Tableau: Did you find any surprises when you started looking into the data?
Dan: So whenever we do any kind of analysis, we always try to let the data take us wherever it may lead. We may spend 30 hours of that week going down several different paths that ultimately don't pan out, but when we find that path that does, now it's a much more informed path, and now we have a much greater idea of what we're dealing with and we know how to tackle and address that issue accordingly.
So Tableau has really helped us come a long way as far as breaking down those barriers, as well as making data easy for the end user and ultimately driving performance.
Tableau: How are you sharing your data with stakeholders?
Dan: We decided to use Tableau Server, and we really wanted to focus on the end user. We didn't want to be bogged down with people having to use VPN to connect. We wanted something that was accessible wherever they were.
That meant if you're at work at your desk—that's great! We want you to have access. If you are out and about on a meeting and you want to use the iPad, you can use your iPad right then and there, pull up results.
In fact, my boss does that all the time. You see him walk into a meeting, he always has his iPad with him. And inevitably, as they start their discussion, he'll start pulling up the numbers in Tableau as they go along and will actually base his questions and responses and everything based off the real-time data he's seeing.
We always do this thing called a data review where we get everyone together from a school and we go through all their data. We're in this meeting and the next thing I look around as I had my boss at one end of the table that has the iPad out looking up things, someone else has their laptop out looking up things. The person next to me and I pull out our smartphones, are going through, flipping through the dashboards as we're talking about something.
It was really interesting because it's a really good depiction of how accessible Tableau can be when you deploy it the correct way. Literally at that table we had all three ways, you know, laptop, tablets and smart phones all right there, everyone using it a different way, coming to the same conclusions and it really shaped the discussion we had.
Read more about how Goodwill Education Initiatives is using Tableau.