Business Productivity

Using Tableau with Alexa for Business meeting room utilization metrics

Last week, Alexa for Business launched new features to help customers measure and improve their meeting room utilization. These features allow Alexa for Business to track meeting room attendance and release rooms that are booked but not used. Customers can see metrics like total meetings booked in rooms and their associated duration, room attendance rates, released hours, and how often rooms are recovered (booked after they are released).

Customers told us they’d like to visualize and perform deep dives of this data in their existing Tableau instance. In this blog post, we’ll show how to take your room utilization reports from Alexa for Business and turn them into a week over week view in Tableau. Analyzing trends in room utilization informs your space planning decisions as well as helps you proactively identify any unreported issues that can result in low usage for a particular room.

Prerequisites for setting up meeting room utilization metrics

  1. Link your calendar (O365 or G Suite) in Alexa for Business
  2. Create rooms and assign calendars to each
  3. Schedule regular reports from the A4B console to be delivered to your S3 bucket
    Note: The Tableau template is configured to work with weekly reports so schedule the report to be delivered weekly.

How to Create and Update the Dashboards

Step 1: Download the Tableau Dashboard

If you have previously downloaded the template and uploaded data then reopen that file to keep your historical data. If you do not already have the template, then download it from here and save locally or on your Tableau server.

Step 2: Updating your Tableau Dashboard

There are multiple ways to update the dashboard. Here, we provide an overview of how to upload to the Tableau template. Once the data is added to the Data Source in Tableau, the rest of the dashboard will update automatically.

To update data, first find the report in your S3 bucket and download onto your computer or shared drive. Put all of the data files in one directory with a standardized name (e.g. ‘roomUtilizationMetrics2019_12_07’) to simplify importing into Tableau. Next, open the Tableau workbook and go to the Data Source tab. Click on ‘room_utilization_metrics’ on the left side and ‘Edit Connection’ (Arrow 1 in below screenshot). Navigate to one of your new files, select it and ‘Open’. The data files should now show up on the left hand side under ‘Sheets’ (Arrow 2 in below screenshot).

Next, click on the arrow next to ‘RoomUtilizationData’ in the top-middle of the Data Source tab and select ‘edit union’ (Arrow 3 in below screenshot). Make sure that all the relevant files match the regex (in the default case, make sure ‘room’ is in all of the file names). Hit ‘OK’. The data at the bottom of the page should be updated with the most recent data!

To confirm your workbook is updated, navigate to the ‘Room Utilization Dashboard’ tab. In the weekly graphs, you should see the most recent week’s data that you just uploaded.

Tableau dashboard template overview

Your meeting room utilization Tableau dashboard consists of two tables and three plots to show 5-week trends. The first two tables, Room Profile Utilization Metrics and Room Utilization Metrics, show the same set of metrics but for different levels of granularity. You will be able to see daily averages from the most recent week of the below metrics:

# Meetings Reserved: Number of meetings that were booked.
# Meetings Attended: Number of meetings that were checked into.
% Attendance Rate: Percent of reserved meetings that were attended.
# Hours Reserved: Number of hours a room is reserved.
# Released Meetings: Total number of meetings that were released because check in didn’t occur.
# Recovered Meetings: Number of meetings booked over a previously released time slot.
# Released Minutes: Total number of meeting minutes that were released as a result of no attendance.

The three charts under the tables highlight the 5 week trend for Total Minutes Booked, Attendance Rate and # Released Meetings. These metrics are at a room level and represent the daily averages for each of the past 5 weeks.

Conclusion

These Tableau templates provide a quick way to visualize your room utilization trends and also provide you the flexibility to customize for your own purposes. From here, you can personalize to fit your use case on how you would prefer to view the data.

For more information about intelligent room release and Alexa for Business, see our documentation.