Treasury Today Country Profiles in association with Citi

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Harnessing the Power of Technology Winner: Tableau Software, Inc.

Photo of Eugene Hillery and Ed Barrie, Tableau Software, Inc.

Tableau Software’s in-house built solution has given it 99.9% daily automated visibility to global cash and investment balances. This has allowed the treasury to create significant improvements around its short-term cash flow forecast, leading to cost savings and a treasury team better placed to support the business.

Photo of Eugene Hillery and Ed Barrie, Tableau Software, Inc.

Ed Barrie

Senior Director, Treasury

View biography

Washington, US

Tableau Software is a software company headquartered in Seattle, Washington that produces interactive data visualisation products focused on business intelligence. Tableau’s mission is to help people see and understand their data.

DIY solution highlights the art of the possible

The challenge

Like many treasury departments, Tableau Software suffered from a lack of visibility over its global cash position; it had an inaccurate short-term cash flow forecast and was unable to view all its investment balances and financial exposures.

These issues hampered the treasury team’s ability to strategically support the growing business. What is more, any information that treasury did have was not easy to obtain and required significant manual work to be done by the treasury team.

The solution

In an effort to solve this issue, Tableau Software decided to build a global cash positioning and short-term cash forecasting platform.

The solution leverages SWIFT integration through Alliance Lite2 with a focus on FileAct based messaging using camt.053 XML and BAI2-formatted end of day bank statements. These formats provide a wealth of data that allows the team to perform detailed analytics and quantify impacts that were historically impossible.

These include understanding payment corridors based on the related party tags when populated by the bank, quantifying transactions processed in a currency other than the bank account currency (ie embedded FX transactions) and searching across all bank statements using the references available (ie an invoice or payment reference number).

Users are empowered to create the visual analytics they need using their own user driven flexible workflow, asking questions and interacting with multiple data sources. This covers multiple areas including cash balance and cash flow analysis, counterparty and foreign exchange exposure analysis.

The team also focused on flexibility and extensibility when building in the master data elements. It also aligned subsidiaries, bank parties and bank accounts to several KYC registry’s including the SWIFT KYC Registry and applicable ISO 20022 XML data tags to streamline this process.

Finally, the system is hosted in the cloud and there is cross linkage from Tableau’s investment databases, ERP system, ecommerce and corporate credit card databases using the company’s own software. This eliminated the need for costly data integration and has allowed Tableau to achieve a real time view of data as it is updated in respective source systems.

Best practice and innovation

Tableau developed a cost-effective solution that allows users to see and understand its global cash position, short-term cash flow forecast, investment balances and financial exposures with a focus on allowing its team members to define the views and analytics that they need.

By focusing on using ISO 20022 XML, treasury has been able to minimise data integrations and enhance its analytics through detailed and extensible master data management. This is unlikely to have been possible using a third-party treasury management system vendor.

“We have had a lot of fun building our solution and continue to build out the platform as we tap into new and expanding data sources without having to ‘re-plumb’ the system,” says Ed Barrie, Senior Director, Treasury at Tableau Software. “The ability to say ‘what if’ and then drive to a definitive data driven answer is empowering to our team. We aspire to be a thought leader in best in class use of technology and data within a global corporate treasury.”

Key benefits

  • 99.9% daily automated visibility to global cash and investment balances.

  • Improved short-term cash flow forecasting.

  • Integration across multiple data sources containing cash flow forecast data.

  • Efficiency gains.

  • Low cost solution.

  • Enables treasury to be more effective.

  • Cost savings.

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Portrait of Ed Barrie

Ed Barrie

Senior Director, Treasury

Ed Barrie is Senior Director, Treasury for Tableau Software, Inc. a global firm providing industry leading data visualisation and analytics software that helps people see and understand their data. Ed has been with Tableau Software since November 2015 and is responsible for global treasury management. Ed and his team earned the Treasury Today 2018 Adam Smith Award for Harnessing the Power of Technology as a result of driving advanced cash analytics.