Business Intelligence, Metrics and Reporting, Tableau Intermediate

Customer Churn Model Using Salesforce Data and Tableau

In November 2015 I was asked to host a data blending breakout session for a Seattle Tableau Usergroup (SeaTUG) meeting. Data blending in Tableau is usually something I avoid at all costs. It is slower than joining in Tableau and I usually can avoid the need to blend through custom SQL. However, I had just built a customer churn model in Tableau that I decided to use data blending in. The data came from different data sources (Salesforce and our data warehouse on Amazon Redshift) and I needed to relate two dates on the same data axis.

I decided to bring in a date dimension (a table with a row for each date – 2010 through 2020 in this case – and information about each of those dates) and duplicate my salesforce data so I could blend one copy of the datasource on customer start date and the other copy on customer expiration. That technique allowed me to count customers that joined or churned in a given month in one view. This video blog shows a step by step approach to using this technique to create a simple customer churn model. Even though it is simple, this is what I used at my company as our first stab at tracking customer churn. For a more in-depth look at how you can build on this to get a more targeted and elegant churn model, view this fantastic post by Stephen H. Noble.

The Customer Churn Model Video

  • This is a basic model and there are many ways to extend it. How do you calculate customer (and dollar) churn at your organization?

  • Anthony Gould

    Clark, this is really great. Thanks for taking the time to share what only a small breakout room of people benefited from before. For the rest of your audience, Clark has been an outstanding leader for the local Tableau User Group. His knowledge of “Analytical SQL” and Tableau make him a strong contributor for the user group and his day job. Keep up the great work Clark!

    • biznal5_wp

      Thanks Anthony! SeaTUG is a great community and I look forward to doing more videos demonstrating Tableau tips and tricks. Let me know if you have any suggestions for future posts/videos.