Why Tableau?

Data CaptureOur enterprise is capturing data at an ever-increasing rate. What can we learn  from it? How can we communicate what we find? Enter Tableau.

This data visualization and analysis tool allows users to:

« Combine data from multiple sources

« Discover patterns and trends

« Find correlations and outliers

« Present findings in interactive dashboards and stories

And it does so with speed and ease of use that few tools can match. Tableau excels at communicating complex information in an easy-to-understand format. 

Potential Uses

Tablet« Compare metrics between AU and selected peer institutions

« Visualize survey responses versus student academic performance data

« Track research awards and expenditures

« Trend growth in faculty productivity

« Identify, establish and monitor Key Performance Indicators

« Benchmark operational processes against past performance 

Why Tableau Server?

Recently, Institutional Research launched analytics.augusta.edu, powered by Tableau Server. Tableau Desktop users can now share their visualizations with relevant audiences across the enterprise via this web-based, mobile-ready platform.

Tableau ExampleThere is no cost to access Tableau Server through your web browser or the Tableau mobile app (available on iOS and Android devices). Creating visualizations requires purchase of a Tableau Desktop license via the ITS Technology Store. You can take a 14-day test drive of Tableau Desktop to see if it's right for you. 

The IR Analytics Team can also advise on whether Tableau or Tableau Server is a good fit for your needs.

If you're ready to publish to Tableau Server, the IR Analytics team is your point of contact for setting up user accounts, user groups, and folders ("projects") for securing and selectively sharing your visualizations. We are also available to consult on best practices for structuring and visualizing data, and can provide appropriate access to institutional data resources hosted in Tableau Server. 

How Do I Learn More?

Tableau Quick Start Guide

Tableau has a wealth of free training resources, including videos and a quickstart guide.

Email us!

Once you have identified some potential visualizations, email the IR analytics team at analytics@augusta.edu for a consultation!



What Tableau Doesn't Do

 While Tableau can address many analysis needs, it's not appropriate for:

  • Casual engagement - Tableau is user-friendly and can be used almost immediately, but creating certain complex visualizations takes time and knowledge of the software. You will benefit most by dedicating effort to learn the opportunities Tableau presents.
  • Data lists - Tableau focuses on bringing data together for visualization, not extraction for use in other tools.
  • Data entry - Tableau connects to databases, spreadsheets, text files, web services, and other sources to produce output. Look to other tools to create your data! 
  • Fixing data issues - Tableau is helpful in highlighting existing data issues, and may be able to work around some of them when reporting, but it cannot fix or replace the source data. 
  • "Pixel perfect" printed output - Tableau is built primarily for displays where users can click and touch their way to insight. Tableau is less suited to printable, static output than other tools, such as Word or Illustrator.
  • Advanced statistical analysis - Tableau provides some basic trending and forecasting tools, but it won't replace SAS or SPSS. Tableau can consume SAS, SPSS, and R output, and even pass data to and from R.