Better Late Than Never

Whoa, what a week!  This was my 7th Tableau conference, and I continue to be amazed by how much it has grown.  The energy and community that exists around Tableau is unmatched among software companies (and right there with any company, really), and it shows at the conference.  Here are a few thoughts on my experience at TC19.

I’m REALLY excited about Tableau Blueprint

During my various brain dates, sessions, and casual conversations there was an overwhelming theme of people struggling with things related to adoption and scale.  In Blueprint, Tableau has synthesized best practices into a step-by-step guide to help organizations become more data driven.  The model focuses on the concepts of agility, proficiency and community.

Blueprint is the next evolution of the Drive methodology, which we used heavily at Carlson Hotels during my time there.  Blueprint provides new frameworks for governance, measurement and education that were missing from Drive, but we found ourselves needing.  This evolution reflects how Tableau has matured the platform, as they can now offer built-in solutions to many of these problems, specifically around governance.

Changing the culture of a company is hard.  Most companies talk about their aspirations to be more data driven, but often do not see the entire picture of what that means.  With Blueprint, companies will be able to more effectively assess their current state and build a success path that works for their unique goals.  I can’t wait to share it with my clients!

I’m a bit behind on some features, and I’m OK with that

As I watched a few quick tips sessions and Iron Viz, I realized just how many of the coolest new features I haven’t spent time learning yet.  I saw a bunch of cool examples of parameter actions and makeline, which are features I have yet to really work with.

This fall I signed up for an immersive leadership training for Scout leaders called Wood Badge.  Between that, work, school re-starting for my kids, and an ankle surgery for my daughter, I haven’t been doing much work in Tableau.  As Eva Murray put so well in her blog, sometimes you can’t do it all, and that’s OK.  I look forward to when I get to put some time into these new features on a few Tableau Public projects.

The #DataFam is real, and it’s SPECTACULAR

At past conferences, I have mostly found myself hanging out with folks I knew from Minneapolis, or with my co-workers.  A combination of my natural shyness, along with a little intimidation/impostor syndrome kept me from really engaging people outside of my comfort circle.  But, this year I made it a point to make more personal connections, especially with some of the #DataFam from my Twitter feed.  So, I stepped outside of my comfort zone and it most definitely returned in spades!

From Monday afternoon right up until I left for the airport Friday night, I tried to meet people from the Twitter community I had never met in person.  Not one of them could have been nicer or more welcoming.  I expected nothing less, but thanks to everyone I met this week nonetheless.  For everyone that I met, thank you for making me feel like part of the crew.  I may have been a little late to the party, but I can’t wait to do it all again next year.  If I can be of help to any of you, please don’t hesitate to ask.

As Tristan Guillevin tweeted today, “at any Tableau conference: never be afraid or nervous to say hello to anyone.”  He’s so right, and I’m glad I finally realized it this year.  I’ll try work on my selfie game before TC20, because y’all take a LOT of them!  

I returned to Minneapolis with new ideas, fresh inspiration and many new friends.  I’m looking forward to continuing my journey and putting all that I’ve learned into practice.  Thanks to Tableau for the wonderful product, and for facilitating this amazing community that has come to surround it.

Until next time,

  • Jim

One thought on “Better Late Than Never

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