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Business Intelligence for Workfront

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Level 10
Hi, Our reporting needs are increasing and I'm now starting to look into business intelligence / specialised reporting solutions. Ideally I want to be able to connect Workfront as an automated data source (no manual data collection and upload into the BI tool). A cloud-based solution is my preference. I am aware of Domo but don't have much experience with it. I believe others use Tableau but it doesn't appear to have a connector for Workfront. Microsoft Power BI looks nice but also doesn't have a Workfront connector as far as I know. Anyways, I'm keen to hear what others in the community use for BI reporting with Workfront! Thanks David Cornwell
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Level 10
Hi David, We're right now getting our developers to dump data via the API into a database which we can then hook into a BI tool of our choice; that's a pretty standard way of connecting data to these tools and it means we don't have to rely on availability of a connector. Kind regards, Jamie Jamie Hill JLL EMEA

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Level 1
Hi David, While my team is just beginning to explore this as well, at LEAP this past April a team from Charles Schwab mentioned how they connect Workfront to Tableau by using an API to connect Workfront data to a SQL Server database. They then simply connect Tableau to that data source to generate reporting. They even mentioned that that the API call could be targeted at specific fields you would like to pull into the database. I unfortunately don't have the presenter's names, but I'm sure you could find their talk in the LEAP archives. -Steve

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Level 1
Hi David We are a technical partner who have done many custom reporting using Office Tools and now working on a Power Bi solution. I would be interested to have a chat with you and understand what you are trying to accomplish. Thanks Idriss Bennis - Dream2Design Dream2Design.com

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Level 6
We use Tableau for most of our reporting. For most of our applications, we have a direct Tableau hookup, which allows for real-time data, without any manual intervention. As you know, Workfront does not hook up to Tableau so easily. We use a manual export of Workfront to a spreadsheet, and then we use that as a datasource in Tableau. In Workfront, make a report of every field you could possibly need in a Tableau report. Export that report as a spreadsheet. In Tableau, go to Data > New Data Source. Usually the second tab of the spreadsheet is cleaner than the first, so we use that one. If you already have an existing Workfront Data Source in Tableau: Go to Data > Replace Data Source. (If your columns are named the same, your relationships with other Data Sources and calculated fields will be preserved) It's certainly not ideal, but it's what we've got right now.

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Level 10
Thanks everyone for your responses. I have been flat out this week and no time to investigate further or respond in a meaningful way. Hopefully next week! David Cornwell

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Level 10
Hi Vincent, If you don't mind me asking, what kind of data are you reporting on in Tableau? Assuming you've got data in multiple tables from various kinds of objects (users, assignments, tasks, projects) how are you linking the data? Via Joins or Blends, or both? I've been experimenting with both of the above and finding that joins are generally more powerful but you then end up with duplicated records and then have to start using complex Level of Detail expressisons. Blending is simpler but not as useful when you need related data from other data sources. I think the visualisations look pretty straight-forward, but it is getting the underlying data structured correctly that is tricky! Cheers David Cornwell

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Level 3
We just signed up with Domo after an extensive evaluation. The built-in connector to Workfront and the ease of connecting additional objects (using their development team turn around time was less than 24 hours for the two I requested) made the decision even easier. In an earlier post, I believe someone asked about custom fields. As far as custom fields, you just need to identify which custom fields you want it to bring in using the standard nomenclature DE:parameter in the "dataset". During our initial introduction, they provided a great sample platform that shows data aggregation at the portfolio, project, task and issue levels. The visualization methods (including gantt charts, word clouds, and treemaps) allowed us to take our Workfront data and present the data in the way that we needed to. I have used tableau extensively in the past. In my opinion, Domo provides an easier interface to manipulate and flatten data with less programming or SQL knowledge. While we are in the initial stages of implementation, I am excited about where this can take us. Dale Whitchurch Arthrex Inc

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Level 6
David, We're not that sophisticated yet. We're not doing any joining/blending between multiple Workfront datasources. Right now, I'm just using one Workfront spreadsheet export and then I blend it with other data sources in our organization. Depending on the situation & Tableau report needed, I have different Workfront reports/tables that I export. I'm usually using Assignment-based reports, because 1) they capture both tasks & issues and 2) you can more report on individuals when multiple people are assigned to the same issue/task -- but Assignment-based reports aren't effective for getting raw counts of the number of issues/tasks because they sometimes double-count requests. So it's a challenge to figure out what Workfront report I need for each purpose. Your comments about linking data has got me thinking I could be doing more. For example, I've been making elaborate Tableau calculated fields to incorporate user data, but I could totally pipe in a User Report. Thank you for that. -- Also, Data Blending in Tableau can get tricky. I've seen null values can make certain requests disappear. It sometimes takes some trial & error to figure out which datasource should be the primary. VRG Vincent Goodwin