March Madness – A Newbie on the Road with the Tableau 8 Tour


March Madness – A Newbie on the Road with the Tableau 8 Tour

by Matt Fowler

As a new employee of InterWorks, and a new disciple of Tableau, I had the pleasure of attending the Tableau 8 Tour events on the east coast in Washington D.C., Reston and Philadelphia, as well as the Texas events in Austin, Houston, and Dallas. The events are designed to showcase the new features of Tableau’s latest release, Tableau 8.0, to current users and intrigued individuals alike.

Discovering Innovative Tableau Applications

I was able to meet with many followers of Tableau and discuss with them the applications for which they are utilizing Tableau. From integrating architectural design data to rapidly refreshing environmental analysis systems to a regional support network for Veterans’ assistance; Tableau is allowing users to do significantly more with their data than ever before!  

One of the more interesting conversations to come out of the Tableau 8 Tour events was how Tableau is being utilized in the medical community for disease monitoring and prevention. These analyses truly are something from science fiction, but are taking place at this very moment. Tableau is taking unbelievably massive data sets with diverse origins and transforming them from independent existences into meaningful and effective tools for the progression of medical treatments.

An example of the impact of Tableau in the Medical Industry – via Tableau

The “Light Bulb” Moment

Regardless of the industry or application, it was apparent in each locale we visited that the shared attribute in the room was how each person, at some point, had experienced what I refer to as the “light bulb” moment in relation to Tableau. I envision something similar to that which happens in many post-war era cartoons when a character conjures up an idea. It seems everyone can remember the first visualization which Tableau was able to take on – a painful and laborious analysis they had been preforming on a routine basis and completing it with such ease and simplicity. All the while they could display it in a far more compelling manner than they could have thought possible after a weeks’ worth of formatting using their previous method.

Discussions, Lectures and Networking

In addition to the scheduled discussions, there were open forums for attendees to glean some new element or inspiration from others’ work or experiences: ideas and questions spawning new ideas and new questions.  The networking receptions were a great way to connect and share stories. They also allowed ample opportunity for “geek out” sessions about present Tableau uses and frustrations (Tableau plateaus, if you will).

The lectures were engaging, and there was definitely a level of focus from each attendee that you wouldn’t expect to find throughout most professional event seminars. Overall, people were invested. Invested in Tableau, and invested in learning more about how it can enhance and support what they do on a day-to-day level like no other data tool they have previously experienced. It is easy to see that they have realized the possibilities, and with new ideas or tips moving them forward, a new set of possibilities begins to unwind the limitless potential.

The Tableau 8 Tour Continues

Check out the full listing of Tour dates on Tableau’s website and make sure to stop by the InterWorks table to meet us and pick up some great swag to boot.  Hope to see you there!


More About the Author

Matt Fowler

Business Intelligence Analyst
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