People commonly reach out directly to Ken and me for help with challenging Tableau problems. In many cases, Ken and I provide the help they need and are happy to do sowe love the challenge. However, one of the biggest hurdles we face when dealing with these questions is confidential business data. I'd say about 75% of the time, someone asks a very specific question that we can't answer without seeing the data. Unfortunately, since the data is for their business (and confidential), that person is unable to share the actual workbook or data sources with us. So we ask them to mock it up in Superstore, then they kick it back to us a few days later.  We get a solution, but then the user must take the solution (which could be quite complicated) from the Superstore workbook and implement that solution in their actual workbook. And we know that isn't always easy. All of this makes answering the question and implementing a solution very time-consuming, difficult, and even impossible in some scenarios.

Another major challenge is our availability. As I mentioned, we would love to help every single person that contacts us, but sometimes it takes us a couple weeks to respond. We wish that wasn't the case, but with jobs, families, and other responsibilities, sometimes it's difficult to find time to help someone with an issue, especially if it's complicated. Unfortunately, the person asking the question might have an impending deadline where an answer in a couple of weeks just won't work. Honestly, it has always been a tricky problem since all of this is done in our personal time. As mentioned, we truly want to help and want to help as quickly as we can, but sometimes it just isn't possible.

A third concern we often see is that people don't want to "bother" us. They understand that we are busy, have jobs and families, and feel guilty about asking us for "free consulting". Often this prevents people from even asking us questions in the first place.

Wouldn't it be nice if we could find a way to solve this problem? The good news is that we have!!  Through Moxy Analytics, we are offering the Tableau Lifeline service. Assume you have a deadline at the end of the week and have a tricky problem that you are struggling with. You can book an hour with Ken or me and we'll help you work through the issue. This is a paid service, which is scheduled ahead of time and includes non-disclosure language as part of the terms of service agreement. This means that you can share your workbook and data with us with no fear, you can get your problem solved in a timely manner, and you certainly don't have to worry about "bugging" usbecause it's part of our job! You can check out the full details of the Tableau Lifeline service here.

Does this mean we are going to stop answering people's questions on the forums and via direct messages anymore...HECK NO! We don't intend for anything to change. We will still be helping people like we always have, still posting blogs, still answering forums questions, and still responding to DMs and emails. But, this service will allow us to address that huge hunk of problems that we were unable to address previously because of all the reasons I detailed above. 

Okay, that's all for now. And if you need some help or know someone that needs some help, we hope you will check out Tableau Lifeline. Thanks!

Kevin & Ken FlerlageApril 20, 2023



  1. To protect confidential information, couldn't people simply anonymize the Tableau package data, as explained in this video: , prior to sharing their workbooks, which is what some people on the Tableau forums have suggested doing?

    Obviously, scheduling a Tableau Lifeline with you would be much easier, and thank you for offering such a wonderful service, but for people who can't do that, maybe because their company won't or can't pay for such services (e.g. all purchases are scrutinized and need approval), anonymizing the Tableau package data might be easier than recreating their workbooks with the Superstore data. If that's not a good alternative suggestion, would you please help me/everyone to understand why?

    Thank you for all that you do! You both are amazing!

    1. Yes, you can absolutely go through that process - absolutely. Unfortunately, in my experience, anonymizing data is much harder...and a much lengthier process. Sometimes you need to anonymize 50 fields. Sometimes the problem is partially causes by the number of rows (think about performance) making it difficult to just take a sub-section. There are a lot of reasons that cause anonymization to be difficult. But you're a number of cases, you can absolutely do that.

      And thank you for the kind words. It is very much appreciated.


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