InterWorks’ customer session featuring the Google Patents Team is now available for your viewing pleasure! Tableau recently made several of its more popular sessions available for view online via the Tableau Conference 2016 website. All you have to do is sign in to watch. If you don’t have a login, creating one is free and easy.

UPDATE: Unfortunately, this session is no longer available for viewing. Please refer to the summary below for a recap. If you'd like to know more, please reach out


For the past several years, InterWorks has worked closely with the Google Patents Team. InterWorks Principal Consultant Eric Shiarla gave the introduction to the session and discussed the relationship between the Google Patents Team and InterWorks.

Eric mentioned some of the unique challenges faced by the Google Patents Team when it came to their Tableau practice. These included connecting to Google BigQuery before there was even a Tableau connector, making sure Tableau passed Google’s stringent security audits, integrating into SSO and making sure Tableau could scale across the enterprise. With over 100,000 named users, enterprise scaling was a big consideration. The challenges were met and overcome, and the Google Patents Team is now thriving with Tableau.

After the introduction, former InterWorks consultant and current Google Data Scientist Ashley Eadon took over the presentation to discuss how the Google Patents Team got to where they are today.

Ashley began by explaining just what a patent is and the difference between his team and another Google Patents Team. His team is more focused on the data surrounding patents – this data includes titles, authors and numerous fields containing anything from text to Venn diagrams. In short, this dimensionality makes for some interesting data to process.

He went on to discuss how the legal and data worlds are rapidly colliding and the need for his team to improve the way they analyze and process data. Their goal wasn’t to improve by 10% but to be 10 times better. For them, this primarily involved improving user accessibility to data as well as keeping track of how those users interact with that data.

To meet this challenge, his team created an initiative they dubbed as SandDI (Systems and Data Infrastructure). He went on to discuss the main three challenge areas of this initiative:

  1. Leadership challenge
  2. Cultural challenge
  3. Technical challenge

After diving into the finer points of each challenge and showcasing a Tableau portal built by InterWorks, he called Eric to join him and opened the room for questions.

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