A Top Idea & Request for Feedback — Dynamic Parameters

Back in August, I wrote about how the Tableau Development Team uses the Ideas section of the Tableau Community. As Thierry mentioned in that post, we use the Ideas section to help develop the product roadmap. In fact, with the release of the 9.0 Beta, 23 of the 45+ features were taken from the Ideas section – that’s roughly 50%!

The Ideas section of the Community is highly valued at Tableau. In fact, with the release of the 9.0 Beta, 23 of the 45+ features were taken from the Ideas section – that’s roughly 50%!

But you might be wondering, why doesn’t the Development team include all of the top ideas in a release? Well, there are a lot of considerations. Read more from our head of Program Management, Thierry D’hers, in this post, Tableau Development and the Idea Selection Process.

However, it is because the Ideas section is such an important part of our world that we’re working together internally to provide more feedback through different channels and work with you, the Community, to help find solutions to problems that exist.

We love the Ideas section of the Community for multiple reasons. It gives us a perspective into how people are using Tableau products. And, it shows us where we could make improvements.

Each week multiple ideas are created. There are close to 3,000 ideas and that number is continually growing. We are lucky to have passionate customers who share this priceless feedback.

Sometimes the creator of an idea hits the nail on the head and the proposed solution is exactly how we would have solved the problem had we thought of it first. Other times, the suggested feature is something that Thierry notes “can actually be solved elsewhere in the product or in different ways.” And then there are times when, honestly, we don’t understand the proposed solution because we don’t understand the root problem.

In the latter two cases, we need to have multiple conversations with people both inside and outside of Tableau to help the developers decide how, when, and why that idea should be included in a release.

We recognize that we haven’t always been good at taking the time to interact with the Community about certain ideas. And of course, the most notable example – the elephant in the room – is Dynamic Parameters.

However, we are working to change that. As Thierry pointed out earlier – we need to be sure we understand the full scope of the request before tackling a solution. “The worst thing we can do is build a feature that is called a dynamic parameter and realize we really only addressed 10% of what people were really looking for.”

So we’re asking for your help. We believe that we’ve been able to parse out and identify five different scenarios that Dynamic Parameters describes through the idea description, comments and various conversations that we’ve had. But to confirm that we’re on the right track and to help us prioritize, for the next month, this survey will be posted in the idea.

It will ask specific use case questions to get to the underlying details. It will also ask for volunteers who would be willing to potentially be contacted by our Development team (most likely Amy Forstrom or Sean Boon, the Program Managers for this feature area) to provide a clearer understanding of the root problem(s).

As a result of this survey and these conversations, the Development team will break out Dynamic Parameters into respective ideas and open them up for voting and comments.

We can’t promise that we will build everything, but we will continue to have an ongoing conversation about the Community’s needs and wants for the future of Tableau.

We understand that this may not be the answer that many of you are looking for. We hope you know that we are listening and trying to address Dynamic Parameters in a way that makes sense – to everyone.