Today Tableau is one the most widely spread BI tools used for customer analysis. I believe everyone agrees on the fact that you can’t build your marketing or sales strategy without knowing your customers. During the last decades our understanding of marketing has drastically evolved. I think the following Seth Godin’s quote resumes in the best way the customer-oriented philosophy:

Don’t find customers for your products, find products for your customers.

Where you should start? How to proceed? What formulas to use? That’s why I’d like to propose you a series of articles on the customer analysis.

Key first step of your customer analysis

It may sound really obvious, but you should start with counting your customers. How many customers do you have? Are you getting new ones or losing the old ones ?

Let me show you how you should proceed.


As you can see we have a sharp increase in the customers’ number the last year, but what is exactly the percentage of this increase ? Tableau has a wonderful power to realize quick table calculations.

  1. Select CNTD(Customer Name) pill
  2. Press Ctrl and Drag and Drop it on the row shelf
  3. Right click on your new pill in order to select Quick Table Calculations


Thanks to these simple steps you got a double axis graph representing the number of your customers and their YoY (year over year growth). Knowing that we have our three Product Categories, we can expect them to be organized as separate business units and we all know the equation:

Business Unit=Business Unit’s Manager+ Business Units Manager’s Bonus

Thus, we can expect some questions concerning each Business Unit’s performances. Tableau makes it really simple! Just a simple double click on the Product Category Dimension is sufficient!

Even though it’s definitely not the most beautiful graph you’ve ever seen, nevertheless, it answers our major questions.

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