8 Replies Latest reply on Oct 26, 2016 12:44 PM by Jim Van Sistine

    How to help our IT peers to use Tableau everyday?

    Mark Wu

      Recently I am kind of being labeled as an expert of driving Tableau to enterprise. Although I made some good progress of driving Tableau to business units, one of my challenges is how to help our IT peers using Tableau Desktop in daily basis. While most of the workbooks are developed by business analysts from business groups, IT BI team members are moving farther and farther away from Tableau Desktop activities. I planned some dedicated Tableau Desktop training to IT peers, however most IT peers do not seem to find job related projects for them to practice Desktop. Overtime, their Desktop skills become rusty and they can't advise/help business groups anymore. Do you have similar situations? Any tips or recommendations? How did you handle this?

        • 1. Re: How to help our IT peers to use Tableau everyday?
          Toby Erkson

          Mark Wu wrote:

           

          ...most IT peers do not seem to find job related projects for them to practice Desktop. Overtime, their Desktop skills become rusty and they can't advise/help business groups anymore. Do you have similar situations?...

          Heh...I am one of those IT people!  I used to be really good with Desktop but with my current position I don't see the need for reports that go beyond simple. 

           

          I don't think it's reasonable to expect someone to use Desktop every day but I guess that would depend upon one's job.  I don't have any ideas on what could be done -- if the job doesn't require it then...

          • 2. Re: How to help our IT peers to use Tableau everyday?
            Jeff Strauss

            Well, you can show them the water, but you can't force them to drink!  And in fact the same goes for the business analyst counterparts (i.e. product, marketing, finance), etc.

             

            Great adoption happens over time and needs to be baked into the culture.  What we have done (Conversant) is we have found internal champions that are great advocates of Tableau and it's part of their job to develop great concise dashboards that have big impacts for the org.  What this does is it creates a level of trust that then is seen as the only place to get the trusted metrics and it's hip.  And it starts to compel others to get on the band wagon.

             

            And by the way our BI COE is not part of IT, it's part of the business.  This is unique, but on the right path!

            • 3. Re: How to help our IT peers to use Tableau everyday?
              Paul Banoub

              Hi guys. Very interesting question. The way I've managed to get engagement from IT teams is to somehow get them to experience that one quick win with Tableau. Sometimes I've even knocked up the dashboard myself for them just to get them into it. I was the same in my previous life, took me ages to finally get started, then I was hooked.

               

              In my experience IT folks don't often see the need for a third party visualisation tool. Most of the systems IT support come with their own (usually sub-standard) reporting function which gives the basics. So it can be hard to get IT folks to experiment to go beyond that in the spare time that they don't have.

               

              I really jump on IT teams and try and encourage Tableau usage. There are so many use cases. Some examples of successful IT vizzes include

              - OS version tracking across server estates

              - Backup success / failures

              - Trouble ticket volumes and response rates

              - Monitoring alert volumes

              - Incidents & problems across server / application estates

              - Change management calendar with success / failures

              - Software / hardware spend etc

               

              And loads more.

               

              IT are always slammed resource wise, so have almost no time for anything other than their day job. That also affects the viz design that I recommend. With IT - if it answers the question then it's good enough. No need for the sexy stuff. Most of the dashboards I use for my Tableau COE are basic, but do the job.

               

              Good to see enterprise questions like this. Thanks for posting.


              Cheers, Paul

              1 of 1 people found this helpful
              • 4. Re: How to help our IT peers to use Tableau everyday?
                Jeff Strauss

                the concept of a quick win is excellent and the ability to jump in and give them a starting point is really good too.  Your point is well taken about they don't care about the cool viz features, but if it helps them do their job more effectively, then they will get hooked.

                • 5. Re: How to help our IT peers to use Tableau everyday?
                  Matt Coles

                  Do they look at CPU utilization graphs across different machines? If so, and you can get the data, put 'em all in the same viz, overlay them based on color, show weekly, daily, hourly, minutely breakdowns. Add the weekday as a dimension and show daily averages so they can see week-over-week changes. My tools can't do that for me, but Tableau can--and it's extremely helpful. Try aligning four different Zabbix windows in your browser to show that spikes correlate with each other. Then get the data in Tableau--you'll never look back. After that, the first thing they should ask when obtaining a new monitoring tool is, "how do I get the raw data out of it?"

                  • 6. Re: How to help our IT peers to use Tableau everyday?
                    Russell Christopher

                    This! What Matt says!

                     

                    There is typically one nerdling (I count myself as part of that group) in IT who will get very excited if you show him/her a way to get at performance metrics that are important to them. I just finished a project in which we figured out all sorts of interesting performance characteristics of AWS Redshift by driving load against several clusters using Tableau, TabJolt, and Logshark.

                     

                    Tableau is a great tool for IT to use to "prove" all the hunches they have about what us "silly users" do to their systems when we're not paying attention or following the rules

                    • 7. Re: How to help our IT peers to use Tableau everyday?
                      Albert Wong

                      Hi Mark! I can definitely identify.

                       

                      I initially started learning Tableau to showcase its features and capabilities to plant the seeds and give it the attention it needed to grow within the organization so to speak. Once Tableau started taking off, more and more of my attention turned towards building the infrastructure it needed to support the enterprise at scale and less time allotted for Desktop.

                       

                      There are opportunities for IT peers to keep their desktop skills fresh such as providing insights into the admin postgres database or getting hands on when providing support, but truth is, anyone on my reporting platform team, for instance has less Desktop opportunities than say an analyst from an analytics team, so to keep the Desktop skills fresh, some level of investment is needed. I personally have found hands-on experience to be the most effective whether it be on-going training, diving into developer community issues, or finding interesting mini-projects (work related or not) where Desktop would be useful. As an example, there is currently a #HalloweenViz challenge where there's an opportunity to dust off those Desktop skills and the incentive of free swag should be broadly appealing (IT folks or not).

                       

                      -Albert

                      • 8. Re: How to help our IT peers to use Tableau everyday?
                        Jim Van Sistine

                        Hi Mark,

                        I don't think your challenge is unique to IT colleagues, as Jeff alludes to above.  We are struggling with overall IT adoption of desktop as well, but we do have one strong evangelist on the team (who I encouraged to contribute to this discussion as well) that has helped to create some tools for IT reporting.  He's actually using Tableau to report on activity in another reporting platform, because it's just that much easier and better.  He has done some IT specific training on the merits of desktop with his team as well.

                         

                        These days, I spend most of my time with business users, but I have found that I rarely get traction with anyone, business or IT, until I've shown them specifically how it will help them do something either new or much more easily.  Until that "ah-ha" moment, it's just another tool that they feel they don't have time to learn.  This is usually the focus of any 1:1 training or doctor sessions that I do, especially with brand new people.  I try to really getting to the data that person cares about, what they struggle with or are trying to understand, and how Tableau can help them with it.  It usually does not take just too many examples of hurdles being jumped in a few minutes of clicking to get people interested.  Finding something they didn't know about their own data is a powerful catalyst.

                         

                        The biggest thing is to get people to dedicate time to it.  I challenge new people to first take 1 thing/week they would do in Excel (or some other tool) and try it in Tableau.  1/day is better, but often seems intimidating or unrealistic.  If everyone just did that, they'd see the light on their own, in my opinion.

                         

                        - Jim