2 Replies Latest reply on Jun 13, 2016 8:09 PM by Paul Chaney

    Process improvement area?

    Paul Chaney

      Is there an area in the Tableau community dedicated to discussions or resources related to process improvement, automation, etc.?  Obviously, Tableau has tons of benefits in so many different areas.  I would love to participate in helping Tableau users find ways to work smarter and faster compared with existing business processes, so I'm just wondering if there is a specific area for discussions related to this topic.





        • 1. Re: Process improvement area?
          Ryan Eavey

          Hi, Paul,


          I'm not aware of an area of the forum dedicated to this topic, but it is something that's intriguing to me.  Could you give some examples of the types of discussions that might be created in a forum dedicated to process improvements?  I'm thinking it would be a good area to share successes of how using Tableau has improved processes, such as monthly KPI preparations, data auditing, or any areas where better data tools are having a positive impact to improve processes.  Is this on track with what you're thinking?




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          • 2. Re: Process improvement area?
            Paul Chaney

            I'll do my best to communicate what I'm thinking on this.  Often, there seems to be a lot of discussion about data and the viz possibilities from an amazing tool like Tableau, while organizations and people struggle with knowing where to even start to gain the best value toward improving existing processes or creating whole new ones.  They can maybe understand the "How" data can be presented, but they frequently don't know "What" they should be doing to improve their business/operations.  A community area where people explore those types of questions, THEN we all find ways to capture and present data meeting those objectives would be, in my humble opinion, a great place for people to figure out how they could use Tableau to get better.  Successful process improvement, such as KPI dashboards or other reporting that hits home with many people (e.g., invalid state codes in AP data, trend lines for certain types of GL activity...even number of entries against number of void checks, etc.), would give good examples.  But, I'm also thinking about those questions that aren't yet answered in the community, where we could potentially brainstorm about ways Tableau could help improve processes.


            I used another tool to automate segregation of duties testing for Sarbanes-Oxley compliance, and turned an 8-hour manual process into a 3-second one in about an hour of dev time (they ran this process for 20 subsidiaries, so the total savings was 160 hours down to less than a minute).  There are absolutely ways to automate audit testing or validation of data using Tableau, not necessarily from advanced scripts, but maybe more from the quick viz value that could show something like SOD results in a way that stands out clearly and can be refreshed from new source data on the backend.


            There are more ways Tableau could benefit processes, making them faster and "smarter", than I could ever detail.  This includes financial, IT, and operational processes.  I see enough of my customers with glazed looks in their eyes when asked to jump from "we use this process, and I guess we could improve it" to being expected to use Tableau for "something of value".  I'd love to have a dedicated place that helps bridge that gap between what they know now and the potential to gain visibility via Tableau into ways they can improve current processes.  This probably applies to a broad definition of "process", to include financial period close, analysis of firewall logs, efficient use of physical space in a warehouse or other facility, and many more examples.  They key for me (sorry if this is very redundant in this post) is to approach discussion from a process-first mentality, then find uses of Tableau to facilitate process improvement.


            Hope that makes sense and helps, Ryan.  Sorry for being so long-winded!