2 Replies Latest reply on May 9, 2013 9:23 AM by Jonathon Stewart

    Managing/Organizing Workbooks on Tableau Server

    Jonathon Stewart

      Hey folks,


      My organization has been using Tableau Server for quite some time now.  Unfortunately, we haven't done a good job setting standards for things like:


      • workbook naming
      • worksheet naming
      • tagging
      • etc.


      This has resulted in our Tableau Server being extremely disorganized and almost unsearchable. Moreover we have several folks publishing to Tableau Server and many different data sources, which makes setting standards challenging. Ideally we would like to create a set of organizational standards for naming, tagging, etc. so that end users can search for reports more easily.


      Does anyone have any suggestions for managing workbooks on Tableau Server?  Some of the challenges we are encountering as we go through this process are:

      • How do we create a succinct naming convention that can account for a variety of different report types?
      • If we use tagging, how can we define meaningful tags and make sure people use them when publishing?
      • How can projects be useful when organizing?
        • Would it be better to define projects by publisher, audience, data sources, or something else?
      • Is there a way to easily "enforce" naming standards?
      • Our intranet is built off of SharePoint.  Has anyone found interesting ways to embed and organize reports using SharePoint?


      Any help is greatly appreciate!




        • 1. Re: Managing/Organizing Workbooks on Tableau Server

          I can only offer tips on projects: I usually start with creating one project for a department, e.g. Operations, and put all their content in it. I also create a group with the same name, and put all their users there. This way it is easier to batch-manage permissions. If a project starts getting too small, maybe start splitting it into subjects, prefixing with dept. name, something like: Operations - Sales and Operations - Customer Feedback, etc.


          As for naming conventions - I haven't yet seen a successful attempt to introduce a naming convention to a large group of people. You just can't cover all possible scenarios that would provide naming guidance, and even if you could - people tend to interpret such guidance differently and come up with their own creative names.

          Tableau doesn't have a mechanism to enforce naming rules, but administrators can do it manually (good luck with that).


          In my opinion, partial purpose of whole tagging concept is as a second line of defence after naming fails, i.e. just let people throw in whatever keywords they think are related to the object and hope that one of them will work. Trying to implement some tagging system will meet the same obstacles as naming rules. Although providing some tips on what is a good tag and what isn't will probably help. Also note that currently if you re-publish a workbook, Tableau will not remember any of its old tags and publisher will have to enter all of them again. Users will be very grateful to you if they have to re-enter 50 tags every time they re-publish something.


          If anyone is interested, take a look at this book on the issue of naming and cataloguing things. It is an easy and interesting read, not a text book.

          2 of 2 people found this helpful
          • 2. Re: Managing/Organizing Workbooks on Tableau Server
            Jonathon Stewart



            Thanks for your response.  I'm beginning to think along the same lines as what you described.  One of our biggest challenges is that we have dashboards that pull data from multiple different sources.  So one dashboard may pull in finance and operations data.  I have not figured out a good solution for this situation yet.


            I also wasn't aware that tags were not preserved when re-publishing.  That pretty much makes them unusable for us.