Tips for building a scalable enterprise deployment of Tableau (Tableau Conference 2018)

Here’s my talk from Tableau Conference 2018 in New Orleans.

Check out the presentation here

UBS | Tips for building a scalable enterprise deployment of Tableau

So, you’ve deployed Tableau and have 100 users? Are you ready for that 100 to become 1,000 users? What about 10,000? Tableau is a great tool and can spread like a virus. Join this session, led by Paul—who’s grown his Tableau Centre of Excellence from zero to 13,000 users, while maintaining a solid, affordable deployment with an engaged user base and dynamic community. Learn top tips for scaling your service, such as: scaling your infrastructure, monitoring performance, capacity, organizing your team and support, and more.

Speaker(s):
Paul Banoub, UBS
Content Type: Breakout Session
Level: Intermediate
Track: Enablement and Adoption
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Our Tableau centre of excellence: Managing an Enterprise deployment of Tableau (Tableau Conference 2017)

Hi – been asked for this video a few times. It’s my talk from Tableau Conference 2017.

Check out the presentation here

UBS: Our Tableau centre of excellence: Managing an Enterprise deployment of Tableau

At UBS we run a global Tableau Centre of Excellence, supporting 10k users across the business and IT. Over the last 3 years we have built a reputation as one of the most dynamic, well-run and user-focused IT services in the firm. In this session you will learn how we:
– Implemented and rolled out the infrastructure & application
– Manage upgrades & demand
– Run multiple training programs for users & execs
– Monitor performance, availability & capacity
– Run a dynamic, fun community of Tableau enthusiasts
– Work with the vendor to contribute to product evolution

This session will provide you with many practical tips and tricks to take back to your own organisations to enhance your deployments of Tableau.

This is part of the financial services track.

Speaker:
Paul Banoub, UBS
Content Type: Breakout
Level: Intermediate
Track: Enablement & Adoption
Tags: Financial Services

2 minutes with… Matt Francis of Wellcome Trust

2 mins with title2

Hello!

So we’ve been busy at Tableau On Tour – London. Great to see so many friendly faces and thanks to everyone who came to my talk and the London Tableau User Group.

In between sessions I managed to pin down our next victim subject of “2 minutes with…”.

In this edition we are delighted to welcome a big supporter of VizNinja – Mr Matt Francis (@Matt_Francis).

The Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute is a charitably funded genomic research centre located in Hinxton, nine miles south of Cambridge in the UK.

mattVN: Hey Matt. How are you enjoying the conference?

MF: Great. Really enjoyed your session and had a lot of fun presenting my own about Story Points. I think that’s going to be a very popular feature.

VN: So who are you then and what do you do?

MF: Matt Francis, Senior Software Developer, DNA Pipelines where I am the lead Tableau author

VN: Tell me about your org

MF: A leader in the Human Genome Project, we are now focused on understanding the role of genetics in health and disease. Our passion for discovery drives our quest to uncover the basis of genetic and infectious disease. We aim to provide results that can be translated into diagnostics, treatments or therapies that reduce global health burdens. WTSI was part of the Human Genome Project which spent 10 years decoding one human genome (3 billion letters in length) We now have single instruments that produce 100 times that data in a week.

VN: How do you use Tableau?

MF: Since Tableau arrived two years ago it has spread out from our team into pretty much every area of the WTSI. It’s now used in labs to track DNA samples as they process through our sequencing facility, in Cancer and Mouse Genetic teams to analyse experimental data. It is used to report on IT systems and our Corporate, Finance and HR systems. In fact wherever there is data Tableau seems to be there.

VN: What has the impact been on your business?

MF: The speed at which we can now produce dashboards has increased dramatically so that now, providing the data is there producing a full interactive dashboard is a dream to do. People are able to ask questions of their data and get an answer in hours rather than weeks. Tableau Server has enabled us to share dashboards across the WTSI. We have lots of tracking databases spread across different machines and Tableau allows us to blend these datasources together to present a single datasource, something we couldn’t do before without a lot of behind the scenes coding.

VN: Who do you learn from in the Tableau community?

MF: Everyone. I’ve posted in the forums many time and been helped by a huge number of people. Twitter is great for help using the #tableau hashtag you get a wealth of help. I am constantly amazed by peoples generosity with their time to help fellow users out. That’s one of the real strengths of the community.

VN: In your opinion what should we be mindful of in the BI space going forward?

