What you will need to complete this activity:
Downloaded and installed client-version of Tableau v8.0
For instructions on installing Tableau for this semester see: Tableau Instructions under Course Resources
Module 1 Activity Data Set (Excel format): Tableau#1-Medical-Sales.xlsx
Help learning to use Tableau, use the self-paced Tableau training materials: www.tableausoftware.com/learn/training (Links to an external site.)
Appropriate word processing software to produce business report and reflective essay (see below). Microsoft Word is recommended, but any tool that can produce MS Word (.doc) output will be fine including Googledocs or other open-source tools.
You are working in the sales management area for a medical supplied distributor with headquarters in Memphis, Tennessee. This organization (Mid-South Medical Inc. / MSMI) serves an eleven (11) state region in the Southeast United States. From a sales perspective, each state is divided into multiple regions with an assigned regional sales manager. Note that a given sales manager may cover more than one region within a given state.
The CEO has called for a quarterly sales update meeting with all of the regional managers and has asked for a short company-wide sales update report that can be used as an outline for the meeting discussion. Your company has just licensed Tableau as a part of a newly-launched Business Intelligence strategy and this will be the first time anyone has used that software for a production issue within MSMI. Thus, the scope of this activity will be modest with the goal of getting acclimated to how a BI visualization tool can help in decision-making.
The data for this report has been extracted into Excel from the MSMIs accounting system in a summarized format and that Excel workbook will serve as the data source for this reporting activity. All the steps and information for completing this activity are provided below.
Purpose of the Activity (Learning Outcomes):
Learn how to download and install a typical client-based BI visualization tool in this case Tableau.
Use the self-paced online training material provided by Tableau to learn the basics of operating Tableau for basic business data analysis as well as subsequent activities in this course.
Produce a short business report using Tableau as an analysis tool and use the output of that analysis to provide important decision-making information for use by organizational leadership.
Further integrate your learning experience in this activity through the production of a short reflective essay.
What you will need to produce and submit:
There will be three (3) individual artifacts that you produce as a by-product of this:
The Tableau project workbook that you used to complete the analysis
The MSMI Sales Business Report that you will write up using visualization analysis produced using Tableau.
A short Module 1 Reflective Essay.
All three will need to be posted to the Module 1 Activity drop-box for assessment.
How you will be assessed:
Assessment Area
Pct of Score
Points (Max)
20 pts
Quality of content relative to requirements:
-Tableau Project Workbook
-Sales Report
-Reflective Essay
25 pts
25 pts
10 pts
Format and presentation: writing style, grammar, APA, etc.
20 pts
100 pts
Activity Assignment Details & Steps:
1) Install Tableau on an appropriate PC where you will conduct your analysis. To download and install, please follow the instructions in Tableau Instructions.
2) Dowload and save the data set (Excel format) for this Module: [mod1-Medical-Sales.xls]
You can store the activity data set anywhere you like, but remember the location for when you access it from Tableau to do the analysis.
3) View theTableau self-study modules through an internet browser. Note that you will need audio-output turned on so that you can hear the instructions. (Also accessible via the help pull-down menu from within the Tableau software.)
URL: http://www.tableausoftware.com/learn/training?build=8000.13.0825.0947&edition=pro&lang=en-us&version=8.0 (Links to an external site.).
You should review at least these four modules:
(1) Getting Started, (2) Working with Data, (3) Analyzing, and (4) Formatting. (Links to an external site.)
4) Use Tableau to conduct the following analysis of the activity dataset you downloaded in a previous step (Mod1-Medical-Sales.xls). You should produce at least the following report:
Tabular report of Gross Sales by State and Region.
You should have four columns across the top that include: State, Region, Sales Manager, Gross Sales. Make sure the table is sorted in descending order such that the state and region with the highest gross sales is at the top and the lowest region is at the bottom.
Use this report to answer the following questions:
-What Region has the largest gross sales?
-Who is the manager of that region?
-What were their sales according to this report?
-What is the lowest performing region (in terms of gross sales)? What were their sales?
You can save or extract the tabular report in a form that can be included in the sales meeting report (below). Look under Worksheet / Export in the Tableau menu bar for export options.
Use this analysis to produce a short sales report for the upcoming quarterly meeting to be led by your CEO. The report should be 2-3 pages in length and include the following information:
Executive summary (one-half page)
Discussion of overall sales numbers highlighting the highest performing regions with specific sales figures included. You can use any criteria you like as an indicator of highest performing (top 50%, top 10%, etc.) but provide supporting discussion of your choice of cutoff indicator. (Hint: To get summary numbers, used the Analysis tool in the menu bar.)
Include a copy of the tabular summary report that you extracted and saved previously using Tableau.
Save this report in MS Word format with the name Mod1-Sales-Report (Your Name) and post to the Mod1 Drop-box area.
Be sure and include the Tableau project workbook as well in your drop-box posting. Use a name of Mod1-Sales-Workbook (Your Name).
Write a short (1-3 page) reflective essay on this activity addressing the following questions:
How useful is Tableau as a Business Intelligence Tool?
How easy (or difficult) was it to learn to use Tableau for the purposes of this activity?
How helpful were the self-paced training materials?
What was the most surprising thing you experienced in completing this activity?
What aspects of the course content (textbook, online readings, Tableau materials) were useful to you in completing the activity? (Use APA citation format to reference.)
The reflective essay should be in APA format including a cover page, narrative (body) with at least one APA compliant citation and an APA reference section.
Name this as Mod1-Reflective-Essay (Your Name) and submit in MS Word (or PDF) format.