For me, Tableau is not just about whiz-bang dashboards and an awesome user experience. I use Tableau for a lot more than just its intended purpose of interactively exploring data.
I use Tableau to create tables and graphics for reports and presentations just about every day. I have lost count of the tables and figures I have created using Tableau (it is in the thousands!). These tables and figures have been created from well over 1500 individual Tableau workbooks over the past 7 years.
Not only are there individual worksheet-based figures, there are dashboard figures. There are figures with actual client data and then there are intentionally-obfuscated figures. There are iterations of figures used to find the right digital projection settings and there are draft figures and final figures. There are Tableau figures galore in my recent past!
As I look back in time, I wish that I would have been able to document the original sources for all these figures (and tables).
Although I have been able to maintain a good memory with respect to my work through the years, it is not possible for me to instantly recall the Tableau workbook from which a particular graphic originated. As time passes, it becomes even more difficult to trace the figures back to their original Tableau workbooks. This problem is an ongoing issue for me as I try to revisit work completed in the distant and not-so-distant past.
Tableau simply needs to implement an automated way for us to tag figures with important information such as time, date, file name, file path, author, data source, etc, as shown in the example documentation block in Figure 1. In this example, an annotation block has been added to the figure to aid in the identification of workbook, worksheet, author and date of publication.
Tableau just needs to implement something like Excel uses to stamp headers or footers, or simply to implement an automatically generated documentation block like the one shown in Figure 1. Alternately, Tableau could choose to add these documentation features to the caption. There just has to be a way given to us to connect the figures back to their sources. At this time, this is a glaring weakness of the software but it is an option that could easily be added. Of course all of this is just my opinion, but these thoughts are based on a huge amount of experience in trying to find original workbooks based on looking at a figure!
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