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When our group adopted Tableau, we had inherited an environment where previous IT-driven data projects had failed and business groups had adopted individual solutions. These were a combination of manual data extracts, Excel macros, PowerPivot, PowerPoint, and human glue. On one hand this meant that groups were willing to work with us to improve their cumbersome processes, but on the other hand it meant they were often locked into an Excel mindset where creating a report always means seeing all the data.
In this presentation, we'll walk through two real-life (data changed to protect the innocent) examples of evolving an Excel spreadsheet into an interactive dashboard.
We will discuss:
- Helping people break out of their preconceived notions of what data should look like (maybe a table isn't the only answer?)
- Getting people to admit what they actually "do" with those Excel spreadsheets (what is in all those hidden tabs?)
- Convincing people that it is worth their time to learn a new tool (isn't one-click filtering cool?)
- Drawing a polite line in the sand on what you will and will not implement (I will not color every cell in this table, is there a threshold at which values require action?)
- Building a consistent brand (don't worry, the VP/CEO/your boss uses dashboards which look and feel very similar to this every day.)
At the end, you should have a strategy to help people who can't immediately grasp the advantages of a tool like Tableau over their trusty Excel spreadsheets.