Success Stories: Storytelling with big data at Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo & Company is a publicly-traded financial services company. In 2014, Wells Fargo served 70 million customers. Turning the data generated by these customers into actionable, easy-to-understand insights is a big job—and it’s tasked to a small team. In this video, three members of that team talk about how Tableau helps them spend less time reshaping data and more time understanding it.

Founded in 1852 and known for its iconic stagecoach, Wells Fargo & Company is a San Francisco-based financial services company with $1.7 trillion in assets.

When it came time to redesign the company’s business banking portal, key decision-makers realized that gathering a great deal of data was easy, but helping people make great decisions based on that data was much harder.

In 2014, Wells Fargo customer data was generated from:

  • 70 million customers
  • 8,700+ locations
  • Offices in 36 countries

After choosing Tableau, the team is able to:

  • Cut time spent reshaping data
  • Spend more time analyzing
  • Understand the customer journey and make data-driven decisions

Christine Birtel, Head of Customer Insights & Analytics: In the beginning, our year-one strategy you could say was ‘beg, borrow and steal’— although there was no stealing that happened in Wells Fargo. We just did a lot of begging and borrowing.

It was very important that we could create the team, build the infrastructure, and create value immediately.

Secil Watson, EVP Head of Wholesale Internet Solutions: We have a customer base that’s very diverse. It includes anything from small businesses to large financial institutions. There is not one type of customer that we can generalize.

Christine: All we were doing is collecting all the data we could get our hands on and integrating it and being able to try to come up with the stories about our users and our users’ behavior.

The ultimate goal of collecting all of this data is to help us understand how to redesign our business banking portal.

Brian Mooneyham, VP, Customer Insights & Analytics: We quickly found out this data is a complete mess.

The value of Tableau is that we’re able to reach a really broad audience with a lot of information that we just couldn’t do otherwise without an extremely large team.

Christine: And then we have to sit down as a team and say, “This gobbledygook means the person was doing… this.”

The value of Tableau is we’re able to reach a really broad audience with a lot of information that we just couldn’t do otherwise without an extremely large team.

Secil: Tableau helped us be able to spend fewer resources in the cleaning up of data and shaping the data for reports, because we were able to automate our reporting. So therefore now a lot of our resources in our very small team are focused on turning data analytics into insights.

Brian: I wouldn’t want to do my job without Tableau. I can absolutely say that. It has definitely done a lot of great things for my particular role, for the role of our group. It would not be a fun place without it right now.

Christine: We’re data geeks, we’re nerds, and we have a little bit different sense of humor. I mean, we’re just a cool team.

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