Where Do I Go Next With Tableau? Common Hardships

In your company or institutions there are always pockets of Business Intelligence “freedom fighters” around. Each of these pockets of Business Intelligence has bought a licence of Tableau 8 Desktop and are using Tableau to help them analyze their data.

Each one will face 3 big challenges building their first dashboard:

Data comes from way too many sources, making it hard to consume.

“The data I have is in Adobe PDF, Microsoft Word Documents, Microsoft Excel and some odd ball isam database file. It takes me more time cleaning and organizing data than I spend on the actual data visualization.”

The business isn’t really affected by what we have been measuring ourselves on.

“After finishing my dashboard I realize I am missing key performance indicators (KPI) or what we are using as data isn’t granular enough to capture the activity I need to really model out the problem.”

Where is the data I need to analyze what I am seeing?

“I don’t have access to data that I need because it is in another system. We do not capture the data at all so I don’t even know where to get this data from.”


Each of these issues are magnified due to data being siloed and stored in various systems that use various methods of data storage. This Data Silo problem is very common and is usually magnified in large companies as many departments run independently and they don’t really deal with other department’s issues and concerns.

tableau dynamics

During the process of using Tableau, companies will begin to realize that their CRM data needs to be connected to their point of sales system that is connected to their ERP system which will be connected to a data warehouse, which Tableau will use to pull everything together. Quite the process. This interconnection is solved by a data warehousing exercise. By spending the time to automate and pull in all of the sources of data, you can add layers of security to prevent people from seeing data that they should not have access to, while allowing everyone free access to what they need to see.

Not only will this data warehousing exercise allow you to build better Tableau Dashboards, but it will allow once siloed data to show everything from how successful your sales pipeline is, to understanding your raw materials, to production costs.  So, this is where you go next.  Take the next step with Tableau by warehousing your data in one place.

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