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UIS enterprise Tableau server reveals the power of collaboration

University Information Services (UIS) successfully migrated three campuses and the Procurement Service Center to the enterprise version of Tableau, saving the University of Colorado close to $1 million. Despite numerous challenges, teamwork and collaboration ultimately enabled the migration of 1,757 dashboards and 77,901 users without any issues for users.

The overall goal was to migrate all campus Tableau servers to a common server and vendor contract, said Milap Sharma, UIS assistant vice president of service delivery. “To accomplish that, we needed understanding and consensus for the project from all the different campus stakeholders. Once we achieved that, we were able to merge all campus and department contracts into a single Tableau contract across CU, and in the process, secured a five-year price lock and discounts that add up to almost $1 million in savings for the university.”

Sharma described the deployment as one of the most complex projects he’s seen. The project’s enormity led to increased collaboration and innovations that will be used in future projects, including a new process to enable affiliate populations to log in to a CU-managed system. The team also created new processes to manage users and groups.

Lisa Damboise, the assistant director of Data & Business Intelligence and the UIS product owner for Tableau, sees the project’s success as “a testament to the amazing things we can accomplish as a unified university.”

“This project laid the foundation for UIS to propose new solutions that incorporate efficient processes and roles to reduce redundancy, centralize regulations and create an integrated environment for developers to learn from one another and collaborate,” she said.

Tableau is a data visualization tool that can handle large amounts of data and robust analytics. By helping people see and understand data, Tableau helps organizations make more data-driven decisions. A Tableau server hosts and holds all shared Tableau workbooks, data sources and related data, keeping files secure and protected. The enterprise server enables users to publish and share data, with significant benefits and cost-savings for CU.

UIS looks forward to supporting the Tableau community in various ways, including support for upgrades, direct support to users, and more. This spring, UIS will launch a CU-wide Tableau User Group to facilitate conversations around best practices and user tips.

For more information about the project, visit the Tableau project website.

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