community- the key to long-term tableau adoption
A thriving community around data is your biggest asset as a company for long-term Tableau adoption. Whereas training and education guides employees through their initial steps for creating useful visualizations, community is what drives sustained excitement for using those visualizations to make data-driven decisions. Community is where employees’ data visualization skills are filled out, challenged, and celebrated. Through forums, regular events, and support, data will become deeply woven into the fabric of your company.
Data will be talked about regularly by employees in Tableau's interactive dashboards, and it will be leveraged to influence small and large decisions alike. Discussions of data will provide foundational evidence for new initiatives on every level. Once your employees get used to having an abundance of information at their fingertips to support their decision-making and discussions, they won’t want to go back. A thriving data community is the key to building a data driven culture.
There are three necessary components that create a sustainable, data-driven community: communications, engagement, and support. With these pillars in place, you’ll ensure that employees can share insights, ask questions, and learn together.
Communications involves having a well-established Tableau enablement intranet and an internal forum for communication with all other Tableau users (Teams, Slack, Yammer, etc.) These ensure that resources and discussion around data are close at hand for your employees. If employees can’t find the resources they need and also have trouble getting in touch with others in the Tableau community, they’re less likely to power through and continue using it. On the other hand, if they have a multitude of resources available through the Intranet and know that they could also just send a quick message on Slack to ask others for advice, they can remain confident that the issue can be resolved quickly and is worth their time.
These channels for communication effortlessly keep adoption and engagement at its max, as they give people the opportunity to quickly and organically interact and share what they’ve been learning. When an employee encounters an interesting finding or needs to know how to do something in Tableau, they can go right to the enablement intranet to see if any resources there answer their question. And for further help, they can reach out to other employees in your internal forum. Awareness of Tableau and its ease of use will skyrocket, because employees will know exactly where they can go to find answers and brainstorm what to do to solve any issues.
Further, content creators can share in the forum about helpful workbooks they’ve created and new data sources that might be useful, without having to send out an email about it and wait for people to read it. Tableau knowledge can spread as fast as people want to share it.
These easily-accessible channels lighten the load for your Tableau project managers and anyone spearheading Tableau adoption at your company. With these channels available, it no longer takes a manager to answer a question, disseminate interesting information or workbooks, or share basic Tableau resources.
Instead of managers having to train new Tableau users one-on-one, training can start with the resources available on the enablement intranet. Managers can then follow up with employees once they have learned the basics on their own. If you use the intranet and communications channels to their full capacity, your project managers will have more time to encourage adoption in ways that only they can- through events around Tableau or more in-depth trainings.
For a list of resources that you should make available on your Tableau enablement intranet, visit this page from Tableau, or get in touch and we’d love to help you set up this resource for your employees.
As mentioned briefly, Tableau adoption is encouraged by in-person events and trainings run by your Tableau project team or even by the most experienced users at your company. We at #teamcsg love being a part of these events and in-depth trainings especially in the first year of your company using Tableau.
Through engagement in Tableau-focused events, employees can learn something new, share how they’re using their data, and be challenged to use their Tableau skillset to its full potential. We’ve seen many companies promote excitement for data knowledge with a “spiciest insight” contest, where users try to bring the most intriguing insight to the table. This challenges employees to dive deep into data sources and Tableau’s capabilities. They find out just how much information is at their fingertips with Tableau, and it’s vastly more engaging than watching tutorials.
Engagement-oriented events and challenges build community around data by connecting Tableau users company-wide and allowing them to share how they’ve used Tableau to discover new insights. Be sure to post about them on your enablement intranet so all employees are aware of opportunities to engage.
In addition to larger events, managers that have several employees using Tableau should have weekly or bi-weekly meetings to share the data-driven wins and experiences of your employees. What decisions have they made more confidently because they had more information than they used to? Is there any data they’re still missing that could help them make better decisions? Have they encountered any roadblocks when using Tableau that they need more training to get past?
Regular meetings are opportunities to celebrate and reward data-informed decision making and to remove any roadblocks for your employees. They additionally serve as opportunities for accountability; if employees know they have a Tableau-focused meeting next week where they will be asked about wins or roadblocks, they’re more likely to put in the initial effort needed to get used to using Tableau. With active, long-term follow-up, engagement increases.
Beyond making resources available and building community through events and meetings, your employees need a strong support system in order to keep using Tableau.
Effective, responsive support removes any final hindrances to adoption. Employees will know that even if they run into a problem with how to add a data source, use a workbook, etc, there is someone there to help them through it so they can get back to using Tableau in no time.
Your support team initially will include your Tableau content creators who were a part of your Tableau project team. Then as other employees gain experience and understand the value of visualization, you can designate new champions to be the support contact for their team.
Regardless of who is designated for support, the plan for support escalation should be clearly communicated to employees through the enablement intranet. Through the intranet, they should be able to find out who their primary support contact is, any office hours for Tableau help, and how to log a support ticket.
In addition to on-site help, #teamcsg loves partnering with companies who are new to using Tableau. Month after month, we will work alongside your expert users and provide help when they don’t know how to answer a question from an employee. Rather than having to call Tableau support and wait for a response, they’ll be able to get in touch with the csg team to get the answer more quickly and speed up adoption. We love supporting the Tableau champions in your company so that you can build a thriving community around data. This is largely what the ‘empower’ portion of our engagement methodology is all about; empowering people to maximize their investment in the new technology through training and ongoing support.
If your company is ready to create a data-driven community, #teamcsg would be glad to help with that transformation. Click here to get in touch, download a free trial of Tableau on us, or learn more about the value of becoming a data-driven organization with the links below.
Additional Resources for Creating a Data-Driven Organization: