Tableau Discussion Forums and Chat
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Discussion forums and other chat-based communications provide users with information in real time. These methods can also become a knowledge base as archived chats may answer questions that will arise in the future. Set up a Tableau discussion forum, chat room, and/or channel (Slack, Yammer, Wechat, etc.) and invite all your Tableau users to join.
Depending on the systems used by your company, both discussion forums and chat are incredibly helpful to community managers to determine topics that may need more attention in training or with engagement activities. In forum-style discussions, questions and answers can be categorized by topic to improve future searches. For channel-based communications, you can achieve a similar result with a channel per topic or a single help channel for all questions. Either way, facilitating these connections between users will make your community stronger.
Building your own community spaces can be challenging, but once started, it will serve as a virtual rallying point for your users. The below methods can be used to help you set yourself up for success:
- Community Champions: A committee or team of Tableau experts can be a voice for your users and shape the way your forums are setup based on their needs. Keeping this group diverse will ensure you plan for the needs of all your users.
- Types of Resources: Which topics are most important to your users? How do they prefer to consumer content? What is the frequency at which you should deliver content? Answer these questions can get you started on creating content that is right for your user base. Your community champions should be involved in this planning phase.
- Encourage self-service help: A key benefit of community spaces is the ability for users to solve their own problems and issues through the expertise of others. By setting service level agreements on response times to chat messages or posts you can give your community users confidence that they will not go unheard.
- Roles & Responsibilities: A successful community can quickly grow to touch all aspects of an organization. Make sure the roles of the team who will be managing your internal forums are clearly defined. Examples of discussion forum and chat roles are:
- Admins: monitoring the overall health & performance of the forums
- Moderators: answering questions and engaging with forum users
- Ambassadors: those who serve as champions and face of the forums
- Be Realistic: Set expectations for your forums early in terms of engagement, what types of content you will need, and who owns what.
- Start Small: Build for what you need and plan for the future. Your forums may start small, but they won’t stay that way.
Building Your Forum
When setting up your own forums and chat spaces, keep in mind some of the below best practices:
- Platform: Look to company standards for chat- and intranet-based applications that work within your organization. This can be anything from your Tableau Enablement Intranet to a chat-based application. The important thing is that your users know where to go to connect with other Tableau users, outside of regular Internal Tableau Activities.
- Easy to find resources: Create distinct spaces for your users to quickly find resources such as getting started with Tableau, advanced calculations, and employees who can offer guidance. Setting these spaces up early and populating them with content will keep your users coming back to your internal spaces.
- Categorization: Setup chat channels or tag forum posts with specific topics to improve content searchability. As your community grows, so will the content. Make sure your users can quickly and easily find what they need.
- Internal Moderators: Identify a group of power users who can help moderate the forums by answering questions, creating content, and onboarding new users. These individuals should also be Tableau experts who can help guide your users through even the most challenging asks.
- Use the data: Keep track of how users are interacting with the forums and what topics are most popular. This will guide you in developing the right content and forum engagement plans for your users, as well as identify content for regular Internal Tableau Activities.
Through careful planning, your discussion forums and chat spaces can become a tremendous resource for driving adoption of Tableau within your organization.
Take the time to research, identify, and implement the chat platform that answers most of your company’s business needs. Once identified, we recommend:
- Creating two chat rooms or channels dedicated to enablement: one for announcements (future events, deployments, maintenance), and one for your users to ask their Tableau questions.
- Have clear guidelines for engagement to redirect and train your users on how to ask questions or where to find training resources or FAQs.
For more information about how to transform your chat experience and integrate it with your Data Doctor program, see the Data Doctor Implementation Toolkit.
Learn from Tableau
Leverage the Tableau Forum resources below for inspiration on how you want users to interact with your forums and the types of guides you can create: