Following a six week trial, the Tableau sales manager worked with Mills and his team to build a business case for Tableau Online. The management team approved it almost straight away and a pilot program involving 10 users began.
The pilot involved a manufacturing quality improvement initiative: looking at deviations from the norm, such as when a heating device used in the opiate narcotics manufacturing process exceeds a temperature threshold. From this, a ‘quality operations’ dashboard was created to track and measure deviations and put in place measures to improve operational quality and performance.
“That dashboard immediately signaled where deviations might be. We weren’t ploughing through rows of data—we reached answers straight away,” says Mills.
Throughout this initial trial and pilot, the team used Tableau training aids, such as the free training videos, product walkthroughs and live online training. They also participated in a two-day ‘fundamentals training’ event in London. According to Mills, “The training was expert, precise and pitched just at the right level. It demonstrated to everyone just how intuitive Tableau Online is. We can visualize 10 years’ worth of data in just a few clicks.”
The company now has five Tableau Desktop users, and up to 200 Tableau Online licensed users.
Mills and his team particularly like the Tableau Union feature in Version 9.3, which allows them to piece together data that’s been split into little files. “It’s sometimes hard to bring together the data we use for analysis. The Union feature lets us work with data spread across multiple tabs or files, reducing the time we spend on prepping the data,” he says.