Over the past year I have grown tremendously as a Tableau Developer – I have picked up better infrastructure practices, and I have experimented with increasing dashboard adoption across our team. However, one of my biggest accomplishments to date was the opportunity to speak at the virtual Tableau Conference! After attending the conference virtually in 2020 for the first time, it was a dream to be invited onto the global stage. In addition to watching my own session, I also attended the conference throughout the week and gathered some key takeaways to bring back to my team.
Speaking at the Tableau Conference
I was approached by the TC21 team about two months before the Tableau Conference, after they had reviewed my application in Tableau’s Speaker Bureau. I had talked about my experience creating dashboards for executives at my company, and the conference team already had a talk in mind. They wanted to build sessions for companies implementing Tableau for the first time; and to talk about the challenges faced when trying to get your users interested in a new tool. The session would be recorded about a month in advance, and would play three times throughout the day for different time zones.
We structured my presentation around those biggest challenges: using Tableau as an export tool, infrastructure sustainability, and building trust. I talked about some of the issues I came across when I first walked into my role, and what I have done over the past year to improve the back-end and presentation of our dashboards to improve our user experience. As I watched my session play live on the Americas time, I was able to participate in the Slack discussion going on. It was surreal reading about my peers’ experiences, and their agreement with the challenges I brought up! Some users also brought in their own recommendations, and it was a learning experience to see the collaboration from everyone.
I had a blast presenting at the conference, and I hope this isn’t my last Tableau presentation! If you missed my session, it is available on the Tableau website at Creating a Data-Driven Organization: The Role of the Everyday User.
Another year remote, the 2021 Tableau Conference took place over 3 days. In addition to watching my own session, I had the opportunity to attend a few others. Some of my notes included:
- Review the Do No Harm guide, and reconsider who’s voices we are erasing when we aggregate too much.
- Think about your business user’s data literacy, and how you can help improve promote data literacy skills.
- Leadership support is a tremendous help in moving a team towards new tools and processes.
- Revisit the Tableau Blueprint and where our team’s Tableau environment stands.
New Tableau features I haven’t used yet, but are looking forward to learning more about include:
- Tableau’s Slack integration
- Tableau Prep and Flow
- Write Back extensions
- Extensions for mark types, with templates for visualizations
- Enhanced View Data/Explain Data capabilities
While I am on a finance team, the majority of sessions I attended centered around data literacy and community. One of my main goals on my team for 2022 will be to improve dashboard adoption and automated reporting, and I know that data governance will support that. I learned a lot overall at #data21, and I look forward to the next conference wherever it may take place.