Why do I think Tableau rocks?

Updated 11/08/2020

Disclaimer: I don’t own any Tableau Salesforce shares (may be I should) and I don’t work for Tableau (may be I should) or work in the data field (may be …)

I’m not a data guy (at least professionally). I work as an IT Leader at QUT (47,000 students) Brisbane, Stakeholder Innovation Manager in the Health Care sector in Australia and I’m passionate about data story telling and Tableau. Tableau is a hobby and I love it! You can see all my Tableau work on Tableau Public.

I also deliver Tableau guest lectures to QUT students, that’s an awesome experience too.

I love tableau because:

  • Tableau is changing student’s life (more below) – it also allows me to connect and inspire the new generation of data professionals
  • It is a great software – I can use my curiosity and found out what is hiding in the data
  • I like the company values and I LOVE the Tableau community (online and the real one too, see below)
  • I like the support Tableau provides to Education sector (free for students, staff…)

Why Teaching Tableau to students? (and for staff)

When I was working at QUT, I really felt that QUT should be teaching data storytelling (beyond the data analysis units done in Excel) more widely in the Business courses, and should should be teaching Tableau to all students, not only IT students (and staff too!).

QUT doesn’t teach Tableau formally (yet), so the workshops are the best way to get the message across to students.

Tableau is changing student’s life

Tableau academic program is great – it allows students and staff to apply for a free copy of the software to practice. It makes is easier to run free workshops.

In 2017 while I was working at QUT, I organised three big Tableau workshops with day data competitions, and a few smaller info sessions. We have trained about 450 students, researchers and staff. The QUT Tableau data story telling days were not mandatory and were not assessed, but the turnout was amazing.

The Tableau day was divided into an initial three-hour training session, followed by a data visualisation competition that challenged students to create a story based on generic data set. Students were divided into teams, had about an hour to develop their stories and then each teams presented their visualisations in front of the judges.

Big thanks to KJCynthiaChris from Tableau, and Adam and Sam (from Keydata), your support have been great.

Have a read at the complete event wrap up here.

 Students feedback and impact

100% positive = 80% of students rated the event excellent and 20% rated the event as good!!

I have also received great feedback from students, one student said that the Tableau workshop and his new data visualisation skills changed his life (he got head hunted on LinkedIn for his new skills, screen shot below) and one other student was required to do a Tableau data exercise for a job he applied for, so Tableau are relevant skills for Grads!

Tableau community #datafam

What I find really amazing is the Tableau community.

It started for me with Makeover Monday!

Big thanks to Charlie (and Andy before) and Eva for running #makeovermonday – it got me started. There are also many other community lead activities that you can participate to learn (see list here)

Makeovermonday allowed me to practice, have fun and get some feedback from experts. Who you have thought I would have learned about wine production, turkey bird migration or personality traits! to name a few topics…these below are a few of my early makeovers.

I have decided for 2020 to tackle all 52 weeks, have a look at my Twitter Moments

Makeovermonday and Twitter Tableau aficionados are very generous with their times. Many of them, Andy KriebelKen Flerlage and many many others…post tutorials online. If you are stuck, they will try to help. Below is an example of a viz I developed following Ken’s tutorial and precious help.

I was also lucky to be awarded by Tableau the Viz Of the Day (#VOTD) for 3 of my vizzes. It is a great pride and honor for a Tableau-lover hobbyist like me.
This one is is “10 years, 1000 runs

Jump Scare

The Tableau community = people (#datafam)

I have never seen a community like this around a tech platform or software before! There are Tableau Users GroupspodcastsTableau Fringe Festival…lots of online events, have you read Fi Gordon’s post about how to get involved?

I attended in 2018, my only real Tableau in-person event: Tableau Big Data Day Out #DataDayOut in Sydney and it was an amazing experience. 1000 or so Tableau aficionados sharing the same data passion.

Firstly it was great to meet in person few people that I have been following online (FionaAxelSarah), meet a few Tableau customers, catch up with Cynthia, KJ to plan the next QUT Tableau Data day and of course meet inspiring Tableau and or external presenters like Jason FoxFrancois (or Frank), Nate

Have a go!

If you are new, don’t know where to start, I have compiled a list of activities any beginners can take to start their data journey with Tableau and the #datafam community.

What’s Next?

That’s really up to you!

Photos credits: Marvin Fox

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