I did my first lunch and learn presentation yesterday to demonstrate Tableau and explain some of my personal experience with the tool. There were (23) people in attendance from all sorts of different entities of all sizes.
While they were from different background there was a common theme, the desire to push information out to others who need it more quickly and with greater effect.
I also tried to relate the full arch of my business career in terms of data usage and visualization. It wasn’t that long ago (1981) that I constructed a budget using 24 and 36 column paper “spreadsheets.” That required about (6) people in the back room running adding machines for several hours just to change a single variable in the plan.
Charting was an exotic art reserved only for the finishing touches of professionalism….at the expense of a day or two effort with the ruler, markers and ink-stained hands.
Then came Lotus 123 in 1982 and the world changed forever. Today we have something like 400 million legal copies of Excel in use with another 400 million illegal copies (by some estimates) in circulation. The world of finance, accounting, engineering, quality, manufacturing, etc….had changed forever.
I feel that Tableau is just as big a deal. We are being inundated by an ever increasing flow of data bits. Turning that data into insight is what Tableau does do well. EVERYONE needs this tool.