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    What are the most common mistakes?

    bijaya.sharma

      What are the most common mistakes a tableau users make when creating workbooks and dashboards?

        • 1. Re: What are the most common mistakes?
          Shawn Wallwork

          Trying to make Tableau be Excel. Tableau does many, many things well, but it was not, is not designed to make text tables. It can of course, but with limited formatting options, certainly nothing approach Excel's capabilities. I for one am happy for this; I much prefer the Devs spend time working on actual visualizations, rather than text tables. Let Excel be Excel and Tableau be Tableau. You will have a much happier experience.

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          • 3. Re: What are the most common mistakes?
            Joe Oppelt

            Shawn Wallwork wrote:

             

            Trying to make Tableau be Excel. ...

             

             

            I hit the LIKE button for this one, but I just want to draw extra attention to this, so I'm replying as well.

            • 4. Re: What are the most common mistakes?
              Nicole Edmonds

              Shawn Wallwork wrote:

               

              Trying to make Tableau be Excel. Tableau does many, many things well, but it was not, is not designed to make text tables.

               

              YES, this.  I have this argument constantly with my various stakeholders.  Slowly but surely they are coming around, to understanding what Tableau is and isn't. 

              • 5. Re: What are the most common mistakes?
                Rajeev Pandey

                As per My understanding , there can be anything. Pointing out few of them.

                1) Use of some dark colours like Red ,Robin blue etc in colour legend

                2) Trying to make the report without structuring the data

                3)  Improper labelling of Calculated Field or Parameter

                4)  Use of Excessive Annotation marks

                5)  Use of more than 5 sheets in dashboard

                6)  Font selection in Tooltip  etc

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                • 6. Re: What are the most common mistakes?
                  kettan

                  YES, this.  I have this argument constantly with my various stakeholders.  Slowly but surely they are coming around, to understanding what Tableau is and isn't.

                  I wonder why various stakeholders want to see their numbers?

                   

                  1. Is it because they think text tables are easier to read? remember? communicate?
                  2. Is it because they need the data out of Tableau in an Excel ready format?
                  3. Is it because they want numbers shown as visuals and text?
                  4. Is it because they print the dashboard and need easy access to exact numbers?
                  5. Is it because they don't like change?
                  6. Is it because they don't want to put effort into learning to read a chart?

                   

                  Personally, I think #2 is the biggest reason and therefore wrote a few words about it in  Re: Cross Tab Reporting vs Visual Analytics. In case you,  ShawnJoe  and or someone else share your/their thoughts on this, it might be wiser to do so in referred thread.

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                  • 7. Re: What are the most common mistakes?
                    alex.thumba

                    I am just sharing some of the mistakes I have seen .

                    1. Making mistakes in "compute using" (Table across, table down etc.) in table calculation

                    2. Unobserved filters applied:I have come through this situation many times. We may get unexpected results sometimes. (It can be Quick filters, filters in filter shelf etc. )

                    3. Use of excessive calculated fields. Its not easy to find and delete unused calculated fields. Better keeping proper names for the fields.

                    4. Focussing on data rather than the audience

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                    • 8. Re: What are the most common mistakes?
                      Shawn Wallwork

                      In my primary client's case it is because the C-Level folks want Excel text tables (because they have always seen/used them) and the only reason they want to use Tableau is because they can automate the creation of these text tables. Before Tableau someone would have to go into the data source each month (or week or day) and create the text table by hand, then send it out by email. This was extremely labor-intensive. The reason they even looked at Tableau was so they could save money by automating this process, which for the most part we (they) have accomplished. It's just that they can't always get the extra formatting they prefer, and they struggle with exporting to Excel and printing in the format they want.

                       

                      So essentially they are using the wrong tool for the job, but they're saving money, so they're sort of happy.

                      • 9. Re: What are the most common mistakes?
                        Joe Oppelt

                        Shawn -- That's pretty much how it is around here too.  (Probably is common across the corporate world.)

                         

                        In another workbook I gave them nice vizzes that tell the stories they are looking for, but they still wanted the excel-like dashboards too.  Initially that's where the focused, but more and more I see them stopping at the actual viz because they are realizing that the work they were doing from the giant crosstabs is already done in the graphs for them.

                         

                        It's an educational process.  And I see it moving in the right direction.

                        • 10. Re: What are the most common mistakes?
                          Lilach Manheim

                          Filter overload.

                           

                          But I agree with Joe, that it's definitely an educational process. In most situations, giving an overview of human perception issues such as change blindness, and why in many situations providing the ability to compare 2 groups rather than filtering to 1 group at a time, will get stakeholders to think of it more in terms of the types of interactions they want the dashboard to provide. (Which I think is moving more towards designing dashboards vs reports)

                          • 11. Re: What are the most common mistakes?
                            kettan

                            I probably stretch it, but think your answer answers some of my why? questions:

                            C-Level folks want Excel text tables (because they have always seen/used them) and the only reason they want to use Tableau is because they can automate the creation of these text tables

                            answers #1  Is it because they think text tables are easier to read? remember? communicate?

                             

                            Joe's & Lilach's statements saying that understanding the value of visualizations is an educational process answers also this question.

                             

                            and they struggle with exporting to Excel

                            answers #2  Is it because they need the data out of Tableau in an Excel ready format?

                             

                            printing in the format they want

                            answers #4  Is it because they print the dashboard and need easy access to exact numbers?

                            • 12. Re: What are the most common mistakes?
                              Nicole Edmonds

                              Because of the sector I work in,(financial) most of my stakeholders are people with accounting/finance backgrounds and they love their P & L's. It's more of a cultural hurdle than anything else, plus the P&L style reports are still needed for various things.  I've  been pushing quite a bit on the "right tool for the right job" and I think it is finally resonating.  As far as other types of dashboards, it is getting better; I've created a few dashboards that are more visually oriented that have been received well, and I am doing some baby-steps types of things like including color/indicators. 

                              • 13. Re: What are the most common mistakes?
                                Enrique Schvartz

                                Regarding preference of excel-text tables, C-level and mid managers would like to stick with the look-and-feel (style, colors, fonts ...) of their standard excel formatted reports, namely the more conservative Fin people as Nicole says.

                                It is definitely an educational process, until they get convinced of the benefits resulting from Tableau vs. the need to quickly digest the figures, charts and results as they periodically do in their comfortable environment.

                                IMHO it is a conceptual issue, whether Tableau should allow exporting nice formatted reports or bring managers to the dashboard to do their own analysis and get insights

                                • 14. Re: What are the most common mistakes?
                                  Jon Boeckenstedt

                                  My biggest mistake was not understanding that you need to do SUM (variable1)/ SUM (variable 2) instead of (variable 1)/(variable 2), and similar issues with calculated variables.  Pretty obvious now, but not when you come from Excel.

                                   

                                  Second is allowing Tableau to make too many decisions for you, especially when you put a measure on a color shelf and it defaults to the green gradient.  It's a bad color for people who are color blind, but it also shows variance less clearly than other colors like blue or purple, IMHO.

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