The Tableau platform is a suite of innovative and intuitive tools. When I first started using Tableau Desktop in 2009, I managed to create basic dashboards and, for the first time, the organization I worked with used visual analytics to inform decisions. At the time, I relied on a few free videos I found online to learn how the tool worked.
Fast forward four years, and I joined the InterWorks team ready to teach the world Tableau Desktop. I headed to Seattle to participate in Tableau’s Train the Trainer program. Learning about the various features of Tableau Desktop in a formal classroom setting for the first time rocked my world! Sure, I could get to the same answers, but learning how to use the tool in more efficient ways, understanding “why” the tool does what it does, and uncovering features I didn’t even know existed proved the value of instructor-led training. I then spent the next several years sharing my passion and teaching Tableau Desktop courses and best practices for visual analytics to over 1,000 students.
When Tableau introduced a new role-based model for licensing, I immediately saw an opportunity to better support Explorers and Viewers via instructor-led workshops. InterWorks was the first Tableau Gold Partner, and we’ve been named Training Partner of the Year several times. Tableau has introduced us to clients where a completely customized training option was needed, so we have extensive experience building Tableau-focused training content. While I could have gone the path of customizing every workshop for Explorers and Viewers, I knew that all content consumers needed to be taught the basics. Yes, Tableau Server and Tableau Online are intuitive platforms, but just like my experience with Desktop, if you take the time to learn the “how and why” behind all the buttons and options, you’ll find it easier to incorporate the tool into your existing workflow.
Value in Instructor-Led Training for Explorers and Viewers
I’ve seen a shift over the past two years where more organizations are looking at the growing number of Explorers and Viewers. These organizations are also realizing that there is an opportunity to pull these audiences together and provide structured Tableau training, thus increasing adoption and usage of Tableau Server and Tableau Online!
Your content consumers are often on board with using visual analytics but need guidance on what that really means and how to lead their team through visualization projects. Consumers are also the users with the least amount of time available for training, so we condensed the information they need to know into two workshops. Asking them to commit to attending a short, hands-on workshop shows an organization’s commitment to using visual analytics and Tableau specifically. For many attendees, the workshop is the first time they log into Tableau Server or Tableau Online and are introduced to the Tableau ecosystem.
The workshops can be delivered within your own Tableau Server or Tableau Online instance when possible—we understand it’s not always an option to add a guest to your environment. If that’s the case, we will provide you with sample data and workbooks to add to a Project just for training. We will have the same setup on the InterWorks Tableau demo site.
Tableau Server / Tableau Online for Explorers
To date, I’ve delivered two versions of the Explorers workshop – it all depends on the organization’s intention for the role. It’s not to say that there aren’t other options out there, but here’s what I’ve seen:
- Option 1: Explorers accessing curated data sources via a “starter” workbook on Tableau Server or Tableau Online. The goal for Explorers is to edit existing workbooks, create new charts/calculations and maybe build a simple dashboard. Explorers are not saving their work – they are truly using the ad hoc capabilities of web editing.
- Option 2: Explorers accessing curated data sources and using Ask Data and/or web editing to answer their questions. Explorers create charts, calculated fields, interactive dashboards and save their work in a sandbox environment to revisit/share with colleagues.
We’ll work together to ensure the content is right for how you intend for Explorers to utilize their role, but here’s what you can expect from the workshop:
Empower users who know the business to gain insight from trusted data sources, performing ad hoc analysis, modifying dashboards to fulfill identified needs and setting up processes that convert insight into action.
- Understand how to access and interact with visualizations in Tableau Server
- Review Tableau Server’s interface and Ask Data
- Design self-service charts and dashboards through Web Editing
- Learn to collaborate via Comments and Snapshots, use Tags, and utilize Alerts and Subscriptions
Workshop will be delivered in a virtual format in one 4-hour session.
Tableau Server / Tableau Online for Viewers
You want to ensure that if you gather your Viewers – who are often managers or executives – that the time commitment is worth the value of the content. I’ve found several organizations have taken the opportunity to educate this audience on why they’re using Tableau and how the platform can change the way they do business. Two hours is all it takes to show this group why visual analytics is important and how they can access content created specifically for them in Tableau Server or Tableau Online. The workshop also highlights “what’s possible” for visualizations in Tableau, so Viewers leave with the ability to ask better questions of the content creators, knowing more of the language of Tableau.
Viewers will get an overview of the value of visual analytics – what it is, why it is important and the role Tableau plays within your organization. By the end of the workshop, users will be able to locate content, collaborate with colleagues and tailor their experience by managing subscription and creating custom views to maximize benefit from the published reports.
- Learn the “what” and “why” of visual analytics
- Become comfortable with User Interface as well as site, project and resource structures
- Ensure ability to customize their experience, locate content, collaborate with colleagues and learn the art of possible
Workshop will be delivered in a virtual format in one 2-hour session.
Schedule a Workshop with InterWorks
By sharing the layouts of InterWorks’ Tableau Server and Tableau Online workshops, my hope is that you have a clearer understanding of the value instructor-led Tableau training can provide. At the very least, you’ll know the topics and milestones we set for Explorers and Viewers respectively. If you have the internal resources to conduct workshops on your own, feel free to borrow those layouts. If, however, you’re like many organizations without established enablement plans or centers of excellence, I highly recommend pursuing instructor-led training from a Tableau partner like InterWorks. The InterWorks Enablement Practice would be thrilled to queue some workshops up for you, so simply reach out below to get the conversation started!