Why A @Tableau Cruise Is Probably Not My Best Idea



It started innocently enough with a single tweet in which I suggested that Tableau should book a Carnival cruise ship for a Seattle to Alaska trip.

Once that tweet went flying into internet land, I had a case of Tweeter’s remorse!  Let me tell you why that happened.

First, I used the wrong handle for Carnival. It should have been @CarnivalPLC. I hate it when that happens. Secondly, there are simply too many problems to overcome for this idea to come to fruition.

There Are Too Many Problems To Overcome

First, there is no ship big enough to hold all the Tableau data geeks. With over 14K geeks at the last conference and the largest ships holding only about 3,500 people, it would either take 4 ships or a lottery system to be fair about who gets to take the cruise. Since multiple ships are not going to happen, there are going to be a lot of disappointed data geeks out there.

The next problem that occurred to me is this: The data geeks would sink the ship. They would be collecting so much data during the trip, the ship would sink. I’d bet databases of the number of beers being consumed, the total calories being ingested, total weight gain, the number of sun rays being captured would all be generated. The weight of all that concentrated data, as well as the massive quantities of photos and videos being taken  would begin to sink the ship long before it made it to Alaska.

The reason I chose Alaska as a destination had to do with thermodynamics. With all the Tableau dashboards and data processing going on in the ship, the heat generated would overwhelm the cruise staff and the energy drain would be too much for the ship’s electrical system.

It would take the cold air of Alaska to help maintain thermodynamic equilibrium. Without this additional source of cooling, the ship would melt-down as all computers drained the energy. Additional generators might have to be brought on-board, which is simply not practical and even more heat would be generated. It would be a feedback situation that would be impossible to control as the Tableau community members all worked together to try to find a solution, thereby inadvertently exacerbating the problem.

Even more heat would be generated by all those Carnival photographer flashes occurring as people took all those data geek photos throughout the day. Can you imagine how many of those photos would emerge during a seven day cruise?  The pure volume of those coupled with all the printing of them would overwhelm the ship. There would be no where to display all those photos of the selfie-happy Tableau data geeks.

Next, the casino would have to be shut-down. The geeks would be recording patterns of winning and losing for all the gambling machines. Algorithms would be created, high-payout machine clusters would be determined, predictive analytics would be performed, and future forecasting dashboards would be built.

Carnival would go broke under the analytics onslaught created by the Tableau data geeks. There would be a rebellion when Carnival announced that laptops would no longer be allowed in the casino. The Geeks would prevail, however, when they brought in their mobile devices to drive their dashboards, with this capability being unknown to the Carnival staff.

Additional upheaval would occur out at sea when the data geeks realized that they no longer had cell phone signals. Their tweets could not get sent, their blog articles would have to wait until the next port to be published, and their Tableau Public sites would go untouched for days.

This would simply be too overwhelming for the bulk of the passengers to accept. There would be fights between people as they tried in vain to sign-up for the on-board internet services, only to realize that even this system has its bandwidth limitations.

Additional frustration would occur as the Twitter network charts developed for the cruise could not be properly displayed since none of the Tweets could be sent. Tamás Földi, the databoss, would likely become the cruise superstar when he allowed people to use his satellite-based, internet connection system he programmed using the Tableau API while on-board the ship.

Another nail in the coffin for this idea is the weight gain. I’d have so many people mad at me for causing them to gain 1 pound per day that I’d forever be sent to Tableau Hell, or whatever Domo is referring to this sight as. If you don’t believe me, you can read this dorky article  as proof of the weight gain you would expect to incur. Trust me, I know this to be true.

Finally, the excessive partying would bring down the ship. Can you imagine the synchronized dancing that might occur? The ship would list side to side as all the data geeks worked together to see how much lateral movement they could make during the dinner-time dance sessions. It would be pure mayhem.

For all these reasons, please forget about this Tableau cruise idea. It was not properly vetted before I created the message. I’m sorry for any distress I might have caused anyone. If I could recall the Tweet, I would do so.

The next time I have any ideas like this, I’ll check the idea with the professionals like Elissa Fink before I make the suggestion. You now have my sincere apologies.


No, a Tableau cruise is a bad idea…

Final Thoughts

Now, let’s begin talking about an Alteryx cruise…maybe some of the problems will go away!

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