Carlson Rezidor scales enterprise adoption with Tableau Drive

Tableau: First of all, what was different about the Tableau Drive methodology?
Mat Hughes, Revenue Analytics Manager: Drive was our first real tangible example of a cross-departmental project that was led by the business and the IT, and achieved greater results because of that.

Jim VanSistine, Business Consultant, IT: So it's much less of a ‘tell us what you want and let us building you something’ and much more of a ‘let's figure out together what's the right thing to build.’

It really let us pick and choose the good parts that IT is able to bring to project—some of the governance models and support—without doing some of things that just create a bottleneck and a slowdown that wouldn't have been conducive to this kind of rollout.

Tableau: What sort of a result has this had on the two departments—IT and the business?
Mat: The relationship between IT is so much better than what it was before. Everyone has kind of realized that It's not the zero sum game and that we don't have to be pushing up against each other and battling to see who does what, right?

Tim Kraft, Senior Director, Data & Analytics:So the business users are focusing on building reports and building them rapidly, failing fast, gaining insights about their data, and IT is focused on really building that data infrastructure for us, focus on providing us the tools that we need to create the visualizations.

Tableau: Jim, from the IT side, how was your experience with Drive?
Jim: It made it so, so easy for me, because there was a long list of sort of prepackaged steps that we could follow. It laid out a good portion of the project plan, and it really made it easy for us to dialogue with the business.

There are things we learned in this Drive project that we'll be able to apply for years on future IT projects unrelated to Tableau.

IT's not in the way of the progress anymore, we're a partner. It's like, 'Well, what do you want to do and how do we help you do it?'

We got approval (for an enterprise-wide deployment) and we've got IT saying that they want the business users to have the data and access the data, but how do we implement this? When we saw Drive, it was perfect. It gave us this new framework that was much better than what we've done internally in the past.

Tableau: What made you decide to adopt the Drive methodology?
Mat: The way we look at Drive is it's Tableau's way of helping business users that aren't necessarily experts in change management and influencing change in an organization do that.

What we're doing right now is we're in the process of rolling out Tableau to our entire internal organization for an end goal of 500 users. We really had to have an implementation model that gave value early and often instead of radio silence and then all the value at the end.

Tableau: How did you achieve that "early and often" value?
Tim Craft, Senior Director, Data & Analytics: I found it to be a very iterative process to help reinforce adoption throughout the organization. We can prototype and get small wins along the way.

Mat: We're doing the prototyping and we get real business value as we're still building the project also.

Jim: It just helped us all build confidence in where we were going. As those small wins start to pile up on each other, the groundswell of support across the whole company gets bigger and broader.

Tableau: That's fantastic. Were there other aspects of Drive that you think were important to your success?
Mat: It appeared to give us the model to allow to allow sustainable support for all of the end users and help guide them through the process of using Tableau and to be there for them.

Jim: It wasn't just a handoff, it was a handoff and support.

Mat: The tools that Tableau is making available to us really makes us look like rock stars within our company, and it's something that definitely wouldn't have been possible with any other platform we looked at.

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