Internal Tableau Activities

Hosted within your company, internal engagement activities are organized by a Community Leader, following a regular schedule or events calendar that is published on your enablement intranet or wiki and promoted through other communication channels. The following activities will be covered in this section:

  • User Group – open to all Tableau users to promote collaboration and sharing between teams
  • Champions Group – open to all identified champions to exchange ideas
  • Admin Group – open to all Tableau Server and Site administrators to review server and content usage and exchange administration ideas
  • Lunch & Learn – lunchtime meetings focused on building a new skill
  • Viz Games – data-analysis competition
  • Tableau Day – full- or half-day event to share Tableau successes
  • Analytics Day – similar to Tableau Day, but broadened to include other technologies

Tableau User Group

Internal user groups can take different shapes depending on your organization’s size and geographical distribution, but one thing is certain—every Tableau user is invited to participate. This also includes Server and Site Administrators. It may start with just a few people, or it could be hundreds across the organization. During user group meetings, people can openly share information across different teams and departments. Regardless of skill level, it’s a great way for everyone who attends to learn, network with other users, and exchange fresh perspectives on solving business problems with data.

A strong internal user group starts with a strong leader. It is their passion and attention that will fuel and inspire the rest of the group. The community leader should schedule a regular, recurring monthly meeting time, and promote it on the enablement intranet. Don’t be discouraged if attendance numbers aren’t high initially. When relevant topics are put on the agenda, people will attend because they know valuable information will be shared. If possible, record the meetings and archive presentations on the enablement intranet so that new users can benefit from on-demand viewing. A sample user group agenda is shown below:

Topic

Description

Duration

Welcome/announcements

Welcome attendees and share announcements such as new help topics on the intranet, training sessions, etc.

 

10 min

Skill development

Select a topic to help attendees learn a new skill, such as product skills or demonstrate design best practices from internal or Tableau Public content.

 

15 min

Success story

Share an achievement that was made by using data.

 

10 min

New certified data sources

Highlight new certified data sources that have become available because one department’s data can add context to another’s.

 

5 min

Top content recognition

Showcase the top 10 dashboards in the company.

 

5 min

Open feedback

Allow time for open feedback and Q&A.

 

15 min

Total

 

60 min

Meeting topics should be tailored to suit users’ needs. Information gathered from the Data & Analytics Survey and Users tabs in the Tableau Blueprint Planner will provide initial guidance on what skills exist versus which skills need to be developed among the user community.

For existing deployments, Tableau Server and/or Site Administrators will be able to provide more information about user behaviors from the Tableau Server Repository. Tableau Online Site Administrators will use Admin Insights. Examples include content utilization and the availability and use of published and certified data sources, subscriptions, and data-driven alerts, as outlined in Tableau Monitoring and Measurement of Tableau User Engagement and Adoption. For instance, if there are only a few Certified Data Sources available, you can hold a session on how to publish and certify data sources and discuss the value of the curated, governed data models. Similarly, if users are not subscribing to dashboards or setting data-driven alerts, you can encourage users to take advantage of these features by explaining how to subscribe or set an alert. For more information, see Tableau Community Toolkit.

Tableau Champions Group

Champions are part of a program to recognize people in your analytics community who heavily contribute by connecting, collaborating, and sharing with others because they recognize the value of helping their peers see and understand data. Characteristics of a champion are listed below:

  • Leadership and Evangelism
  • Represents the spirit and voice of the community: inclusive and kind.
  • Teaches by their actions and encourages good behavior within the community.
  • Knowledge and Advocacy
  • Has a fair understanding of the Tableau product, company, and/or community.
  • Is active in the community.
  • Responsive and Accessible to others in the community
  • Responds and engages with others regularly in regards to Tableau.
  • Collaborates and contributes where possible.

Champions should meet as a group to share what they are hearing and seeing from users to feed into community-wide, enablement activities, representing the Tableau community within your organization.

Tableau Admin Group

The admin group is a subset of the user group, consisting of Tableau Server/Site Administrators and/or Tableau Online Site Administrators. Admin group meetings should occur monthly to exchange ideas, share challenges, and identify how changes will be communicated. In organizations with multiple Tableau Server instances and/or Tableau Online Sites, having an Admin group will help to coordinate standards and processes, as well as tackle common challenges. A sample administrator group agenda is shown below:

Topic

Description

Duration

Welcome/announcements

Welcome the admins and share announcements.

