Plan Your Migration

🕐 7 min read

Migration Strategy

Note: Before you create your strategy, we recommend that you review the Tableau Cloud Migration Readiness Assessment. This assessment helps you understand your technical readiness for a migration to Tableau Cloud.

We strongly recommend that you commit to a migration plan with stated goals.

Establish your migration goals

We recommend that you establish concrete goals for your migration. If your goals aren’t established before the migration, you can’t know if the migration is a success. The following examples are provided to simplify the process using SMART goals.

Choose a migration strategy

Read through the Ownership Strategy and Migration Rollout Strategy in this topic to determine which of the following strategies you will use to migrate to Tableau Cloud. Before your migration, you must have stakeholder commitment on the strategy. Without this commitment, your migration will suffer the problems of scope creep and extended timelines.

Select your preferred combination of Ownership and Rollout Strategies:

Ownership Strategy
Centralized Organizational Segmentation Site-by-Site
Migration Rollout Strategy All at Once

Ownership Strategy

There are three strategies for determining who fills each of the required roles during a Tableau Server to Tableau Cloud migration. Before migrating to Tableau Cloud, make sure you’re aligned on your desired ownership structure, especially if multiple teams are involved.

  1. Centralized ownership: A single person or team is responsible for the migration

  2. Organizational segmentation: Distributed responsibilities by business unit or team

  3. Site-by-site: Distributed responsibilities by existing Tableau Server Site structure

Strategy Pros Cons
Centralized ownership Simplest, least coordination, managed centrally Distribution of effort can be challenging at scale
Organizational segmentation Roles and responsibilities are distributed across business units. Greatest opportunity for content optimization Requires the most coordination, subject to internal org restructures
Site-by-site Role clarity driven by content structure, can use site admins to drive migration and testing efforts Cross-organizational collaboration must be agreed to early. Unclear or shifting priorities can cause disruption.

Centralized ownership

This strategy is normally employed by customers with a single site and fewer than 500 Users. Not every organization that fits those qualifications use Centralized structures, but it becomes less common as Tableau Server deployments grow due to matrixed ownership of content.

We recommend this strategy as the simplest strategy, if your migration lead is able to individually connect with essential leaders across the entirety of the Tableau Server deployment to conduct a migration to Tableau Cloud.

Organizational segmentation

This strategy is normally employed by customers with more than one site and more than 500 Users. It relies on existing organizational structures to distribute roles and responsibilities. For example, an organization with three different business units participating in a migration might choose to each have duplicate roles in a migration if each business conducts their migration at different times.

We recommend this strategy if ownership of content is highly matrixed and different business units will be migrating in slightly different ways.


This strategy is generally employed by customers with more than one site and more than 500 Users. Using this model, you distribute responsibilities to personnel in every site so that they can migrate to Tableau Cloud when it makes sense for that Tableau Server site to migrate. This model allows you to use the existing content governance structure in Tableau Server to distribute roles and responsibilities.

We recommend this strategy if you have highly matrixed ownership of content and different sites will be migrating in slightly different ways.

Migration rollout strategy

There are generally three rollout strategies for conducting a migration.

  1. All at once: The entirety of Tableau Server content is migrated in a single sprint.

  2. Phased: Subsections of content are migrated across multiple sprints or teams based on business unit, or Server Site structure.

All at once

This strategy is often chosen for customers with fewer than 500 Users. It’s clearly the simplest model, but is harder to manage if there are multiple teams across varied business units who are each responsible for subsections of the migration. These groups can still use this strategy as long as they commit to roles, timelines, and strong communication early in the migration.


This strategy is often chosen by customers with more than 500 Users who for one reason or another can’t migrate all of their content in a single sprint. Factors that could impact this include varied stakeholders with different goals, timelines, or data strategy.

Roles and responsibilities

The following are the common roles and responsibilities that should be agreed upon before your migration. Based on the size of the migration and the strategy employed, you might find that a role isn’t required, that a role requires multiple people or that a single person spans multiple roles. Before you begin migrating, make sure you have individuals assigned to each of the below roles.

Role Definition Owner
Executive Sponsor Responsible for the outcome of the migration and ensuring each role is properly staffed.  
Project Manager Responsible for timelines, coordination, and delegation of ownership  
Technical Lead Technical lead for using the Migration SDK  
Readiness Assessment Responsible for ensuring all content is fit for use in Tableau Cloud  
Tableau Cloud Site Admin Responsible for administration of the Tableau Cloud deployment during and post-migration. There could be more than one site admin. However, we recommend having one person ultimately responsible during the duration of a migration.  
Testing Lead Responsible for ensuring content is tested on Tableau Cloud before the go-live date.  
Tableau Cloud Project Leaders Primarily an informed role, although often provide feedback on migration progress on subsections of content. This role most commonly has more than one person listed as an owner. But it's helpful to identify these people ahead of time so that they understand their accountability to the content in their Project(s).  

Data not supported by the Migration SDK

You must manually migrate the following items:

The Tableau Catalog isn’t migrated by the Migration SDK. However, after content is in Tableau Cloud, it’s indexed by Tableau Catalog and is usually available within 48 hours of an asset migration.

For data supported by the Migration SDK, see Content types.