Tableau Server Choices.

by James Fox

About: Tableau Server is an amazing hosting platform that allows you to store all your Tableau workbooks and Data Sources. Within a company this means that information can be quickly and clearly explored by those who require it.


Chapter I – Who are you?

The patterns in the ceiling welcome you back into reality. Though groggy and dehydrated, you fling your arm over to the bedside table, roll, and grasp your phone in one inaccurate but well practised movement.

You remembered to plug it in last night so you yank out the cord with little regard to how much you’ll eventually have to pay in order to replace it. “Click”. 06:30.

After the usual morning routine, you open your wardrobe and put on your:

  • Suit (go to: a)
  • Smart-casual attire (go to: b)

a. Out the door. Arrive on-site. A quick look in the window of a parked car and you look fire in that suit. Good choice, you.

You get inside. Your first job of the day is:

  • Go to that internal meeting. You’ll be meeting the board later so you’d better go through those figures one more time. (go to: c)
  • Probably should go work out how much you and your team have sold this month. You have targets to hit after all! (go to: d)

b. Out the door. Arrive on-site. A quick look in the window of a parked car and you realise why smart-casual is always the best choice – you look great! Good choice, you.

You get inside. Your first job of the day is:

  • You finished analysing that dataset last week, but better go check to see if there were any changes to the trend lines over the weekend. (go to: e)
  • First job of the day as always, got to manually refresh the IT server…again… (go to: f)


Chapter II – The Problem

c.  You get into the meeting, but oh no! The Excel file with the figures isn’t downloading from the email attachment. Oh no! (go to: g)

d. You ask your team to email you with their sales numbers so you can compare it to each of their different targets. One is off on holiday and your tired of calculating targets manually! (go to: g)

e. You re-download the data set from your data source to your laptop. At 2,000,000 rows it takes a while though, and you already have 50 other older copies clogging up your ‘Documents’ folder. (go to: g)

f. Refreshing the datasource at 9am on Monday keeps breaking the system, and you have no idea who is accessing what and when. Panic! (go to: g)


Chapter III – The Solution

g. Suddenly the room shakes, it fills with light, you’re blinded. A wormhole opens above you and sucks you in. Colours, light, noise. Awareness, awareness you don’t quite understand, but feel within. Faster, and faster, then it stops.

The patterns in the ceiling welcome you back into reality – a parallel reality where your company decided to use Tableau Server.

Fast forward through the morning (again) and you are:

  • In the board meeting.  (go to: h)
  • Creating the sales target report.  (go to: i)
  • Analysing the dataset.  (go to: j)
  • Refreshing the server and changing permissions (go to: k)

h. You login to Tableau server. You don’t need to worry about downloading the huge Excel file and opening it on Tableau desktop on your company issued Pentium 4 laptop from 2002 anymore. The board is impressed and all your charts are up-and-to-the-right – woohoo! They have also been given viewer licenses, and so can interact with the viz when and where they want. Good job Tableau Server!

i. Your sales actuals and targets are automatically updated by the database and refreshed each day. You set a schedule and task to email yourself and your sales team a Viz of the sales progress every Monday and Friday. Good job Tableau Server!

j. No need to rebuild the viz, it’s all updated automatically. Trend lines are all okay! Sit back, relax, and enjoy your coffee. Good job Tableau Server!

k. With Tableau Server you set the datasource refresh to run during Sunday night. No more Monday morning bottleneck! Also, you group everyone accordingly and set permissions for departmental access across the server, Bob can no longer accidentally delete crucial data! Good job Tableau Server!


© 2022 The Information Lab Ltd. All rights reserved.