Alation and Tableau: From Data Rich to Data Driven

By Matt Turner

Published on May 3, 2022

Group of young individuals in an office setting researching how to be data driven.

In a couple of weeks (May 17–19) the Alation team joins one of our favorite data events of the year: Tableau Conference 2022.

The energy that the #DataFam brings to the world of data is unmatched — and dedicated to solving one of the biggest problems we all have with data today: Getting data to everyone and empowering them to become data driven.

Tableau Conference logo

For this hybrid event, the Alation team focused on how Alation and Tableau, working together, can help you transform from being data rich (having a lot of data) to data driven (actually being able to put that data into action).

Mind the (Data Accessibility) Gap

Data is more accessible than ever. Although we don’t live in a perfect data world, data teams throughout nearly every industry have made progress breaking down data silos and moving data to the cloud to take advantage of new capabilities.

Drake’s meme with puffer jacket but with him saying no to “merely having data” vs. him saying yes to “actually leveraging data

Yet there’s still an alarming gap between finding data… and using it. A recent IDC report found that “people are still spending 70% of their time searching for, preparing, and protecting data.” Note the mention of still: We’ve heard about this gap for years, and this report, issued in 2021, highlights how much work there is still to do.

The result? With every report or analysis, a huge amount of the effort is one-and-done. The next action duplicates that same effort, all because people don’t have the tools to truly find trusted data and collaborate to reuse work.

And this gap has real-world consequences — maybe even existential consequences. At last year’s Tableau Conference, Clive Benford, Data Office Director at Jaguar Land Rover summed up his organization’s data-embracing strategic direction: “If you’re not data driven, you won’t be around in 20 years.”

Alation’s own State of Data Culture report found there are also more immediate consequences. Nearly all data leaders responding in the report (97%) said their company has “faced negative consequences due to ignoring data.”

Data for Everyone!

The answer? Focus on narrowing the gap between having data and empowering people to use it. In the 2021 BARC Data Culture Survey, co-founder Carsten Bange wrote that “No single company can purchase their way to data-driven decisions and processes,”and noted that without addressing this bigger issue, “the data strategy of CDOs, CIOs and data teams runs into what feels like a brick wall.”

Tableau CEO Mark Nelson agrees. In Nelson’s keynote at the 2021 Tableau Conference, he said, “Building a data culture is critical to get to the outcomes you need.”

Tableau has transformed how people think about BI. It’s no longer creating reports but empowering people to see data, understand it and make decisions. Tableau also makes it possible to have as many people as possible access data and create those interfaces.

Alation ensures you can understand the data behind those reports, can search across all your data, and — with enterprise-wide data governance — can trust how data is used. We also allow you to collaborate and share your work.

How Alation and Tableau Work Together

Using Alation and Tableau together, everyone can:

Quickly find and trust reports and underlying data within Tableau and beyond.

The Alation Data Catalog lets everyone see where data comes from and how it is being used — even tracing lineage to Tableau workbooks.

Use data properly.

Alation provides active data governance to allow everyone to see how they can use data, determine whether data needs to be protected, and chart a path to trusted and up-to-date data. Alation integrates with Tableau to help manage workbooks and data sources based on their status and provides automation to make sure analysts and data stewards stay in sync.

Collaborate for reuse.

Alation grants enterprise access to trusted data and assets, including Tableau dashboards. Teams can find work that is currently isolated in separate Tableau instances, reuse them, and collaborate to improve them.

We’re not done! Coming very soon, Alation will deliver a Tableau Online connector. As Tableau CDO Wendy Turner-Williams says, “​​Through the new Tableau Online integration, Alation not only helps customers govern Tableau content within Alation, but also allows metadata to be exchanged and recorded in the Tableau Catalog for all Tableau users within the organization.”

See You at Tableau Conference 2022!

Alation and Tableau unite to help everyone working with data — not just analysts, IT, and data engineers — access trusted data, build a data culture, and go from data rich to data driven.

Want to unlock the power of data analytics and cultivate a data culture?Join us — live in Las Vegas or online — on Tuesday, May 17–19, at Tableau Conference (TC22) for an unparalleled learning and networking experience that will push your data expertise to its full potential!

  • Mind the (Data Accessibility) Gap
  • Data for Everyone!
  • How Alation and Tableau Work Together
  • See You at Tableau Conference 2022!
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