Getting Started With Tableau Accelerators

Table of Contents

What are Tableau Accelerators?

Tableau Accelerators are pre-built dashboards, developed by industry experts, that cover a range of functional and departmental use cases. Instead of creating a dashboard from scratch, users can simply match their data to their Accelerator’s data fields. The Accelerators are built using a simulated dataset with the required data fields specified upfront, making it easy for users to identify the data required for their organisation. By using Accelerators, users can quickly gain data-driven insights and focus on analysing their data instead of spending time building dashboards.

How do I use Tableau Accelerators?

Accelerators can be utilised using three steps:

  1. Search for a suitable Accelerator on the Tableau Exchange.
  2. Clean and prepare your data to match the required fields of the Accelerator.
  3. Map your prepared data to the Accelerator.

In this blog post, we will go through these steps using a use case of an Insurance Claim Accelerator.

Where do I find Tableau Accelerators?

Accelerators can be found within the Tableau Exchange which is a marketplace for dashboard extensions, connectors and accelerators created by Tableau and their partners. Within Tableau Exchange, you can browse and filter Accelerators based on connection type, language, features and categories.  

Each Accelerator will contain a description that includes the following sections:

1. An overview of the key insights provided by the Accelerator:

2. The business essentials addressed:

3. The KPIs included within the Accelerator:

4. The required fields and their data type:

Once a suitable Accelerator is selected it’s easy to kickstart the analysis. Simply download the Accelerator using the blue download button at the top right corner of the window.

Data Preparation

An essential step in using an Accelerator is to prepare your data to match the required fields. In our use case, we have three different tables stored across Excel (.xlsx) files. A preview of each table is shown below.

1. Agent table containing the names and business groups of agents working on insurance claims:

2. Claims table containing details of individual insurance claims:

3. Policy table containing details of the different policies held by clients:

Based on the required fields detailed in the Insurance Claims Accelerator, we know that all the necessary fields will have to be consolidated into one single table with the appropriate data types. We can use ETL tools, like Tableau Prep Builder or Alteryx to help us wrangle our data into our desired format.  

Below is an example of a Tableau Prep workflow to clean the data.

If you are interested in learning more about data preparation, here’s a blog post on Tableau Prep Builder vs Alteryx, two of the most popular data preparation tools in the market currently.

How to map data into Accelerators

After getting our cleaned dataset into a single table, it is time to map our data into the Insurance Claims Accelerator.  We can do this by editing the data source or using the Data Mapper if it is enabled in the Accelerator you have chosen. Data Mapper is an in-built feature that allows you to connect to your data and map the fields to those required for the Accelerator. It is only available in Tableau Desktop 2023.1 and for a limited number of Accelerators. For the Insurance Claims Accelerator, we will be using Method One as it does not have Data Mapping enabled.

Method 1: Editing the data source manually

  1. Open the Insurance Claims Accelerator and select the Data Source tab. In the Connections Pane, select ‘Add’ then connect to the cleaned data.

2. Double-click the logical table to access the physical table on the data source canvas. To replace the sample data, drag and drop the ‘cleaned_data’ sheet from the data source we just added onto the existing physical table.

3. In the Connections Pane, right-click the connection for the sample data and select ‘Remove’.

Method 2: Using the Data Mapper

  1. Open the Accelerator with Data Mapping enabled (E.g. HR Workforce Accelerator). The Data Mapper will automatically open. If the Data Mapper did not automatically open, go to the Data tab, and select ‘Open Data Mapper’.

Click ‘Get Started’.

2. On the Data Mapper assignment screen, select ‘Connect to Data’.

3. Use the Accelerator to connect to the file or cloud-based data you wish to use.

4. If your dataset consists of multiple tables, you must add data to the canvas so that Tableau can access the fields and map them to the Accelerator. Drag one or more tables or sheets to the data source canvas if you receive a prompt to set up your data. The data you add will be available to assign to the required fields. Ideally, we would combine the different tables into a single table outside of Tableau Desktop to avoid creating duplicated fields in Tableau Desktop.

5. After you have connected to your data, select the corresponding fields to map to the Accelerator. Hover over fields to see details about them.

For each field, select a field of the same data type from your data.

If you are unable to select a field from your data (i.e. the data fields are greyed out from the dropdown list) due to incorrect data type, you can change the data type of that field in the Data Source page under the Data Pane > Fields table.

6. The lower left indicator of the Data Mapper shows how many fields you’ve assigned. Once you’ve finished all your assignments, select ‘Replace Data’.

 

Note, the dashboards that depend on any fields that you don’t map will stop working. This is because when you replace the data, all sample data is deleted from the Accelerator, leaving these fields empty.

7. The Accelerator is now using your data. Verify the dashboards to ensure that the data was mapped as intended before closing the Data Mapper. Select ‘Make Changes’ to return to the assignment screen if you find errors in the data. Make your changes, then replace the data once more.

Benefits of using Accelerators

Accelerators are easy to use and save time

Accelerators help elevate the data analysis experience as data can be added to a pre-built dashboard easily and quickly. Accelerators can assist in answering business questions within the industry and provide standard industry metrics so that relevant KPIs can be tracked and improved. 

For example, the Insurance Claims Accelerator provides users with a breakdown of the different claim categories by amount, allowing the company to respond quickly by changing underwriting policies and increasing the capacity of their claims processing to meet customer needs.

Another insight from the Insurance Claims Accelerator is the number of claims closed per month broken down by agent group. This allows the company to identify which agent group handles the largest volume of claims and how efficiently they are handling them. That information can help the company to allocate resources more efficiently to optimise its claims handling process and ultimately improve the customer experience by ensuring a timely claim resolution.

Accelerators are customisable to fit specific needs

After mapping the Accelerator with your data, you can also upload the Accelerator to Tableau Cloud to cater to different needs in your organisation.

Firstly, having your Accelerator on Tableau Cloud allows you to share the dashboard with other users in your organisation. Users can then access the key KPIs easily and derive insights to make business decisions from the Accelerator themselves.

Secondly, the Ask Data feature in Tableau Cloud lets users type any question using natural language and get an answer in the form of a visualisation automatically generated by Tableau. This is especially useful for business users who do not know how to use Tableau, or when they want a quick answer to a business question.

Accelerators can also be customised, by building new charts to answer other business questions not answered by the original Accelerator template or add more details that may be useful for your end users.

Summary

In short, Accelerators complement the features of Tableau and help users speed up their insights by allowing them to focus on analysing data over building dashboards. Accelerators can assist in answering crucial business questions and provide standard industry indicators for measuring and improving relevant KPIs, enabling companies to respond quickly to evolving market needs.

Contact Us

Check out our very own Tableau Accelerator on HR Planning here! Feel free to reach out if you need help with Accelerators or implementing Tableau dashboards.