My first post on the Tableau Community highlighted the real people that make it work in the form of a “Thank You” viz. It told the story of the most active 872 members using their avatars to create a mosaic representing the Tableau logo. But, there’s plenty more data where that came from. Let’s look a little deeper at more than 48,000 members of the Tableau forums.
So many questions arise when thinking about what might be interesting to see about a community with a reputation for its passion. The primary question I ask is: “Just how active is it?” With that starting point, other questions follow:
- “Is it getting more active through steady growth?”
- “What’s the breakdown of highly enthusiastic members vs. casual or one-time participants?”
- “Who were the ‘founders’ or the ‘early birds’ of the group?
Each portion of this viz is aimed at answering those questions from different angles. One interesting data point that stands out to us at InterWorks is that our own Dan Murray is among the first 50 members, most of whom joined in Dec 07 – Feb 08.
What counts as “Active?”
It can be difficult to draw clear lines on social sites between who is truly “active” or not. It may be based on visit frequency, total activity over time, comparisons with average users, etc. This analysis takes a very simplistic approach to drawing that line: if a user has at least one point, they are considered active.
The majority of forum members have zero points, meaning they have done nothing to create a profile, have not viewed a post while logged in or any other basic activity which would indicate they have anything more than an account. This can happen because a forum account is automatically created along with each Tableau account, even if that person does not intend to use that portion of the website.
This would not mean that these numbers correspond to the total number of Tableau users. One person may purchase licenses for a large organization with anywhere from 10 to over 10,000 individual users who wouldn’t necessarily get an account on Tableau’s website.
A viz about Tableau should look like Tableau. I spend a lot of time as a consultant customizing dashboards to match corporate styles or getting creative in ways that make a dashboard look far removed from the default styles. This viz has very, very few deviations from those “out of the box” choices. It’s nice to remember that it doesn’t take too much extra work to make a clean, appealing and informative dashboard in Tableau.
Stay tuned to the InterWorks blog for more in-depth analysis of the Tableau Community.