found it rather complicated and not very intuitive to be able to do anything with one or two data sets. I then went to the best-known search engine, Google, and quickly came across Tableau. I had never heard of it before, but I could download it for free for 14 days. I did that very quickly and basically got started without anything - without training, without people I knew. I just played with it at night.

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 got me very excited. I thought, yes, this is it. And then we really stopped the whole selection process. I went to my director, Peter Appel and told him we needed this. And I need a license 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 night. That got me very excited. I thought, yes, this is it.

Tableau: How has Tableau changed your job?

Gert-Jan: I was working a lot with data and doing it with Excel, Access, with all kinds of tools. And with Tableau it just became more fun and it's much faster, it's 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 transportation, yes it's in the package. I get data sets from customers, you read them in, and you can get started. I can just get to work myself. That makes life a lot easier and more enjoyable. 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 created, I can very quickly give access to the right people within the organization. They can work with the data. Sometimes they come back with questions, like: "I would also like this, I would also like that." We sit down with them for half an hour and it's drag and drop, "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 every day very easily and very quickly. And because of that, your dashboards only get better, even more beautiful, even faster. I actually say: it really is a kind of drug. It really is like an 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 right 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 preparing a report and it really provided one insight and that was it. And sometimes a week of data came along and you refreshed it and that was it. But you want to go further, you really want to give it to the user so that they can interact with that data very interactively. And actually expand their understanding further. That's actually what I've been able to achieve with Tableau.

Peter Appel Transport

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