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    Is anyone using Tableau for a balanced scorecard?

    Matthew Clapp

      We are creating a balanced scorecard for our department and evaluating a few different technologies: Tableau, Qlikview, and of course Excel. Has anyone ever done this? Any success?

        • 1. Re: Is anyone using Tableau for a balanced scorecard?
          Cristian Vasile

          Matthew,

           

          one example designed with Tableau could be found here:

          http://sydstewart.com/balancedscorecard.html

           

          Regards,

          Cristian.

          2 of 2 people found this helpful
          • 2. Re: Is anyone using Tableau for a balanced scorecard?
            Matthew Clapp

            Thanks Cristian. This was the only one I could find online, too. Tableau may not be the right tool for this.

            • 3. Re: Is anyone using Tableau for a balanced scorecard?
              Cristian Vasile

              Matthew,

               

              Before discounting Tableau you should carefully plan your Proof Of Concept approach aka properly design your graphs layout. Tableau is extremely flexible and competent on visualizing all kind of data and the TCO is lower than Qlikview.

               

              Regards,

              Cristian.

              • 4. Re: Is anyone using Tableau for a balanced scorecard?
                Jonathan Drummey

                Hi Matthew,

                 

                I recently completed an evaluation of QlikView and Tableau. QV makes some beautiful dashboards, and people don't talk about how much effort and training it takes to create them. Tableau is oriented towards providing visual analysis - see http://www.tableausoftware.com/videos/zen, with dashboards as a complement.  For me, I'm biased towards the visual analysis, so I prefer Tableau.

                 

                When it comes to laying out a dashboard, QV is better than Tableau in a number of respects in terms of being able to control the layout. (Excel is even better, though). QV also has a few advantages in terms of the extract/transform/load process when you buy the additional software they have available. However, when it comes to ease of use, speed of construction and being able to do visual analysis, Tableau is far, far ahead. For example, aggregations like % of total can be built in Tableau in a few mouse clicks, and Tableau has a number of dynamic grouping, sorting, and filtering options that are not present in QV or take a lot of effort to build.

                 

                QV has a "kitchen sink" approach to the interface - the application is almost 20 years old and it shows, it's accreted a lot of features over time. The chart creation dialog has 12 tabs and over 300 options. That gives immense control, and you've got to know what you're doing to get usable results. Tableau has a huge focus on ease of use and "evidence based" visualization, so you're not going to see reflections in Tableau (they're on by default in QlikView). This shows up in all sorts of ways in the user interface, for example the color assignments in Tableau by default stay in place throughout all instances of that dimension in a workbook, whereas in QV you have to jump through hoops to have that.

                 

                If you'd like to know more, please contact me at jonathan (dot) drummey (at) gmail.

                 

                Jonathan

                3 of 3 people found this helpful
                • 5. Re: Is anyone using Tableau for a balanced scorecard?
                  .Randall Newcomb

                  We recently switched from a balanced scorecard dashboard that was written in PHP to one done in Tableau -- same backend data, just a different presentation tool. The PHP tool had more appealing visualizations, but maintenance was going to become an issue. It is much easier to train someone on Tableau than PHP/javascript/AJAX/etc.

                  • 6. Re: Is anyone using Tableau for a balanced scorecard?
                    John Smoak

                    Tableau is great for creating beautiful charts and info-graphics. There may be more functional software for managing your strategy and scorecard though- possibly something like ClearPoint Strategy. It is designed to manage objectives and measures as well as projects, risks, and action items in a collaborative online portal. This tool goes beyond charts and includes ample space for defining why measures are important and detailing what you are doing to improve them. You can request a demo or free trial at https://www.clearpointstrategy.com/promo/

                    • 7. Re: Is anyone using Tableau for a balanced scorecard?
                      Toby Erkson

                      ClearPoint isn't one I would consider.  Getting information from the web site isn't easy, seems like everything needs to be requested via marketing, er, support.  The disclaimer at the bottom of the web pages isn't confidence inspiring; I had to search the blog for information about security (didn't really find anything); and a call to support is necessary if one wants to connect to a data source beyond Excel or .CSV.  For what it was originally designed for (non-profits) it may do okay but it's not enterprise-worthy.  I'm sure it's easier than Cognos and Business Objects but, then again, those are in a different class where meta-data is king.  It would be a better tool than Excel for graphing and some of the other funcitonality it brings but the $75/person/month would become it's limiting factor. 