 

10 min

System Utilization Review

Review system utilization, background tasks, user onboarding schedule.

 

15 min

Content Utilization Review

Review content utilization, slow-loading dashboards, long-running extracts, stale content.

 

20 min

Open feedback

Allow time for open feedback and Q&A.

 

15 min

Total

 

60 min

Tableau Lunch & Learn

It’s often challenging to schedule time during a busy workday, but everyone has to eat. Lunch-and-learn events are an informal option to help users learn from each other. Schedule a monthly, lunchtime meeting where people can bring their food in and listen, or if possible, even arrange for food to be brought in. This will definitely increase your attendance rate.

Tableau Viz Games

Viz Games is a visualization competition where a sponsor issues a visualization challenge, a data set prepared for analysis, and a deadline for publishing submissions, typically one week or more into the future. Live contests, where contestants compete in a race to submit visualizations before the clock runs out, are exciting, but more complicated to run. At Tableau, both formats are used. The online contests determine who is eligible to compete in the final, in-person contest.

Selecting a theme up front helps guide the rest of the competition. Themes for viz competitions are typically around a particular topic, dataset, chart/dashboard type, or feature. Get creative and challenge the participants in a way that is fun and engaging!

Executive sponsors may tie the contest back to a strategic initiative to motivate contestants around a common cause or business problem. Allow cross-functional teams to form and solve the problem by bringing together a Tableau champion, a data expert, and a business domain expert. For example, the company has a $45 million savings target. Finance provides Accounts Payable data and contests are asked to design a dashboard to identify potential savings areas.

Judging panels can be a group of people with diverse experiences and perspectives to make for a balanced evaluation. The panel should evaluate submissions on the following areas:

  • Analysis – Review the question(s) that are being asked and the insights the viz provides. In more detail, look at the type of data used, the type of charts used, the type of aggregation and statistical analysis used. How sophisticated and appropriate for the story, or question being answered, are these analyses?
  • Storytelling – See whether the context of the topic and questions being posed are clear. Is it clear how one moves through the viz and from question to answer? Does it highlight what is interesting and why it matters? All of that can be done in different ways, using color/shape/size, text, images, annotations, story points, etc.
  • Design – Evaluate the visual appeal, layout and flow, use of whitespace (or lack thereof), and colors and images. How polished is it? How appropriate is the design for the story that is being told?

 

Use a scoring sheet to record values and feedback:

Viz and Link

Analysis (0-10)

Storytelling (0-10)

Design (0-10)

Feedback

 

 

 

 

 

 

Recognition, no matter how small, is motivating. Give out prizes for simplicity, for guided analytics, for creativity, and even for obscure insight. For more information, see Tableau Community Toolkit.

Tableau Day

To raise the visibility of data and analytics within your company, schedule a Tableau Day one or two times a year. The event can be like a miniature Tableau Conference for your company where presenters share their work and insights. Coordination with executive sponsors to speak about achievements made on strategic initiatives is a great way to emphasize the transformational power of data and analytics.

Another activity to add to your Tableau Day is a Data Doctor practice. Data Doctor helps your data enthusiasts remove each others’ roadblocks and learn best practices, all by leveraging volunteer Tableau experts from your own organization.

Tableau can provide speakers who lead the attendees through demos, hands-on training, and Q&A. Having a Tableau resource onsite—or more than one—is a guaranteed way to attract other users. Working with your Tableau account manager to set up a Tableau Day is a fantastic method to generate excitement and build momentum across the organization.

Analytics Day

An Analytics Day is similar to a Tableau Day, but the scope expands to include subjects other than Tableau. Expanded topics like systems modernization and database platforms can be combined with Tableau content for a broader showcase of the use of analytics and advances being made with data.

Tableau Blitz

It happens to everybody: questions pile up in your discussion forums because not enough responders with the right knowledge are available to lend assistance.

To quickly clear the backlog, schedule a “Tableau Blitz,” a day or week when champions will dedicate time to resolving unanswered questions in your discussion forums. Work with executive sponsors to thank champions for volunteering their time to participate.

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