• Divya Malhotra

Managing and Organizing Users in Tableau Server

Some of our clients are struggling with managing their tableau server user groups. A lot of users are simply hanging out without actually utilizing the server whereas the server has multiple groups with various access levels that are hard to manage. With healthcare being different from a traditional corporation, in that they don't just have traditional departments like finance, marketing etc, but have operational departments and service lines such as Lab, Radiology and Nursing units that overlap with the functional departments seen in non-healthcare companies. This cross-functional overlap makes it hard to group users and manage access.


User Groups

Tableau defines groups as “sets of users who need the same type of access to content.” Managing User Groups can be a challenge for Tableau large scale deployments.

According to Tableau there are two ways to manage groups

· Local Groups- Created locally at the tableau Server level. Do not sync with the AD. All changes are done locally.

· Active Directory Groups- Created in the AD and imported to Tableau Server. All changes/deletions etc must be performed at the AD level.

Active directory is clearly recommended as it is easy to administer.


Group Creation

Tableau recommends that for each site there be a group of “Developers” and “Viewers” for each site

· Developers – develop and publish content like data analysts and Dashboard developers

· Viewers- consume and act on information like Manager, dept leaders etc.

The issue with large scale deployments is however that most large-scale deployments have too many users that have similar job responsibilities but over different departments. For example, a service line leader at the same “role-based” level, but their scope of responsibility is over different service lines. This presents a problem for hospitals and other healthcare provider organizations.

Creating groups based on users’ content needs for each project is another best practice followed by larger organizations. Create a Developer, Manager, Gen. User group for each project with differentiated permission levels.


Project based functional permission:

If your approach is to give access to all users across the organization, then creating a few basic user groups like VPs, Directors, Managers, General Users should suffice. However, if there is sensitive material that cannot be shared across departments, then the recommended course of action is to use Project-level permissions. However, with this approach, you run the risk of creating too many groups leading to a slightly chaotic permissions environment. To alleviate this, Tableau recommends organizing projects into Sites.


Projects vs. Sites

Tableau has a site feature that can be used if a more compartmentalized approach is to be used. Users can’t transfer content; all groups are site specific and data sources must be duplicated in case they need to be used on different sites.

However, if a user group is distinct and compartmentalized and uses a lot of resources/groups etc it might be a good idea to give them their own site.

If server space is not an issue creating sites can be a good option.


Advantages of a Multi-site Approach

Multi-site organization is generally better organized and best for compartmentalized data or isolated data sources.Site administrations can be assigned at the site level and keep access "clean".


Evaluating site organization and performance can be a daunting task but setting time aside to tackle this problem can lead to a more secure and efficient analytics environment. Contact info@purple-pivot.com if you would like to assess your analytics environment.

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