                      • 8. Re: Is anyone using Tableau for a balanced scorecard?
                        Matthew Clapp

                        Thanks for your reply. I wish QV was as easy to learn as Tableau is out of the box. I've only scratched the surface of either tool.

                        • 9. Re: Is anyone using Tableau for a balanced scorecard?
                          Luke Mathews

                          Matthew,

                           

                          I too am working on transitioning our current balanced scorecard out of Excel. It has proven to be difficult thus far, but I'm thinking with some outside the box thinking it can be accomplished.

                           

                          What has given me issues is finding the proper method to present Current YTD, Previous YTD, and Target metrics with a conditional formatting color applied to the Current YTD metric based upon the 2 other metrics. There are ~40 different measures with various data types.

                           

                          I've poked around with this idea which I found in another thread http://breaking-bi.blogspot.com/2013/02/formatting-individual-columns-in.html

                          I'm not done with it yet but I will keep you posted.

                          • 10. Re: Is anyone using Tableau for a balanced scorecard?
                            Luke Samuel

                            Hi Jonathan and Matthew,

                             

                            Can I throw another option into the mix. Where Tableau is great for detailed analysis and Qlikview is really good for presentation, the thing about the balanced scorecard is, it is a structured methodology. As such you might want to take a look at QuickScore, it provides the structures required to build a Balanced Scorecard quickly.  This may not suit a typical Qlikview user as you are definitely restricted to a specific look-and-feel, but if you priority is the scorecard then it shouldn't matter.  If you have not heard of QuickScore before, it's the only balanced scorecard software recommended by the Balanced Scorecard Institute and it is used across the world by companies and organisations as diverse as Starbucks and the USA army.

                            • 11. Re: Is anyone using Tableau for a balanced scorecard?
                              Toby Erkson

                              I worked a little with Metric Studio, a Cognos product, which does scorecarding.  It's not a super simple process and if one really needs to get to that level of reporting then I would suspect a specific application (like Metric Studio or QuickScore) would be more desirable than trying to cobble something together with a tool that isn't meant to do it (Excel).

                               

                              Given the complexity of a scorecard I would go with a dedicated software.  If forced to use current tools available I would likely use Excel because I can use VBA coding to have Excel do almost anything I want -- it would be easier for me as that's where my expertise is.

                              • 12. Re: Is anyone using Tableau for a balanced scorecard?
                                Edmundo Munguia

                                Hi! I Know I am a little late to this party, but I found the following example (when looking for the answer to the same question you posted) in the Tableau Public site from Kurt Budd:

                                 

                                http://public.tableausoftware.com/profile/curt.budd#!/vizhome/BalancedScorecard/ScorecardOverview

                                 

                                I don't know if you already saw this?

                                2 of 2 people found this helpful
                                • 13. Re: Is anyone using Tableau for a balanced scorecard?
                                  Bob Skaggs

                                  Very detailed and informative Johnathan. Thanks. I did note this post was from 2013. QlikView may have made some improvements since then, but agreed ease of use is a priority issue for any visualization including scorecarding.


                                  Tableau lacks the ability to create green-yellow-red stoplight custom color ranges (or at least I haven't found it). But other than that, Tableau’s philosophy is to have users be creative with the product to generate from scratch whatever dashboard arrangements they want including performance visualizations. I don't think they ever will produce canned plug and go scorecard templates other than workbook examples users have shared. So if an organization demands canned templates, then Tableau may not work for them.


                                  ... however, this scorecarding issue just keeps coming up and will not go away. If Tableau would add the capability to create custom color range scales like the green-yellow-red, that would boost its usefulness as a scorecarding tool. This feature would be helpful for other visualizations as well.

                                  • 14. Re: Is anyone using Tableau for a balanced scorecard?
                                    Toby Erkson

                                    "Tableau lacks the ability to create green-yellow-red stoplight custom color ranges (or at least I haven't found it)."

                                    The ability to create custom palettes has been around for several years:  http://kb.tableau.com/articles/knowledgebase/creating-custom-color-palettes

                                    Assigning a color to an image has also been around for years, as has including custom images.


                                    I agree that the product documentation could use some improving but a search in the forums (http://community.tableau.com/search) can help with finding stuff as well as asking questions in this Forum.


                                    < edit > This was just posted by Simon Runc and is an example of using simple indicators: 
                                    Shapes within Tree-map/Tile-charts (+ many other possibilities...)

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