I am looking at the feasibility of purchasing Tableau 8 Desktop to be used to create packaged workbook reports for our clients. I am very interested in using Tableau, but want to make sure it can meet our needs before investing time in learning the product. We typically create 10 to 100 community level customer satisfaction reports for a client, with some higher level reports created as well (regional and company-wide), and may create over 1,000 reports per year. We are currently using Excel and VBA to automate the creation of PDF reports, but modifying reports for each client’s yearly requested changes takes a fair amount of time. I feel using Tableau would shorten the time needed to modify reports, and would allow clients to filter and sort their report data.
Here are my questions regarding the feasibility of using Tableau as a reporting option for us. I have attached a PDF will some report charts and tables created in Excel. I realize there are a lot of questions here, so answers to any of these are appreciated.
- We would like to create packaged Tableau workbook reports that would be sent out to each community in the company. In addition to showing the community’s data, charts would show comparisons to regional and overall company-wide scores. Is it possible to create a chart that shows comparisons at three levels of aggregation in the same chart and/or table? (community level, regional level, and company-wide) The levels of aggregation may be brought in as three separate tables, with a separate regional aggregation table and separate company-wide table. Would this hinder the ability to combine these scores in one chart?
- Is it possible to prevent a client from exporting the underlying packaged workbook data? A community should not be able to export another community’s data from their packaged workbook, which would be the case if the entire company’s survey data were packaged with the workbook. If it is not possible to prevent exporting data we would likely need to aggregate regional and company-wide data and bring those into the workbook as separate tables.
- Is it possible to have a data bar in a text table? Excel allows the placement of a bar chart on each line of a table. Does Tableau have this functionality?
- Is it possible to merge together two pivot tables (text tables) that share common values on the rows axis? For example, a table could have columns showing scores for each year (2011, 2012, 2013 - pivot table #1) followed by survey question score response frequencies (% Strongly Agree, % Agree, % Mixed, % Disagree, % Strongly Disagree – pivot table #2)? The rows would be matched by the survey question variable/field.
- If our business grows significantly we would likely want to automate the creation of workbooks as much as possible. Putting all the reports on line would likely be too expensive given the large number of communities that would each need to access their own report. Could we use Tableau Server and tabcmd to create package workbooks for each community that only contain data for that community? In other words, if I use tabcmd to filter by community is only that community’s data imported from the database or is data from all communities imported with a community filter then applied for presentation in tables and charts. We would still need the aggregated regional and company-wide tables imported as well, rather than being filtered out.
- Any direction on getting up to speed quickly with Tableau as a report generation tool would be appreciated. I know about the online training videos, Tableau Software Training Manual for Version 8.0 of Tableau by Larry Keller, and Rapid Graphs with Tableau Software 8 by the McDaniels (soon to be published). Any thoughts.
Report Examples.pdf 125.1 KB