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Tableau and Capacity Planning – “What if” Analysis

Troy Hogan of the Enterprise Data and Analytics (EDA) team was kind enough to share one of the ways he and his team are getting value from Tableau doing “What If” analysis on how they spend their time.

The EDA Capacity Planning team gained great efficiencies in our quarterly work planning process by using Tableau reporting.

The team enters our team member’s resource estimates into an Excel pivot table. We used conditional formatting on the pivot table to highlight any resources that reached (or are near) capacity for a month.

This worked well, but using Tableau has allowed us to ask “what if” questions in quarterly planning to confirm our work commitments. By importing the data from the Excel pivot table into Tableau, we can now explore how committing to different “work areas” impacts our quarterly capacity.

To help show this, below is a Tableau dashboard that represents our “keep the lights on” work areas for the quarter. One can see that many of our team’s resources have extra capacity for this quarter (note that full capacity is 160 hours/month).

Keep the lights on dashboard

The next dashboard below, shows our work commitments for the quarter added to our “keep the lights on” commitments.

Keep the lights on plus additional work commitments

The team was able to select various “work areas” to talk through and see impacts of committing to different areas for the quarter.

From a meeting perspective, I had an hour meeting scheduled to confirm the quarterly commitments, with the expectation that we would have to schedule an additional meeting. I’m not sure if it was entirely because of the Tableau reporting, but we finished this meeting within 30 minutes!