Whether you’re a Tableau novice or a seasoned expert, I’m inviting you to follow me as I write about how Tableau can be used more effectively to suit our individual and professional needs. Every week I’ll have new posts on my site, DataVizIdeas.com, on topics ranging from creative design ideas to innovative approaches with data visualization. My hope is to not only share my perspective, but to host an ongoing conversation that allows us to explore Tableau beyond the usual subjects. Let’s get started.
Why start DataVizIdeas.com?
This is my second attempt at blogging about data visualization. As I mentioned to several Tableau Community members this year, blogging consistently is something I struggle with. I plan to make a more worthwhile effort this time — especially if I manage to spark interesting discussion and debate.
Does the Tableau Community need another data visualization blog?
Well, define “need.” In a creative field like ours, different perspectives help us make better design decisions. This is especially apparent when we are stuck on important design compromises in our pursuit of balance. I realize I’m adding my opinions to a very crowded space, so it will be my challenge to create unique and compelling articles that people will want to read. Other important areas of Tableau are already well-covered by many insightful Zen Masters and Social Ambassadors, but I’m joining the conversation to offer my thoughts on topics less often voiced.
My focus will be on more abstract concepts relating to data visualization, and how these ideas may potentially impact people working with Tableau. I may deviate into more technical topics, but only on rare occasions when I feel there is something especially valuable to share. My writing will be mostly centered on the “why” of data viz, while most other blogs tend to focus on the “how-to.”
My articles will be organized under the following categories:
- Analytical ideas (examples and opinions on analysis and statistics)
- Creative ideas (examples and opinions on design)
- Data Viz ideas (examples and opinions on data viz)
- Tableau Evangelism (change management and adoption)
- The Tableau Journey (professional development and Tableau Community)
What’s your background?
Before learning about Tableau, I was an intelligence specialist for the U.S. Navy. This experience discouraged me from engaging on social media, which was an aversion that lasted years after my career transition. I’m finally getting comfortable putting my voice out there, both to give input and to seek it.
My initial Tableau experience was in research and development, where I worked in a lab to test new ways to visualize data outside of default and standard chart types. I had a lot of whiteboard sessions and prototype building in my early days, and this knowledge has stayed with me throughout my career.
My first major career move occurred when I accepted a job with Gallup, where I worked with numerous clients on visualizing survey data in Tableau. This new environment involved more collaboration, which forced me to better understand the soft skills associated with Tableau.
After attending Tableau Conference in late 2016, my career’s most significant event occurred when I started sharing my work on Twitter. I began to finally appreciate how much creativity and design improves the quality and effectiveness of data visualizations. Since this transition, I am increasingly interested in how organizations can use Tableau to make their environments more creative and innovative.
So, what are your next steps?
In the next phase of my Tableau journey, I want to be more involved with the community and have set myself three goals to achieve this. My first goal is to learn more from the talents and experiences of others. My second goal is to step away from my desk more often to see firsthand the many interesting ways people are using Tableau. For my third goal, I plan to blog more consistently and be a more active member of the online community. I am most excited about my third goal, because I have been isolated with my thoughts and opinions up to this point in my Tableau career.
Tableau Events I’m Attending
My first non-Omaha Tableau User Group event will be in Philadelphia on May 25, 2017. Next on my travel itinerary is the 2017 Tableau Conference on Tour in London from June 5th to June 7th. I can’t wait to meet the many friendly United Kingdom #MakeoverMonday participants in person! Lastly, my plans are now final for attending Tableau Conference 2017 in Las Vegas .
Please reach out to me if you think I would enjoy other Tableau events. I am looking for ways to be more active!