Tableau Year 3 - Blog Series Recap

Decorative graphic illustrating the evolution of the Tableau service at Ohio State

In the Office of Technology and Digital Innovation (OTDI), we know data is an institutional asset that can help develop trust and confidence. Formally structured data and at-a-glance data visualizations are extremely important in making business decisions while also offering transparency in operations. As we've been sharing through the three years of Tableau blog series, Ohio State's adoption of Tableau in late 2018 helped usher in a new level of data accuracy and transparency while encouraging collaboration at all levels of the university and beyond. 

Earlier this year, OTDI surveyed 100 university thought leaders, business partners, creators, and members of the Tableau user community with the goal of learning how Tableau was helping Ohio State leverage data and to see how the service needs to evolve. Three years ago, there were only 15 Tableau power users across the university. Tableau data creators had to manually refresh and upload data. There was no easy way to share insights. Subscriptions or saved views in Tableau were non-existent. Now, after Tableau's 3+ years at Ohio State, additional collected data and survey results have brought forth some exciting revelations. 


Revelations: Three Years of Tableau

  • Tableau is the second most widely used analytics tool at the university. 
  • Ohio State has grown to have 16,000 unique Tableau users and 60+ Tableau Server project leaders (a 510% increase) within a few years!
  • Over 4,000 datasets are refreshed daily.
  • 2.1 million Tableau Server events have occurred. The university community is interacting with data by creating and saving views, emailing interesting facts to others, and leveraging enterprise data to make decisions.
  • 89% of managers surveyed, cite Tableau skills as a factor in making hiring decisions. 


Revisiting the Tableau Year 3 Blog Series

If the quick rundown of revelations previously shared piques your interest, use the links listed to jump to a topic and revisit a blog post that you may have missed. Each installment of the series provides more details and insights into the survey along with real-world Ohio State examples and user testimonials.


Where is Tableau today?

We’ve come a long way, but we have more ground to cover. Our Tableau community at Ohio State is growing. Hundreds of users may connect to data sources to build dashboards with thousands of users viewing them. Thousands of subscriptions are sent every morning. Over 4,000 datasets are refreshed daily. And as the Tableau community growth continues, we're working to provide more expertise through system enhancements, training, and Tableau Server health checks. 

Tableau Server upgrades:

The Data and Analytics team is investigating the feasibility of upgrading to Tableau Premium Support to free up time dedicated to maintenance and server upgrades and instead better serve the Tableau community by spending time on providing advanced analytics, development consulting, and data source optimization.

Development of Tableau training:

The Data and Analytics team is working with OTDI training staff to create eLearning in BuckeyeLearn and more robust job aids in the Administrative Resource Center (ARC). This training would be for casual users using Tableau Server to view reports as well as those with the report creator role.

Tableau Server partnership and health check success:

Six months ago, we implemented Tableau Server health checks and discovered that we needed to perform a total rebuild of our Tableau Server instance. Due to natural attrition and reorg staffing changes, we realized our documentation and Tableau Server support processes had some holes. We heavily relied on our collaboration with the OTDI middleware team to rebuild and fill the gaps. Since then, the health checks and the partnership they created have been critical to our success—we have had two upgrades and one emergency upgrade successfully completed with a planned upgrade in June. The Tableau Server health checks helped confirm that we were not only doing things correctly since the rebuild, but we’re excelling—again this wouldn’t have been possible without close collaboration between the Tableau Server team and OTDI middleware colleagues.

If you have additional questions about information shared in the blog series or the Tableau service, please contact Jimmy Anthony and Maureen Henry.

Don't forget that you can join the Tableau User Group (TUG) through MS Teams to become a member of the community and stay apprised of all things Tableau.