FELD M at the Tableau Conference Europe 2019
on 04.06.2019 by Shiva Rasoulian
Just like previous years, we’re happy to say that the Tableau conference was definitely worth the time and money spent. The conference was held at the Estrel Hotel & Congress Center in Berlin, and about 2,000 data enthusiasts came together for three days, and it was truly a pleasure for us to be part of this amazing community!
and oh yeah, this is us 😊:
The first day of the conference went quite smoothly, as our team spent the day working on actual data with Tableau, both for the Makeover Monday session and the “Sports Viz” semi competition session. In case you don’t know what Makeover Monday is, it’s basically a learning community which provides you with fresh data every Monday, so you get to work on them and create cool dashboards for your own personal development. You can check out their website here: https://www.makeovermonday.co.uk/.
And now let’s get to the sessions! From this section, we’ll sum up the key takeaways from the most interesting sessions we attended from our viewpoint. So here we go! 😊
Key Note: All about Data Language and Data culture
This year’s keynote speech mostly focused on the necessity of establishing a data culture at organizations, through “language”, “sharing” and “adaptive” systems. Basically, we want everyone to be able to distinguish fact from fiction, and we can only reach this aim by encouraging everyone to “talk data”, and spread the “data language”. Well I guess we could all agree on this, and acknowledge the fact that in a few years, everyone would and should be able to read and understand data, and therefore, there would no longer be the need for separate “analyst” roles to fill in the gaps in organizations.
But let’s get to the big question which we were all waiting for: “Why was Tableau acquired by Salesforce, and how would that affect the future of Tableau?”, and here is the answer we got: Tableau would still be working independently from Salesforce, and the CEOs would still remain at their positions. Most importantly, Tableau will not divert from its initial “vision”, which is helping people with seeing and working with data. They confirmed that Tableau will always focus its activities towards this direction, and assured us that the collaboration with Salesforce would even reinforce Tableau’s activities towards achieving this goal.
They also introduced the great new feature “Ask data” in the 2019.2 version: it is amazing how anyone can now ask Tableau almost anything they want and Tableau will automatically visualize the answer to their question.
Furthermore, “Explain data” was also introduced, which basically helps users understand the “why” of data. This is available in the tooltip, and as an example you are then able to see outliers and filter them out of your report.
Getting People To Use Dashboards
Ok so here’s the key takeaway of this session: If you want users to actually “read” your report and engage with it, you need to put it in the right “context”. So having the best design or choosing the most suitable charts will not necessarily lead to user engagement, but the right context will. So how do you develop the “right context” for your reports? Make it personal. Think of the user who is going to check the report, and make it personal for them. Answer the question “how am I doin?”, and let them compare or relate the data of themselves to others. Let’s say it’s a demographic report: show them where they stand comparing to the rest of the population.
Turn Data into Products | The Whys, Whens, and Hows of Embedding Tableau
Who does not love to see their dashboard in their own website with 100% control on its layout and design? This session was of high interest for us as we recently started using the embedding functionality of Tableau, and very useful best practices from authentication and user security to design and layout were presented. We learned a lot in this session and will bring it to practice in the coming future.
Surprise Me | Creating Advanced and Unique Charts
Amazing session full of inspiring art with numbers. Our key takeaway is not only that we learned how to visualize the Tableau logo with Tableau, but also how to build multi-layer radial charts and how to use Sigmoid & Logit functions to create Sankey diagrams. It is impressive how much information one can get from one sheet. Dual axis not enough? Use multi layers and get as many axes as needed, the secret is to build the data smartly. We cannot wait to bring these smart graphics and ideas in practice.
Tableau extZENtions | The What, Why and How’s of Extensions for Tableau
Great inspiration to use extensions! This session simply showed us that when combining Tableau with different extension APIs, the sky is the limit. The introduction of Data Village Online was also truly exciting, allowing users to modify data and write back to data base is a huge advantage that makes the use of Tableau even wider. We are very happy to see the increase of the use of extensions. We have used many extensions in the past and will surely be using many more in the future.
Tableau Ambassadors | The Rock Stars of the Tableau Community
After 3 days of intensive learning the best way to say goodbye was to meet the actual Tableau heroes. Thanks to people like Lorna, Simon and Sarah’s extraordinary input to the Tableau community, one can find an answer to everything online when it comes to Tableau. It was a pleasure to meet them in person and hear their side of the story.
We hope you found this review useful, and hope to see you there next time! (of course, we will be there again next year 😊).