Tableau Helps Goodwill Education Initiatives of Indiana Leverage Data in its Mission to Improve Adult Learning

Adult education nonprofit selects Tableau to make data-driven decisions about its programs and better serve its students

Publication date: 23 June, 2014 - 13:00

Tableau Software (NYSE: DATA) today announced that Goodwill Education Initiatives of Indiana (Goodwill Education) has selected Tableau to visualize and understand its data. Goodwill Education, a nonprofit organization focused on adult education, uses Tableau to analyze data on student performance, measure the effectiveness of its programs, and reduce the time required to fulfill compliance reporting requirements. With Tableau, Goodwill Education is instilling a data-driven culture in an industry where data analysis often goes overlooked.

“The education industry is data rich, but analysis light,” said Dan Scott, Director of Data Services at Goodwill Education. “Often, those in education can even be data-adverse. When you’re in school to become an educator, you are taught how to teach. You’re not taught how to analyze data to improve.”

Located in Indianapolis, Indiana, Goodwill Education provides learning services for adults working toward a high school diploma. The impacts of its programs are wide reaching. To date, its former students have earned an estimated additional $9.3 million more in wages and benefits as a result of working with Goodwill Education.

To analyze the performance of its students and the effectiveness of its programs, Goodwill Education previously relied on a system of manual data reviews that took as long as a week to complete for each school. It needed a tool that would let it quickly analyze data across multiple areas and create interactive reports to let its employees answer their own questions. After trying several other business intelligence solutions, including industry-specific analytics tools, Goodwill Education found Tableau to be the clear choice.

Today, four Goodwill Education employees are using Tableau Desktop to author dashboards, while approximately 200 employees view and interact with the published dashboards on Tableau Server. The nonprofit has expanded its data analysis services to 15 schools in the area.

Tableau has helped Goodwill Education make data-driven changes that have a deep impact on the students it serves. For instance, the group found that students who participated in industry certificate programs were far more likely to complete their high school diploma with Goodwill Education.

“Using Tableau, we saw that our success rate was approximately three times higher with the students that took part in the certification class,” said Scott. “That gave us a sort of ‘magic bullet’ as far as a way to keep students engaged and help them start thinking towards their future.”

Goodwill Education has also reduced significantly the time spent on reporting, letting its educators focus more on their students. With Tableau, the nonprofit now measures reporting times in clicks, not weeks. This means that Goodwill Education employees can spend their time on more strategic efforts.

“The great thing is that Tableau doesn't just answer the questions that you had. It also raises questions that you never knew you should be asking to begin with,” said Scott. “It allows you to keep digging down until you actually find the whole root cause—which gives you the greatest impact when you fix it.”

About Goodwill Education
Goodwill Education Initiatives, Inc., a not-for-profit organization formed by Goodwill Industries of Central Indiana, Inc., operates The Excel Center. The school provides a structured learning environment that meets the unique needs of adult students as they work toward a high school diploma. Given students' range of skill levels and backgrounds, The Excel Center offers flexible coursework and a commitment to individual attention that gives each student a realistic path for his or her educational success and career prospects.

About Tableau Software
Tableau Software (NYSE: DATA) helps people see and understand data. Tableau helps anyone quickly analyze, visualize and share information. More than 19,000 customer accounts get rapid results with Tableau in the office and on-the-go. And tens of thousands of people use Tableau Public to share data in their blogs and websites. See how Tableau can help you by downloading the free trial at

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