Proof of How Tableau Has Transformed Careers

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Introduction

As a student of Tableau, I’ve had the privilege to see how this amazing software has transformed the lives and careers of many people. This article gives some examples of this, not in my words, but in the words of people who have been transformed and from others that have seen the transformations.

This article is short but contains links to a lot of great information.

Background

When I wrote the first article in this series, I had no intention of offering any justification of what I said in the 41 seconds of that video. After watching the video a couple of times, I decided that I should go a little deeper and frame my argument that learning to use Tableau is a transformative activity.

Even though I offered no proof of my statements, comments received on that article have given me the motivation to go one step further in discussing and providing additional support to my supposition that Tableau is transformative.


How This Article Was Created

Being a bit of a Tableau historian (if there is such a thing!), the Tableau database in my brain has been accumulating a time series of personal transformation stories that are not only inspirational, they are the proof of my assertion.

There is no way that I can capture all of these stories because there are too many of them. However, I can get started on the first chapter of the book that should be written one day (“The Book of Tableau”) by providing a sampling of the stories as written by the people who have been positively impacted by Tableau.

Before I begin, let me also make the following offer to anyone reading this article. If you have a personal transformation story that has been written, send me a link to your article and I will be very happy to add you to this list. Although I would love to do the research to uncover these stories, I don’t have the time to find them all!

The New Generation

There is a whole new generation of Tableau wizards that are shaping the future and one day I’ll be writing about how they have been Tableau transformed (even though some of them already have been). There are people like Ken Flerlage and Alexander Mou that are blending math, art and Tableau in new ways but follow in the footsteps of people like George Gorczynski. There are people like Chris DeMartini, The Data Duo of Pooja and Adam, Rody Zakovich, Matt Chambers, Chris Toomey, Bryant Howell, Ann Jackson, Brit Cava, Sarah Bartlett, Mike Cisneros and so many others that have expressed their tremendous artistic and quantitative skills in the Tableau platform. There are even one-named icons like Jonni that have provided inspiration for all of us. Watching this diverse talent base arrive on the Tableau scene over the past few years has been inspiring, to say the least.

On a more personal level, the people I work with like Ben Pope, Gary Roll, Craig Jackson, Chadd McNicholas, Jordan East, Katrina Botting, Nathaniel Worrell, Matt Davis, John Nguyen, and Brooke Loehrig and many others have all shown me great skill and passion in Tableau. I really wish I could showcase their work because it is awesome! Their careers are currently undergoing Tableau transformations. It is only a matter of time before they realize it.


Identifying Likely Candidates That Have Been Tableau Transformed

One easy way to identify people that have been Tableau transformed is to look back in time to identify the people that were experiencing Tableau Big Magic and writing about it. Since it takes some time to elapse before a transformation can occur, this is a good way of doing this.

In this article from three years ago, there were a number of people identified (Figure 1) as being top Tableau bloggers based on a specific metric. If I could ask each of these people if they have been Tableau transformed, I would say that most would agree that they have experienced career transformations due to Tableau. You will see a few of these characters showing up in my list of favourite Tableau transformations that is shown below.

Perhaps more interestingly is the list of people shown in Figure 2. From a predictive analytics point of view, these were the people I identified as being in the category of the top performing 2014 (Newly Arriving) bloggers. By quickly scanning that list, there are a few people that have been Tableau transformed. Do you recognize any of these names?  Andy Cotgreave, Jeffrey Shaffer, and Steve Wexler (The Big Book of Dashboards Trio), Josh MilliganJewell LoreeMatt Francis, Mark Jackson, Paul Banoub, etc. I could complete that list and uncover additional Tableau powerhouses, but I encourage readers to look at Figure 2 for themselves to see when the Tableau transformations began.

Of course, there are other people that are world-class Tableau users that are not even on this list. Probably my favourite Tableau user of all time is one of these people. His work is so extraordinary and consistently excellent, that I can only dream of creating the types of dashboards that he has made. Maybe I like him so much because he is scientifically oriented and he uses Tableau in a fairly straight-forward manner, much like I do. Regardless, this man is humble and ultimately talented. His name is Ramon Martinez.

Another way to do this is to look at the accurate work of Paul Banoub and his “Two-minutes with” interviews. He has interviews with the following Tableau superstars. These interviews are great because they captured key moments in time, possibly even before these people were Tableau transformed:


Some of My Favorite Tableau Transformation Stories

It is my hope that the list shown below grows significantly. For now, these are the stories that have remained with me over time (in no particular order).


Final Thoughts

For people that haven’t experienced the allure of Tableau, let me give you a few insights that have happened recently at my house.

I have a son that is studying business analytics in college. I get to see the curriculum that is being taught. The courses include topics like Excel graphics, pivot tables, R studio, etc. So far, there has been no Tableau training.

Last night, we were working on creating histograms, frequency distributions, box and whisker plots and a few other things in Excel. To check his work, I opened the data file in Tableau and in a few seconds, had reproduced his work and I showed it to him.

A little while later, I heard him say from the other room: “This is ridiculous, I’m not going to do this!”.  He was referring to the manual creation process needed to make 40 histograms. I yelled back, “Yep, I understand. That is why I stopped using Excel 10 years ago for work like that and I learned Tableau instead.” I feel his pain because he is having to do it the hard way.

For more stories like these, click here or here. Thanks for reading and this is all that I’m going to say on this topic.

 

 

 

 

 

5 thoughts on “Proof of How Tableau Has Transformed Careers

  1. Tableau was transformational for me as well. Way back in 2004 I had outlined a proposal of using MS Office integration with VBA and scheduling to create something I called a master system to automate data and reporting. However, it languished as a viable solution until Tableau 7.0 became available in the company. That was the missing piece I needed to make the resulting data understandable and usable to my business consumers. A couple of promotions resulted from that in a couple of years and now I have the honor and privilege of working with you and many other scary smart folks. In short, Tableau was the breakthrough I needed to communicate insights to others and invigorate my career.

    • Hi Ben,

      Thanks for writing this. You are unquestionably one of the most talented Tableauers I have ever worked with. Your command of so many topics is off the charts! Brenda Akers of Tableau would agree with me on that assessment. I know that you have already been transformed, it is obvious in everything you do. I only wish we could share the brilliance of your work to the Tableau community in general.

      Ken

  2. Pingback: 3danim8's Blog - How Tableau is Transformative

  3. Tableau has transformed my career. It has always delivered on answering all my complex business questions with the beautiful visualizations. My customers are happy with the fast paced results and the value it provides them. I feel tableau adopts to any changing business scenarios data without choking up. I use tableau for both data visualizations and analysis. My business partners are always amazed and inspired by the visualizations I have created. I feel their are no tools in the market today in comparison with Tableau who can deliver on Big Data visualizations with ease.
    Ken your blogs are very educational and always provides me a motivation to go an extra mile.
    Keep on writing
    Kudos

    • Jigs,

      Your comment has made my night! When I read it, I reflected on my own career. There are many stories included in my articles that parallel what you wrote. The speed and depth of analysis in Tableau still blows my mind. I have had many clients be amazed by what I produced through the years. It is an awesome productivity tool!

      Best wishes,

      Ken

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