Steps for Using Tabeau
Tableau is a robust visualization tool capable of serving many roles in modern organizations. From data discovery to ad-hoc analysis to enterprise reporting, Tableau provides the functionality to give business users quick and useful access to their data. Report scheduling and Data Governance capabilities enhance this access and the quality of reporting. Many businesses now seek to utilize Tableau as an enterprise reporting tool, but they must take the necessary steps to be successful and ensure Tableau is the correct software choice for their needs.
Is Tableau a viable option for enterprise level reporting?
Two major benefits of Tableau are that it is data-layer agnostic and works well with almost any data architecture, allowing power users the ability to access data outside of the enterprise data warehouse and reporting cubes. The same tool can also be used in these main data layers across the organization, from IT to business-facing users. The ability to load external excel and flat files directly for reporting gives the users the flexibility to run ad-hoc reporting without requiring data to be loaded to a central repository or data warehouse. However, potential roadblocks could arise if proper oversight and standards are not in place.
If a company decides to use Tableau as an enterprise reporting tool, Data Governance must be in place before user access is allowed. Tableau provides the functionality for administrators to apply field definitions, groups, filters, calculated fields, and standard table definitions. Applied properly, this gives business users accessing company data usable logic and a single source of truth. However, there’s a balance between flexibility and governance that needs to be considered with every deployment. To provide the organization with a guaranteed source of truth, business rules should be standardized and built in. This is a good initial step. However, without removing the ability to customize fields and calculations, users will still have the flexibility to adjust calculations or choose improper fields. If the ability for users to customize is removed, then they are losing some of the most powerful aspects of Tableau. Other enterprise applications can provide the structure and governance, while Tableau is superior for visualizations and flexibility.
Today’s fast-paced work environments have created a greater demand for more timely and accurate data, and Tableau’s report scheduling tool satisfies this business need. Multiple applications within an organization require the ability to schedule, run, and deliver reports. C-level employees can utilize operational dashboards delivered each morning, or weekly status reports from the General Ledger, and users responsible for Data Quality can receive data volume and variation reports. These examples highlight just a few of the many uses for scheduling reports.
Tableau is a great data visualization tool that offers companies the flexibility and strength to enhance their reporting capabilities. Used under administrator supervision, Tableau can be leveraged for data visualization and reporting, but without the proper oversight and diligence it is not yet a full replacement for Enterprise Reporting.
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