Principals understand data in seconds at Katy Independent School District

Before Tableau, data at Katy Independent School District was spread out over an entire network of schools, and reports could take weeks to generate. The organization needed a tool to provide principals with timely visibility into operations. Today, with Tableau Desktop and Server, principals at Katy Independent can answer their questions in “literally seconds.”

Katy Independent School District (Katy ISD) is a suburban, public school district in Katy, Texas. Before Tableau, it could take weeks to gather data from different systems, pull it together, and share it with central administrations.

When the business intelligence team at Katy ISD first adopted Tableau, they created dashboards to fit the needs of elementary, junior high, and high school principals. When they revealed the dashboards, questions starting flying. Principals could easily see and understand data from different systems, all in one place.

Today, principals can create their own visualizations with Tableau Desktop and immediately gain insights into school operations. And with Tableau Server, they can find the latest data in “literally seconds.”

It would take days and sometimes weeks for the campuses to gather information from all the different systems…And we were able to do that in literally seconds with Tableau.

Tableau: What was the first reaction to Tableau at Katy Independent School District (Katy ISD)?
Jamey Hynds, Director of Business Intelligence: We had a set of principals, multiple principals from every level, high school, junior high, and elementary level. We built dashboards specifically based off of their requests, their requirements, and just kind of went down the path of letting them tell us what they wanted.

Then at the end, when we met with them and showed them the dashboards that we had built specifically for them. The questions just started flying out. And I think the excitement was there.

Tableau: Can you talk a little bit about the Tableau training sessions?
Jamey: Halfway through the training, we give the principals access to their own information and show them how to actually log into the portal. And once they did that, the only problem is with that, it's hard to reign them back in to go back into training because then they start taking off and really exploring their own information.

Tableau: How does Tableau compare with your previous reporting solution?
Jamey: It would take days and sometimes weeks for the campuses to gather the information from all the different systems and then to pull it all together and to see it in the format that it needed to be submitted back to central administration. And we were able to do that in literally seconds with one of the new dashboards that we had.

Tableau: So what was the goal with your dashboards?
Jamey: The goal is to, you know, provide somewhat of a self-service environment through our dashboards for people to be able to answer the questions that come up.

Tableau: How has this affected your daily work?
Jamey: I'm just excited to kind of be a part of the whole process of being in analytics and using data to try to make a difference.

Tableau: How do you handle governance at Katy ISD?
Jamey: Once they build the dashboards, if it's something that they feel like they need to distribute out to other people, then they'll bring it to us. We'll kind of cleanse it and make sure the security is at an enterprise level, and then distribute that through our portal.

Tableau: So you’re finding new ways to do data analysis?
Jamey: Yeah, the initiative was really to start using analytics in our schools. Up until now, we've just been textual and spreadsheet sort of environment. And we really wanted to change and start doing things a different way. We kind of set up a plan to build an analytics solution that would give first our administrators the ability to look at information, look at data in a different way, and to be able to drill into it.