Tableau Driver’s Ed: Creating a Center of Evangelism


Tableau Driver’s Ed: Creating a Center of Evangelism

Tableau Driver's Ed is a blog series in which we explain InterWorks' unique take on Tableau Drive, a new methodology for enabling self-serve BI in the enterprise.

Tableau Driver's Ed: Creating a Center of Evangelism

In the previous article of Driver’s Ed, we covered the four phases of the Drive methodology to build an analytics culture step-by-step. The third phase, Foundation Building, details how to use the quick wins achieved in Phase 2 to solidify the base for scaling out Tableau to the rest of the organization. Part of this is building a Center of Evangelism within the business side of the partnership.

Let’s explore in more detail what a Center of Evangelism (CoE) means and how to achieve it.

The Most Important Resource

The most adroit way to explain a CoE is to compare it to the Center of Operations – the IT side of the partnership. The Center of Operations focuses on the technical infrastructure required by an organizational analytics culture whereas the Center of Evangelism focuses on the human infrastructure.

Tableau Desktop users and report consumers are by far the most important resource in the Tableau Drive methodology. The most critical aspect of the entire process is building momentum, interest and adoption among your organization. That motivation to employ data for insight is the fuel that will drive the car over all the bumps and hazards to your future state.

For this reason, the success of the CoE cannot be overstated. Their job is to spread the word of the utility and ease in which Tableau can be used for amazing results. In many ways, they set the standard for how analytics should be done across the company, and the power users in your organization will play a big part in defining what that looks like.

The Evangelist’s Tools

We’ve explored different ways to use your power users to foster a data-focused culture with office hours, mentoring and more. To help your power users and evangelists, you should give them a variety of tools. Most of these have been mentioned in previous articles, particularly the breakdown of the IT-business partnership:

  • Documentation for data, processes and the Tableau Server environment
  • Training collateral and scheduling
  • Resource directory, including human resources
  • Prototype workbooks and templates
  • Community maintained best practices and wiki
  • Internal blogs, videos and community portal
  • Publishing a training, development and even playground environment on Tableau Server

Honestly, your imagination is the only limitation on how you can empower your Tableau evangelists to communicate the benefits of Tableau to the rest of the organization.

More Tips & Tricks

In addition to tools, there are programmatic tricks you can use to build interest and reward participation. Remember: The key to this is to build communication not only within IT but also on the business side. Encourage collaboration and ideation by allowing users to present their dashboards internally in a show-and-tell style presentation. Offer incentives or awards for dashboards that best capture your best practices (creativity, simplicity, effectiveness, etc.).

Create a Tableau calendar that not only includes office hours and scheduling but also marks “Tableau Days.” This can vary from guest speakers, open forum discussions, updates on the infrastructure or even trips to Tableau conventions.

Also, there is a vibrant, passionate community of Tableau users around the world. The public forums on the Tableau website are designed to promote questions, sharing and experimentation. The more you can integrate your team into the greater Tableau community, the more they will learn and grow as data analysts.

Next Steps

As part of our role as a Tableau consultant, InterWorks has worked with some of the most passionate and successful Tableau groups around the world. If you need help guiding your team into a Center of Evangelism, we can help. Contact us today for more information on how.

Contact Us

More About the Author

Robert Curtis

Managing Director, APAC
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