Why You Should Take Tableau Fundamentals


Why You Should Take Tableau Fundamentals

Why You Should Take Tableau Fundamentals

This article is about why you should take the Tableau Fundamentals course. Yes, you. I know that you’re a self-taught guru that’s been working in the tool every day for nine months. You’re the local data analytics guru in your organization. Who needs the Tableau newb class. Just go straight into Tableau Advanced training and join the Jedi Council, right?

Not so fast.

We Tableau trainers encounter this scenario all the time. Whenever I teach an Advanced class, I always do an informal poll of my students: “Who has taken the Fundamentals course?” Normally, only about half the class raises their hand to this question. The other half feels comfortable enough to skip the intro class.

Here’s the thing – the Tableau Fundamentals class is very beneficial, even for experienced Tableau Desktop users. Here’s why:

The Trouble with Autodidactism

My name is Robert, and I’m an autodidact.

No, this is not a condition where my skin grows like tree bark. That’s epidermodysplasia. An autodidact is a person that learns through self-teaching. In my life, I’ve taught myself a range of useful skills (Photoshop, JavaScript, CSS, etc.) and a range of not-so-useful skills (thumb war, GoldenEye, movie quotes).

Whenever you teach yourself a complex skill, you tend to focus on need. You have immediate problems that you need to solve, and 99% of your time in Tableau focuses on finding a solution. Your range of proficiencies inside of Tableau Desktop might look like this:

Bar chart

These are the skills that were needed to solve those day-to-day problems, but your proficiency in the other tools and features of Tableau is very low. In fact, there may be functionality within Tableau Desktop that you’re not even aware of yet. Here’s what Tableau Fundamentals course does to your array of skills:

Adjusted bar chart

You’re right in assuming that Tableau Fundamentals might not advance your three primary skills in the application. If you’ve been working in Tableau every day for months, there’s a good chance that those particular skills are operating at an Advanced level or even better. The huge benefit for autodidacts is that it strengthens all of the other skills and can indeed introduce you to new features that you might have never encountered.

The Language of Tableau

If you’ve ever spent any time on the Tableau Community forums, you’ll inevitably spot Tableau users that are struggling to convey exactly what they are trying to do. They’ll go back and forth between senior users trying to pinpoint exactly what they are trying to do before they can get the help they need.

Understanding the language of Tableau is absolutely essential. Common terms and a common frame of reference opens the door for collaboration and conversation. There are so many Tableau-specific terms or slang that must be learned to connect into the community (marks, measures, LODs, table calcs, banding, parameters, discrete/continuous, modal calculations, etc.).

Tableau Fundamentals serves multiple purposes. Most people only focus on the module by module lessons, the specific curriculum covered in each topic. In addition to that, Fundamentals also fully introduces you to the language and “culture” of data analytics and Tableau.

72 Versions

When I die, I want to go to heaven and receive my 72 versions of Tableau, which should take me up to Tableau v24.6. Paradise! Just imagine what the Pareto can do then. Every update, even the minor ones, bring a host of new stuff. More so than any other data analytics company, Tableau is investing massive amounts into research and develop. Just go back and look at Tableau v8.2 compared to v9.2.

New mapping features? Yes, please! The analytics pane? Awesome! Ad hoc calculations? Ooh, baby.

Tableau is our tool. The product developers are listening to our feedback on a daily basis. Every new version is loaded with changes and improvements. All of the Tableau trainers around the world are given delta seminars every time a new version is released. Our instructor manuals make special mention of new features for us to highlight.

Not only will you get a broader set of skills and learn the data dialect, you’ll also be introduced to all of the cutting edge features in the newest release.

Trainer of the Year

InterWorks was awarded the 2015 Partner of the Year as well as the 2015 Trainer of the Year. We know a little something about training. We recommend that everyone take Tableau Fundamentals, from the self-taught Tableau Jedi masters all the way down to the data newbie. For advanced students, let the instructor know, and they will extend sample exercises to make them more challenging as well as provide resources for deeper learning and detail.

If you have any input on Tableau training or want to share your own experiences, please leave your thoughts and questions in the comments section below. We love hearing from you!

More About the Author

Robert Curtis

Managing Director, APAC
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