I've been using Tableau for a while now, and am an avid member in the community. I've experienced a lot of personal pain with static parameters, and have shared this pain with others in the community. I can guarantee that the sentence "If only we had dynamic parameters" comes up at least once a day. We are obsessed with Dynamic Parameters. But are Dynamic Parameters what we actually need? I think No.
Back in March, Tableau published a survey they did on Dynamic Parameters and the biggest uses cases people have for them. Though they missed a big one (Dynamically updating Parameters), it still gave some scope as to why people are asking for it.
In reading this, something in the article jumped out at me
"Is there a one stop shop (or feature) for Dynamic Parameters? No, probably not, though there did seem to be a recurring theme centered on filtering, highlighting and comparison needs."
The answers to "Why hasn't Tableau developed Dynamic Parameters?" was here all along. Simply, Dynamic Parameters don't actually solve our issues. It's a hacky work around to bigger problems. I "think" Tableau understands this, and instead of taking the easy way out (Developing Dynamic Parameters), they decided to develop features that solve the core problems.
I realized this the other day when I was re-watching the Devs on Stage Keynote from TCC15. There were three key features demonstrated that directly relates to some of the main problems we have (And wish to solve using Parameters).
1. Cross Database Filtering
2. Cross Datasource Joins
3. Data Highlighter (The ability to highlight items without the need for a Parameter)
After I re-watched this, I just sat there, astounded and humbled. Rather than going down the slippery slope of adding every feature we ask for, Tableau stopped to think about what we were "really" asking for, and started to develop those features. I couldn't help but relate this Data Visualization. If we just simply gave our stakeholders the viz they asked for, nothing would every get done. It's our job as analysts to figure what they are "really" asking for, and develop visualizations accordingly.
Now, I'm sure there are still plenty of use-cases for having Dynamic Parameters, and I'm not saying we shouldn't still ask for it, all I am saying is that we need to think about the bigger picture.
So, what are your thoughts?