In the pursuit of adding CONTEXT information to analytics visualizations, we are falling back on Google spreadsheets (in the absence of anything more powerful).
Our requirements are:
- many people can edit and update
- one real-time source of truth (i.e. XLS in a Dropbox is inferior)
- semi-structured to allow for wide range of textual inputs but with some structure imposed
We want to treat this information as DATA (i.e. a datasource) so we can apply it to a wide range of visualizations (rather than using static Tableau annotations or reference lines).
Google spreadsheets is the least bad solution we've found so far, with one big drawback that there's no automated connection to Tableau (instead daily manual extract to CSV or XLS).
I propose an ability to treat a Google spreadsheet doc as a target which can be connected to by Tableau.
Other than our use case of joining in context information, I suspect this may have a wide range of other applications.
A more general version of this idea is posted here: http://community.tableausoftware.com/ideas/1276 although I'd prefer to have something more specific that handled things like auth and the specific data structure out of the box.