Hi Retail Tableau People,
I wanted to introduce myself to the group. I'm currently a financial analyst supporting the stores at a nationwide retailer of tools. I'm relatively new to Tableau and have been using it for ad hoc analysis as well as prototyping some dashboards for our field VP and regional managers.
Our current BI environment includes Cognos cubes, Netezza as a data repository, and TM1 for FP&A work (budgeting, monthly forecast, allocations, actuals vs forecast). But a lot of our work is still done in sometimes massive Excel sheets with VBA. We are trying to transition away from Excel since the files have become unwieldy to manage and can easily have subtle, invisible errors.
I wanted to share some of the problems I've found solutions for in case anyone else out there is having similar questions.
- Comps aka same store sales aka year over year. We are opening 80 stores this year so as a result getting accurate comp sales information that rolls up with whatever dimensions you choose has been key. This is something we were doing manually in Excel and Tableau has greatly simplified this calculation, as long as the measure is written correctly! I have used self-joins against a date table in the database to correctly line up previous years' sales with this years'.
- Indexing new store performance to the open date to be able to compare the sales growth of a group of new stores with an equivalent baseline.
- Comparing actuals data from a database with forecast (sales, labor, etc.) stored in multiple Excel sheets.
- Some basic exception flagging; an example would be a calculation which shows if a store is performing differently from its recent trend.
I can say that I am grateful to have started Tableau with 9.0 because LOD expressions have been really helpful in solving these problems!
I am using Power Query quite a bit to clean up data before importing into Tableau so I have some tips there as well.
I'm excited to join the Tableau community and am happy to help in any way I can.