Tableau Drive

A new methodology for enterprise deployments

How to scale a culture of analytics

Tableau Drive is a methodology for scaling out self-service analytics. Drive is based on best practices from successful enterprise deployments. The methodology relies on iterative, agile methods that are faster and more effective than traditional long-cycle deployment. A cornerstone of the approach is a new model of a partnership between business and IT.

The Drive Methodology is available for free. Some organizations will choose to execute Drive themselves; others will look to Tableau Services or Tableau Partners for expert help.

Drive is a roadmap you can use right away

“This methodology guided us through our expansion from a department-based approach to a true enterprise deployment,” said Mat Hughes, Revenue Optimization Global Analytics Manager, Americas at Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group – better known to travelers by its brands: Quorvus Collection, Radisson Blu®, Radisson®, Radisson Red, Park Plaza®, Park Inn® by Radisson and Country Inns & Suites By CarlsonSM.

“Drive helped us build the framework needed to support a self-service, agile culture supported by a Business/IT Center of Excellence. We now have employees who are identifying problems and fixing them for themselves in hours instead of days and building reports in weeks instead of months.”

Learning from successful organizations

Drive is based on best practices learned by companies like VMware who have successfully enabled large workforces with analytics.

“We wanted to create an environment at VMware for people to explore and innovate with their data in Tableau,” said Ginger Victor, Manager, Business Intelligence Competency Community at VMware.

“This has been made possible through a close partnership between IT and business teams, letting us give our business users the infrastructure, tools and support they need. This more agile approach to BI has been a tremendous benefit for us.”

Building Your Drive Team

The Drive materials are free and you can use them to plan and execute an enterprise deployment. You may also want to take advantage of the experience of an expert. Tableau Consulting Services teams and Tableau Partners are trained on Drive and available to help if needed.

What is Drive?

This presentation walks through the reasons a new methodology is needed as well as the basics of Drive.

Core Elements of Drive

The How to Drive manual acts as a blueprint for your deployment. Other resources, listed at the bottom of this page, include milestone checklists, project documents, and suggested reading.

An Inherently Agile Process

Drives draws on Agile methods that call for cross functional teams, prototyping, and constant iteration. Agile methods often produce faster results at higher quality. Visual analytics is inherently agile because it involves an iterative cycle of getting data, creating visualizations, and checking assumptions. Tools like Tableau that enable business users to develop dashboards in real time further compress the time needed to deliver results.

A New Partnership Between Business and IT

One of the central tenets of the Drive methodology is a new model of partnership between business and IT.

With Drive, IT focuses on a foundation of enablement including training, security, and data preparation. Business users, working with the framework defined by IT, lead the analytical work and answer their own questions.

IT owns the “Center of Operations”

  1. Security and governance
  2. Data acquisition, preparation, and provisioning
  3. Intranet wiki and community software and services
  4. Tableau Server deployment, configuration, and maintenance
  5. Tableau Desktop provisioning

Business owns analytics and the “Center of Evangelism”

  1. Creation of reports and dashboards
  2. Development and promotion of best practices
  3. Training and support
  4. Evangelism

The Four Phases of Drive

Tableau Drive wraps technical and programmatic support around the iterative process of visual analysis. Its main phases are discovery, prototyping and quick wins, foundation building, and scale-out.

The goal is to break down barriers to self-service analysis, build skills and confidence, and to scale out an energetic analytic culture aligned with modern workplace values.

A Visual Explanation

This whiteboard video explains the essentials of the Drive Methodology. If you're explaining Drive to colleagues, this is a good place to start.

Why it Matters

Hear from two of the creators of Drive discuss why we created Drive and what kind of impact it can have on your organization.

We now have employees who are identifying problems and fixing them for themselves in hours instead of days and building reports in weeks instead of months.


These resources can help you start to Drive. They provide background and additional reading on each phase of the methodology. At the end you'll find resources about self-service analytics. If you'd like to get help with drive, check out our partners and professional services in the Extra Help section.

Discovery Phase

Expert Help

Prototyping Phase

Foundation Building Phase


Scaling Out Phase

Analyst Reports on Self-Service Analytics and Data Discovery

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