In the beginning of May, we were invited by Tableau to talk at the Cinema Tour in Frankfurt about how we have been using Tableau in home24. The talk was mainly aimed at sharing our experience using Tableau with existing and potentially new Tableau customers and users.
We introduced Tableau last year as a company-wide self-service analytics tool. The tool complements the holistic Data Platform, which is built on top of AWS, using several services for data ingestion and processing and Redshift as a data warehouse. We currently make use of Tableau Online, which also helped us in focusing and gaining speed on the initial setup of the Tableau data sources rather than on maintenance and upgrades. As part of the bigger data team, our role in the company Analytics team’ is to build and centralize these data sources, which we treat as a semantic layer for power users and other users, ensuring data in Tableau is correct, consistent and coherent. These users connect to and consume these data sources to build their dashboards and reports, in a managed setup.
We initially introduced Tableau to our Marketing department, and subsequently rolled it out by beginning of April this year to another 120 Tableau Online users and 35 Tableau desktop users spanning 6 other departments. Starting off with a small number of users and one department also allowed us to experiment, collect feedback and learn what works well and what needs to be tweaked.
As with any new software or service, there is a learning curve and our success factors were identified from early on as being the adoption and enablement of our users. Our primary aim is that our colleagues learn the features of Tableau fast and feel comfortable with it.
As a team we are responsible for running our company-wide Tableau competence center. Our responsibility is not to create reports ourselves but to enable business users to create their own reports and use the data they are mostly familiar with. We formally onboard every department or user with an introduction to tableau and best practices. When we introduce Tableau to a new department we present to all the users the most important features of Tableau and explain the content of the data sources we provide and which are relevant to that department or user.
Good for the beginning, but not enough – we support every single user with 1-to-1 sessions as required and we provide training on an ongoing basis, also sharing new features that are coming out, provide dashboard templates using corporate guidelines, introduce new data sources and notify of modifications to existing ones. In doing this we ensure that the tableau users are having the best experience and creating the best dashboards and reports in an easy and fast way.
As previously mentioned, besides user enablement, adoption is also a major success factor and it’s also important that we make Tableau visible across all home24. We share all necessary information about Tableau e.g. roles and permission concept, guidelines, best practices on the central intranet, we offer get-to-know workshops and we also keep a monthly newsletter with all that is going on to generate and enhance this interest.
In the coming months we will continue enhancing these services in such a way that we truly enable company wide data-driven possibilities, whilst ensuring that end users are also helping out with the scale out on the aspect of enablement and adoption also within their own departments.