How do you use a visual analytics tool? Just count some of the ways. Analysis, analytics, report prototyping, as a report engine for all manner of users, as a change agent. It’s a tool that’s fairly easy to use and can do a lot as you get more advanced.
What are some of the critical pieces of news and updates on the Tableau products and company? Here’s a few from what should be a fairly reliable source (an employee doing a presentation.) It’s what would be considered a “fairly normal” glossy and optimistic corporate presentation. I’ve also integrated a few of my own comments and observations, and tried to convey a few of the better tips and tricks that were mentioned.
Lots of growth. Company growing all the time. No mention of the challenges of growth and how an organization needs to adapt. Major element of growth to watch out for is if sales plateau or drop off and the company needs to make major changes. No indication yet that this is about to happen.
Lots of hiring. Hiring here, there and everywhere. One way to look at the undisclosed product road map is to look at what types of jobs are being posted and read between the roles and responsibilities. Lots of international hiring.
Lots of new user groups and community. Power users, forums, user groups are great. White papers, interactivity between users. 2-3 user groups being created per week. Hint – check your local community and join one. One of the best ways to network and learn from other users.
Product news. Major releases. Minor releases monthly. “Wait until you see 8.0 – while I can’t say anything, if only ½ the features I’ve heard about from the developers is included in the product – it will be the most groundbreaking release ever. Point B to point L. Prepare yourself emotionally for the release.” Tip – set up a reminder to check for monthly updates. Minor releases are not just bug fixes, but can include new functionality. Bottom line, it’s worth checking.
8.0 likely Q1 or Q2 of 2013. I’m sure we’re all hoping Q1. I’m sure the company will look towards stabilization and finalization of features during Q1 and part of Q2. Software products are inherently complex particularly as they mature and backwards compatibility can become much more of an issue. Patience is a virtue.
The user conference is the place to be. This is where you get Tableau fever and where 8.0 will be previewed. Register for the Beta. On a personal note – I generally don’t do beta ever. You can end up doing a lot of suffering and unless you’re making decisions for thousands – it’s sometimes advisable just to wait until the major version is released. In the case of products a like it is an effort of will to try and mitigate the advance excitement.
Connect and learn with Tableau Public. Remember that anything you download from Tableau Public can be imported into Tableau Professional so you can reverse engineer and get better with the use of the product. Great tip.
“Great design is great design.” Mixing functionality with great design makes it all work and really represents the power of Tableau. Super beautiful is even better. But don’t forget some simple functionality such as tool tips or headers. Design in a visual analytics tool requires different thinking – knowledge of data, data relationships and presentation art. No mention of the shortage in the workforce for these types of analysts.
What is the thought process someone is going to go through when they’re looking at visualizations? Good analysis is the result of the discovery through the asking of multiple questions in a variety of ways – you need to anticipate the questions but design dashboards that are interactive and flexible.
Lots of enthusiasm from the presenter which is sometimes hard to convey in writing. This post will get dated, but will age gracefully until the next major Tableau release. Check back at some point in the future for an update. In the meantime, try the product and try to learn something new every day.
I like the product and I’m sure it will continue to improve. This would be the same pattern as what’s happened in the past and why would the company change this?