A response to the TDWI article, “An Imperative to Build, Not Buy, Agile BI”

As TDWI and vendors catch on to the success of “Agile BI” being created with products like Tableau, I find the need to reply to the idea that the same old technology will work in this new world.   This article from TDWI energized me to write a response to this frequently cited idea.   In case you aren’t familiar with the acronmym “BI”, it simply means business intelligence, typically referring to traditional tools like Cognos, Business Objects, Excel, Microstrategy, SAS and many other products.  

What is Agile BI?  
“Agile BI” is new-found jargon that describes what

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SAT performance versus school spending dashboard

This dashboard provides a comparison of per student spending with performance on the SAT exam based on the 2009 New Jersey Report Card data. DFGs are based on economic and demographic data. These are assigned by the New Jersey State Department of Education.

This work was created in collaboration with Bob Morrison of Quadrant Arts Education Research. Bob has extensive experience with helping school systems measure educational results related to how and where funds are spent. I have a great admiration for Bob as a passionate advocate for growing both music and arts education. Bob has expertise in advocating on behalf of students around the many ways that music and arts education can engage students and improve their academic performance.

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Tips—Multiple Tableau Dashboard Data Sources

The setup
You have connected to more than one data source in your Tableau workbook, for example, your sales database in Oracle and a customer call database in SQL Server.   Tableau seamlessly allows you to connect to multiple data sources in one workbook.   Views developed from both data sources can be placed in a single dashboard.

However, if you try to use global filters or quick filters to synchronize the two data sources, you will find that it isn’t possible; only one data source can be linked to either.   In fact, the term “Global” filter in Tableau can be confounding, since it is only global to views using the current data source.   Global filters will not work with other data sources even if the data items have the same name!

The solution
As of Tableau 5.0 (released in 2009), a new feature

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Great prizes- enter the Tableau Visualization Contest!

Win a great trip to San Francisco to attend the Web 2.0 conference and be featured on the Tableau Public home page and Read Write Web! Enter the Tableau Visualization Contest (now past and the page is no longer posted.)   No matter what happens, you will have your own copy of tableau public to … Read more

Dashboard Nirvana and Visual Management of Marketing Programs

View and interact with the strategic customer sales and analyst exploratory dashboards below, both hosted by tableau public.

Read Eileen's white paper, "Visual Management of Marketing Programs", for detailed explanations on maximizing Marketing ROI with visual marketing dashboards.

In this case study, we used customer demographic and sales databases from a boutique winery in combination with Tableau Software

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Stephen Few’s latest book, “Now you see it”

Stephen’s latest book is a brilliant interplay of simple to advanced statistical concepts with powerful visual equivalents and methods. It offers wonderful guidance with great examples around visualizing time series, correlations and multivariate analysis problems. It will have a major impact for many years to come in changing how business analysts work, think and improve … Read more