MF: Tableau works because is it quick, simple and powerful. The best visualisations carry that forward so avoiding the temptation to over complicate things is really important. Tableau allows people without an IT background interrogate their data with an ease they have never had before, keeping this simple is the key to Tableaus continued success.

VN: Could you give me an interesting non-work fact about yourself?

MF: When I’m not building vizzes I like to take photos. Mostly landscapes with the occasional portrait, I have two young models that don’t keep still.

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Enjoyed that, thanks a lot Matt. Look forward to seeing more of your expert presentations at upcoming events.

Regards, Paul

Blog on…

So we’re 3 and a bit months in to this whole big, crazy blogging experiment.

I’ve still not quite figured out what this all means to me. You know – what it actually means to me as a person. To my career, to my family and to what I’m trying to do. The truth is I don’t really know what I’m trying to do, something that I was worried about initially. Surely I need a purpose, a strategy, dare I say it even a mission statement? That shit is essential isn’t it?

A few weeks ago I attended the Tableau Google Hangout, where several key bloggers (@vizwizbi, @pgilks, @dataremixed, @jeweloree, @vizbizwiz, @vizcandy ) hosted a session where they all discussed what blogging means to them, their approaches and other stuff around that subject. The key sentiment seemed to be that most of them started their blog for themselves, either as a kind of diary or repository of how they’ve accomplished BI related tasks. It seemed that they all had a fairly freestyle approach, with enjoyment being the key motivation. I expected they’d all be super serious and regimented in their blogging approach, I mean how else can they generate that brilliant content? That certainly wasn’t the vibe though. You know what – they’re just like you and I. They want people to like their stuff, they get a bit upset at the trolls and nasty people, and they all took ages to get started and build the confidence to be able to express themselves in public. And they all get a thrill when the community shows them some love for their content.

All this made me feel that hey I can succeed, and I do have something to offer. Tableau is such a big subject it’s impossible to be an expert on all areas. Pick your niche and be an expert on that, but do branch out and explore new avenues. Give your opinion, and enjoy giving credit when someone else does something superb.

I’ll be honest. I was bricking it when I decided to start this blog. It took me weeks to publish my first post, and then I sat glued to the page stats, praying for those numbers to start increasing. No-one’s gonna read this I thought. And if they do they’ll hate it. Then people did start reading it. And then I got a few Twitter followers. And then a few direct messages. And then some quite nice comments. Then some shout-outs from Tableau Zen Masters…. Hold on… What’s happening here? Then more followers….

So I posted some more, feeding off the feedback and love, growing in confidence all the time. And the hits kept coming.. Then I started getting asked to speak at conferences, and then a couple of job offers. The job offers were interesting, no interview – it was “I’ve seen your blog and I love it, you wanna come and work for me?”.

And that all fuels the fire. The more love you get back, the more enjoyable it gets. And the more enjoyable it is, the more the quality of content improves with your growing confidence. It’s kind of a non-vicious circle. Before I knew it the ideas for content came flooding into my head. I think my list is now over 100 items for future posts.

I’ve recently managed to meet up with a number of the community that I’d only interacted with online. And it felt strange. In a good way. It felt like I was interacting with a community of friends rather than a group of work colleagues. I’m staggered at the togetherness of the BI & Tableau community. To the point that when we did have a minor trolling incident, it came as a real shock to the system, such is the infrequency of encountering such attitudes. 

I’m stunned where I’ve managed to get to in 3 months. Ben Jones pinged me a message saying that if anyone had dropped out of the Google Hangout then I was in line to replace them. That was some compliment. 

I’ve been wondering how to quantify just how much I’m having fun. I guess there are a couple of moments that give me that answer.

The first was a comment one evening from my wife, who remarked “I’ve not seen you this passionate about work in 10 years”. – “Quiet love, I’m about to publish a viz of the best pinball tables!” may have been my reply, but the comment was appreciated anyway. 

And the second was the shoulder surgery that I had a few weeks ago. Now I’m a bit of a wimp when it comes to, well when it comes to people slicing me open with a knife! – cos that’s what it is. So I was more than a little apprehensive about the procedure. But when it came to game time my only worry was that I wouldn’t be able to use Tableau for a few days! It really was. And to keep myself occupied in hospital I took along a copy of Dan Murray’s book. You can keep the man away from Tableau, but you can’t keep Tableau away from the man. Or something like that.

That told me I was onto something really special here and long may it continue.

Regards, Paul