Analyse the world the way we use it, a Tableau solution

It’s important that we analyse the world the way we use it. Not in straight lines or how the crow flies, otherwise our decisions won’t be accurate.

Everybody knows the slogan ‘Every Journey Matters’. And we agree, every journey taken does matter but what is most important to us is how accurately that journey is taken, to inform better decisions.

We are accustomed to seeing circular radius’s around a central point to show us how far we can reach using distance and if we increase (or decrease) the time then the radius increases (or decreases) accordingly.

However, the reality is that if you were to walk (or drive) for 20 mins from your house in all the available different directions and noted the results, it most definitely would not be a circular radius. It would look something more like the below because we don’t move in straight lines. As people and businesses, we are dependent on the road network, speed profiles and transport connections. Different modes of transport and peak / off peak times will also ensure we see variations in the end result.

Where we can reach and how long sounds simple but for businesses it’s a difficult task to accomplish with a lot of data and a lot of different questions. For example — best place to open a coffee shop based on a certain walking distance, ideal new office depending on all employees time to travel, reachable population density within certain driving time to nearest hospital, train or stations reachable within journey time, thousands of point of interests reachable within a certain journey time from origin, route optimisation planning for couriers during peak n off peak etc

All these examples can’t easily be analysed today using Tableau and to achieve the same outcome, organisations have been using specialist GIS teams or external consultancies like ours to answer simple business questions. Regardless of who, multiple services and tools (Esri, Altryx etc) are used to create accurate journey times in silos separated from the remaining organisational data that gives the business question more meaning. For example, it’s great to see number of same brand coffee shops which overlap within 15 min of walking time to see if there is opportunity for consolidation but not being able to see revenue could mean closing the wrong store. If you have an awesome team, outcomes of the GeoSpatial analysis are then imported into Tableau to join with other datasets for comparative analysis so informed decisions can be made.

Result: slow velocity to business questions, data in silos and no democratisation of GeoSpatial analysis.

Don’t get me wrong, Tableau in the recent years have invested significantly in spatial features and recently introduced support for GeoSpatial data sourcesBuffer and Area calculation. Unlocking number of use cases for customers to solve some of the business problems but for a lot of use cases customers use alternative tools to accomplish a lot of the mentioned examples above.

We just couldn’t bare it, and this is where Eqolines for Tableau comes in. We wanted Tableau users to be able to answer geographical questions without having to move data or be dependant on specialist resources.

Using Eqolines, Tableau users can now calculate thousands upon thousands locations very, very fast using OSM data or proprietary data from Here Technologies. So fast in fact that you can create ad hoc requests based on different travelling parameters over and over again in an instant, either to analyse within Tableau desktop (Tableau prep coming soon) or embed part of your dashboard to Tableau Server / Online and give self-service access to all your business users so they can ask questions themselves. We truly wanted to democratise GeoSpatial analysis to organisations who use Tableau without having to use multiple tools and services, which not only costs a lot but slows the organisation down.

Embedded within the technology is the ability to take into account factors eg: One way streets that you find in towns and cities, peak / off peak traffic, population density and much more that we will cover weekly going forward.
Using the excellent Tableau Dashboard Extension Gallery we have made extension available as a quick and easy download. And as if that wasn’t enough, we’ve made the path of selecting your data source that you want to create spatial analysis on as seamless as possible as Connect, Create and Collaborate.
Using Excel or any Tableau supported sources that has Location, Latitude and Longitudes, you can be up and running in no time at all. The Eqolines team were obsessed over the ease of use to create a no code solution so it’s easy adopt for the Tableau analyst and business users to directly ask questions from it.
There are number of use cases that Eqolines can assist with, some of these we have captured in >Our Eqolines extension comes pre-packaged with following features all in one

Over the coming weeks, we will explain capability for each feature in detail. Stay tuned by subscribing to our newsletter. Would love to hear any feedback, please reach out to our team if you have ideas or how can improve our service.