My Viz-ion of Tableau’s Future: Salesforce’s Impact on the Brand, Community, and Product Application

This article is a speculative piece based on the thoughts of Adam Mico. They do not represent Keyrus or Tableau. There is no ‘inside info’ that contributed to this article.

My new job, recent training, and thoughts about the community made me think deeply about Tableau’s future. This is an era of change, and I don’t see our Tableau experience being the same. Although change is unnerving, I believe if we are prepared, it will ultimately be great for Tableau lovers worldwide. I’m effectively betting my livelihood on it.

Tableau is evolving. It’s not an isolated visual analytics tool any longer. It can’t be and survive long term. It HAS to be part of a bigger picture to have sustainable viability. It does mean that it will need to transform further to serve the Salesforce Customer 360 experience.

This isn’t a secret. It’s been publicly shared for a couple of years and covered at a very high level in this video:

Tableau’s integration with Salesforce and related products is key to its growth and future relevance. Tableau is one piece of many moving pieces to a bigger puzzle. Salesforce’s expansion and related acquisitions make its package even more desirable to businesses. Microsoft has its suite and it’s ‘fine’ for now, but Salesforce is adding so many quality pieces to its arsenal with better function and flexibility. As it’s scoping and fine-tuning its blend with associated products — there are so many plusses Salesforce already has over Microsoft.

Microsoft compiles many products that people are familiar with, but are lumped into a strange grab bag that feels like a completely different experience for each tool itself. When separate products work together well in the Microsoft 365 package, it feels more like a pleasant surprise or an Easter egg. On the other hand, Salesforce finds components that they know will fit and elevate the customer’s practice and are taking their time to fold in to make sure the parts fit as expected to continually improve the blend.

I’m postulating years from now, Tableau will be designed to blend so perfectly with its other tools, it will be difficult to see it as a separate piece of the Salesforce arsenal (besides branding as explained further).

This is a huge departure from the current Tableau experience, as many of us don’t work with other Salesforce tools, but it will be for the better. People are tired of clunky resources that require completely different skill sets to master. As these tools become more advanced in power and utility, the ‘spinning plates’ approach to combining these tools to produce something for the end-user will ultimately fail because it’s cumbersome, not scalable, and error-prone. It’s not cost-effective or sustainable. Piecemeal suites (like Microsoft 365) will go the way of paper files; Salesforce clearly understands this and is cleverly building a new standard.

  1. Salesforce is obviously committed to Tableau as its analytics visualizer as the tool is so much more advanced with the art of the possible when compared to other tools (including Salesforce dashboards). Per Marc Benioff, Salesforce sees Tableau as the 3rd cornerstone of digital transformation focusing on its capabilities for sharing analytics, visualization, and business intelligence.

Given my considerations of the product blending requirement, I don’t see the logic for separate Salesforce dashboards long-term. Salesforce clearly sees Tableau as the better data visualizer. At some point, it only makes sense that those Salesforce dashboards become what we know now as Tableau dashboards.

Having people highly skilled in Tableau will be key for employers as its role is expanding because of this integration, and am personally banking (as I just took a job highly dependant on the future viability of Tableau) on it even being more indispensable to businesses large and small.

2. Salesforce rebranded Einstein Analytics as Tableau CRM. It is a strong show of support that enforces Salesforce is committed to continuing to support Tableau as a premium Salesforce brand.

3. The community. Our community is unique and thriving. Marc understands this and since Salesforce’s acquisition, Salesforce has only supported community growth by offering massive resources to promote member initiatives that inspire transformative data visualization, social good, and inclusion. There are no signs of this letting up.

Tableau offers a ton of training to partners to help onboard partners to the Tableau way. Learning the Blueprint, Sales, Marketing, and other gamified partner offerings have been eye-opening and powerful.

This is the 1st partner job I’ve had and the vast resources shared to fall in and provide customers with a consistent and quality experience is stunning.

Besides that, I’ve been working on my knowledge of items that integrate with Tableau; namely Tableau CRM.

Tableau CRM or Einstein Analytics is such a remarkable tool, but for folks in our data community… it may freak people out because it’s not natively in Tableau… but the Trailblazer learning path (which is free and probably the strongest learning tool I’ve experienced), provides all the resources you need to get started. It also helps you navigate what (again for free) accounts you need to access and a step-by-step guide on how to deploy your 1st model with the brilliant data science teammate with sample data and everything. You can basically get enough knowledge under your belt in 1/2 a day to get rolling in the deep (learning) of Tableau CRM (apologies to Adelle).

Next week, I will be co-presenting on a webinar with three use cases (for Keyrus in partnership with Tableau) to share how Einstein Analytics and Tableau can produce incredible results via their desktop extension (and how well Tableau and Einstein play together on a dashboard). Spoiler alert, it’s super cool.

If you want to learn more about that, please register for the 6/2 event. If you can’t make it, it will be recorded and available on-demand.

Edit: Here is the recording.

Further, I’ve been vizzing like crazy updating vizzes on Keyrus’ Tableau Public profile. There is such great content prebuilt there from an advanced analytics perspective and it’s been super fun to revamp some of the look, interactivity, and overall design to blend modern design with standard business design. There’s been a great response on LinkedIn to these updates and proud to play a small part in that.

Four recent Keyrus makeovers

Even though it was the holiday weekend, it was great to hang out with our global friends monthly to see what everyone was up to. It was great to catch up with people as some (besides me) recently got exciting new jobs and roles we could share. You can sign up here to get your emailed invite to June’s Remo event!

Of course, there was a heavy heart as we lost one of our own, Lakshmi Narayana Syamala. If you can, please contribute.

Music Morsel

Pavement was one of my favorite bands of the 1990s (with some of the worst music videos). The live versions of their songs are even fueled with more chaos and vigor than the studio versions. “Unfair”. Their lyrics are irreverent — perfect for the era’s vibe.

Adam Mico

Twitter | LinkedIn | Tableau Public

Keyrus US’ Tableau Evangelist and Tableau Ambassador | Data Leadership Collaborative Advisory Board Member. | Views are my own | Co-Editor: Priya Padham