Internal Tableau User Groups

Best Practices

Welcome to Tableau User Groups

Start a user group

By starting an Internal Tableau User Group, you will have the opportunity to connect users within your company. And generate enthusiasm among a group of people founded on the common cause of putting data at the center of every conversation. In order to support you, we’ve gathered some helpful tips as you begin the process of creating an internal Tableau User Group.

User Group
Benefits

Everyone gets smarter

Developing Tableau champions within your organization means there is less dependence on one or two experts.

Networking

Being able to collaborate with other Tableau users can improve communication among teams and bring fresh perspectives.

Strength in numbers

When data-minded people get together, often the realization is that more assistance is needed from IT or your Center of Excellence.

Before your first meeting

1. Identify leadership and appropriate support

Some user groups create a board of leaders to support it. Here is a great example.

If you want to bring together multiple offices, look into virtual conferencing options within your organization.

2. Create an email alias

Work with your IT team to determine who has a Tableau license and use this list as a stating point for invitations. Make sure to refresh this list on a regular basis.

3. Talk to another leader

Our Tableau User Group Ambassadors are waiting for you to reach out!

Ask them for feedback on your agenda to see if there is anything they can recommend or suggest updating.

4. Decide on meeting cadence

We recommend coming together for an in-person or virtual Tableau User Group quarterly – some groups meet monthly!

Keep it consistent. For example, some groups meet on the third Thursday of every month.

Send out calendar holds or setup recurring meeting invites.

Preparing for your first meeting

1. Pick a meeting day

Typically, we see Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday have the highest attendance rates.

2. Start drafting an agenda

The first meeting's agenda should focus on introducing the group, talking through goals and objectives and discussing with attendees what type of topics and content they would like to see in future meetings.

3. Share the details

Make sure people are planning for your meeting. Share on your community page, internal communication tools, and send out calendar holds! Some groups test out a few different times during their first several meetings in order to see what works best for their community.

4. Pick a meeting time

The most common timeframes for Internal Tableau User Groups are either a brown bag lunch option, or the second half of the day. Note that the longer you want your meeting to last the further in advance you should be sending calendar invites.

Content

Who will attend your first meeting

Most user groups have an even split between beginners, intermediate and advanced users. Keep this in mind when you’re planning your event. Try to create agendas that will be beneficial to Tableau users at all levels. Also make sure to keep an eye on the User Group Leader Community for information regarding launches, as well as materials you may be able to utilize for your meeting. The New User Group Meeting in a Box for example, contains some ice breaker activates that can be a great fit for a first meeting.


What happens at a meeting?

Anything you'd like! But we do recommend mixing up the content type between meetings if possible.

TIP: Carefully evaluate partner presentations ahead of time. Partners are not allowed to sell their products or services during user group meetings, as attendees are not there to hear pitches.

Common content types included

Presentation and group discussion, panel discussion, Data Doctor, Viz Games competition

Content can be delivered by anyone!

Some user groups exclusively utilize internal employees while others have had Tableau Conference speakers around the area, Zen Masters, Tableau employees, authors and experts. Always ask around and reach out to members and request presentations.

TIP: Remember to always have a ready-to-go presentation or backup plan. Speakers may cancel or other conflicts may arise.

A mistake I made early on was thinking I had to be the expert. At the end of the day, it’s about the community and how you can get the community involved and talking. Remember your job is to help the community and foster communication, not to know everything about Tableau.

Maintaining your user group

Keeping up with a user group takes time and dedication. Pick what outlet works best for you to stay in contact with members (Facebook, LinkedIn, Tableau community site, Splash, etc.). We encourage you to find the platform that works best for you. However, even if you utilize one more than the other, make sure to keep all platforms active and maintained. Actively upload new content and answer questions.

Survey your members. Not only will this help you gather data about your group, but it will allow you to start compiling a list of potential speakers for future meetings.

Community Toolkit

Check out the other toolkits for your Tableau community

Learn more