If modern business data is a river, then traditional enterprise business intelligence is a bucket. Sure, you can pull some valuable and reliable insights at regular intervals that will help you take the pulse of what’s going on day to day, but there’s a much larger percentage of valuable insight that’s just going to wash by. That’s why having a complementary data discovery strategy is so important: it helps you be where you need to be in that flood to catch what’s most relevant to your current business concerns. One of the ways Ironside is helping our clients get to this level of self-service flexibility is by becoming a Tableau partner.
Tableau Software helps people see and understand data. Used by more than 19,000 companies and organizations worldwide, Tableau delivers fast analytics, visualization, and rapid-fire business intelligence. This emphasis on usability and speed coupled with the stability of Tableau’s products are some of the reasons Ironside is excited to offer their tools as a data discovery option for our clients.
Tableau’s deployment options, ease of use, and data integration capabilities make it well-suited to many use cases:
- Quick, free spot solution for on-the-fly experimentation and answers in different lines of business
- High-value visualization and dashboard display formats for fast data consumption and presentation
- Mode 2 data discovery module tied to a traditional enterprise BI platform
- On-prem or cloud-based central analytics server for secure, shareable analytics insights organization-wide
- Ad hoc data integration and acceleration through preconfigured connections and in-memory architecture
- Mobile dashboard and visualization interactivity for results anywhere and increased user adoption
“In this era of bimodal analytics, our customers have long been asking us to guide them towards the promise of data discovery and exploration. Through our partnership with Tableau, we enhance our ability to deliver. In fact, we’re already engaged in a large Tableau initiative and see opportunity for many more. Tableau compliments our other competencies and strengthens the solutions we offer our customers.”
– Scott Misage, Director, Business Intelligence, Ironside
How It Works
Tableau is a great fit for meeting different levels of organizational need around data discovery fast. The initial setup will typically take no longer than a day. This means you can start seeing value out of Tableau at the pace of your business questions, unlike many traditional BI installations. Users being able to begin accessing data and building analyses on a shorter timeframe leads to better flexibility when addressing new and changing organizational priorities. Tableau also provides free trial versions of its three core products and a free app and online version, so it’s easy to experiment with the toolset of your choice and see if it would make sense on a wider scale.
With Tableau implemented in your environment, you can start pulling data from local, public, and network sources. Tableau supports a wide variety of different information formats in its enterprise-level platforms, including relational databases, data warehouses, big data structures, flat files, and web feeds. It can also make information from these sources available in-memory for faster performance using its Data Engine storage system.
After your data connections are established, you can start rapidly building out dashboards and visualizations in Tableau’s intuitive drag-and-drop interface. The framework supporting this development space allows you to blend data sources and adjust metadata as you go, integrating information from different locations and formats.
When you get to a visualization or dashboard that meets your needs, you can then share it out to your organization for widespread insights and collaboration. Anyone viewing this output can dynamically select portions of the display and filter or drill down to look at details relevant to them.
“Tableau is a tool that organizations of any size or complexity can incorporate into their BI strategy and roadmap to meet the business demands of agility and autonomy. Whether used as a standalone analytics solution or paired with a more traditional BI tool, Tableau provides a platform that enables data exploration, prototyping, and the rapid time to insight that often cannot be attained through the use of traditional tools alone. We at Ironside look forward to partnering with our clients to not only help define where Tableau fits strategically into their roadmap, but also to provide the technical expertise to help them implement that strategy.”
– Crystal Meyers, BI Engagement Manager, Ironside
How You Benefit
Tableau complements Ironside’s existing best-of-breed technology partnerships by bringing their class-leading capabilities to bear to satisfy the increasing need for data discovery solutions we’re seeing across the enterprise. Being a Tableau partner lets us bring several strategic benefits to our clients and partners in this area:
- Integrating data discovery with existing systems. Tableau is very integration-friendly, and its different platform levels mean you can right-size it to fit within or alongside a traditional, mode 1 BI environment if you’re using one. This means you’ll keep all the advantages of your verified, governed core data and regular reports while adding adaptability to new information and situations. You’ll also be able to boost usability through Tableau’s highly visual, exploration-oriented outputs.
- Creating assets people want to use. Half the battle with BI is giving people results they can understand quickly, and Tableau excels at this. Beyond just letting you easily produce visualizations and dashboards, it also creates a positive user experience for the consumers viewing those outputs. Any displays you create in Tableau are interactive and embeddable, meaning consumers can focus on their priorities and see the metrics they rely on in the locations that make the most sense for them, like within Salesforce, as part of a PowerPoint presentation, or on a web page.
- Promoting cross-functional collaboration. Data discovery solutions give stakeholders from your different business units the power to interact with information on their own, letting them integrate and experiment with new sources while keeping IT free to maintain data quality standards and manage the master data that forms the core of your organization. This means business can go get its own insights and then IT can verify against vetted sources rather than business putting in requests every time any new variables get introduced.
“Ironside as a company brings 17 years of expertise in data and analytics to every engagement. They’re adept at uncovering the use cases that resonate most with their clients’ specific business goals and can craft insightful, tailored roadmaps that show the full potential of each client’s whole analytics infrastructure. What’s even better is that they can follow that advisory work up with action, helping our customers to implement their ideal analytics environments. These are just a few of the reasons we consider Ironside a valuable Tableau partner.”
– Michael Hoff, Vice President, Channel Sales, Tableau
Next Steps: Ironside as Your Tableau Partner
As a Tableau partner, Ironside can fully support your Tableau environment at any level and enrich it with other complementary technologies and processes. Our areas of expertise include:
- Strategic analytics advisory plans designed around your goals
- Analytics platform management, hosting, installation, and configuration
- Data source integration, creation, and management
- Sophisticated visualization, dashboard, and solution development
- Enhancement and extension of BI results with predictive analytics and data science
- Expert remote analytics development and migration service from Ironside consultants
- Tableau training through Ironside Education Services
If you think Tableau would be a good fit for your organization, Ironside can help. We’ll get you all the information you need to be successful, set you up with the Tableau platform that matches your needs best, and help you start down the road to stunning visualizations and dashboards. We look forward to supporting you as you explore this powerful set of analytics resources.