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Matt Derda Talks IT-led Success at PepsiCo and Joining Trifacta

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April 25, 2016

Matt Derda first discovered Trifacta at PepsiCo, where he was a CPFR (Collaborative Planning, Forecasting and Replenishment) Analyst. With Trifacta, Matt’s team accelerated the preparation of customer supply chain data by 90% to more accurately and quickly forecast sales. He became a huge advocate for Trifacta, even telling his story at Strata + Hadoop world. We’re also happy to announce that Matt recently joined Trifacta as the newest member of our Customer Success team! We’re excited to have him board.

Recently, I sat down with Matt to ask him a few questions about his experience at PepsiCo, such as how he worked with IT to develop a mutually beneficial process. He explained how IT-led success at PepsiCo reaped benefits for both teams and what he’s excited to tackle next.

How were you introduced to Trifacta?

Our IT team was already using Hadoop and Trifacta. At the time, a Director in the IT department was working with our group on creating a CRM tool for Customer Supply Chain. When he heard about the CPFR program, he brought us Trifacta as a solution to the reporting issues we were having, primarily the building time for our CPFR tools and the space it was eating up on our server.`

What benefits did your analytics and IT team experience from Trifacta?

We were able to work together to find ways to automate some of our reporting processes.

How did Trifacta change the way that your analytics team works together? How did it change the way that your team works with IT?

Our analytics team had a lot of fun working on our Trifacta projects, which made us perform better as a team. They now have an open dialogue with our IT team and continue to work on making processes more efficient.

What immediate business insights did you derive from Trifacta?

One clear insight I gained, was that it was much easier to build dashboards in Tableau after the datasets had been wrangled in Trifacta. Pepsi uses Tableau a lot, but many people have a hard time using it because they are not familiar with SQL. The ease of use of Trifacta made it so that analyst could prep their data so that would have to do less SQL coding in Tableau.

What long-term organizational value did you derive from Trifacta?

To keep it simple, Trifacta made me smarter.  Once my brain started learning how to put the data I was working with together, I started thinking faster and my problem solving skills got better. I was able to start tackling problems that had been a sore spot for years for the company, but we didn’t have the means or time to put effort into providing insights on the issue.

What is it like to come from the other side of the sales process?

I’m not going to lie, it is a little weird. Everyone keeps asking me if it’s what I expected and it’s not, it’s actually better. From the first time I saw Trifacta I loved the product, which made it really easy to show off to other people.

What challenges are you most looking forward to helping organizations tackle?

I’m really looking forward to helping Trifacta tackle the CPG market.  There are a lot of people in that industry who were like me and faced the same issues. They had data but they don’t have the tools to analyze it. You don’t have to have analyst in your title to analyze data.

What is the most exciting part about Trifacta to you?

The direction of the product, it’s not just going to be limited to Hadoop. I think this should replace Excel. There are tools that are just too long and arduous

Where do you see the future of data wrangling?

I think data wrangling is going to become a common term. A lot of people hear the word data or analytics and they think “boring.” I know I did.  But when you have something like Trifacta that makes it easy to understand and create something, it makes it exciting. I actually looked forward to coming into my job and wrangling data.  

To learn more about how PepsiCo reduced its analytics build time by 90%, check out our recorded webinar with Hortonworks