I was fortunate enough to attend the Tableau Conference 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada last week. For those who are not familiar with Tableau, it’s a big data software company that allows you to connect different data sources, slice and dice the data, and create visualizations to better understand what is happening within a particular data set.
I am considered a beginner or intermediate Tableau user so I was excited to get some hands-on training and learn how to use this great tool to provide better reporting and more importantly, better insights for our clients.
The conference was amazing; they had different sessions to meet your experience levels and also have different types of sessions such as customer stories to show how other customers are leveraging Tableau within their company, hands-on training, and more. In addition, there were several fantastic keynote speakers that all attendees were able to understand, and more importantly, take learnings back to their own organizations.
Below I’ve listed very high-level learnings (some unexpected) from the conference.
- Everyone and Their Mother Uses Tableau – This observation was noticed loud and clear during the welcome event. In fact, there were over 10,000 attendees at this conference from all walks of life. Every single industry was represented, including healthcare, education, manufacturing, financial services, retail & CPG, software and technology, government, and more. In addition, it was great to see that so many different roles within these organizations were leveraging Tableau, such as finance/accounting, marketing, IT, and more.
- Data Analysis & Visualization is Much Bigger than You or I – When you live in your day to day career, you do not realize how many ways there are to leverage Tableau to find insightful information to transform your entire organization by making data-backed decisions. This was illustrated time and time again especially through keynote speakers and customer stories.
- Being Able to Use Tableau is Only Half the Battle – Understanding the ins and outs of Tableau such as when to use filters vs. sets, how to blend data, and creating calculated fields are important skill sets to have and necessary. However, knowing how to ask the right question and being able to tell a story with your data is a totally different skill set. With that being said, I have a long way to go, but am excited to continue to develop these skills and share my knowledge across the organization.
If your organization is looking for deeper insights into its overall performance, I’d highly recommend trying out Tableau and watching the training videos. If you’re already using Tableau or have a license (and it’s going unused), definitely use it. Simply, take data from an excel spreadsheet and paste it in Tableau and see what you can create. Finally, you can already begin registering for Tableau 2016 in Austin, Texas on November 7th-11th, 2016 (at a discounted rate)!