I had a nice surprise this morning when Stephanie Evergreen sent me an email saying she was in town. It was really nice to catch up over lunch, trade consulting stories, and scheme a bit.
One thing that came up in our conversation > Tableau. [Okay, so I brought it up, but Stephanie had some stories too!]
Lately I’ve noticed that it seems like Tableau has gotten a good bit better at selling their services to my kinds of clients.
I’m pretty sure the conversation goes like this…
Tableau Salesperson: “You should buy this because you know data is important…”
Organization Manager: “That’s true, my boss was just talking about that.”
Tableau Salesperson: “And pictures and stuff, data science, blah, blah, blah.”
Organization Manager: “You make a good point, our visuals suck, let me go find my wallet.”
Tableau Salesperson: “Oh, and to do the thing you really want to do, you’re really going to need to pay for the biggest server package we have.”
Organization Manager: “Well of course we’re going to want to do that.”
One Year Later
Organization Manager to self: “Hmm, we should really get around to using that Tableau thing we bought last year. Wonder why nobody is using it.”
Which brings me to now. I thought, hey, why don’t I go ahead and pull some random data into Tableau public. Then I can start showing you how to get a lot more value out of Tableau.
Because it’s more about your overall project team’s approach and process than it really is about technical ability.
And so I went about getting a bunch of data from data.gov into Tableau public.
And then after spending some time joining different tables, and just getting ready to do some exploratory data analysis, Tableau crashed and I lost all my work.
Look, I like Tableau.
It can do a lot of really cool things. And it doesn’t have to be a huge pain.
But it’s like all things tech. Every once and a while it’s going to fail you and you are going to be annoyed. And maybe you’ll blame yourself for the tech’s shortcomings, believing that it is your lack of technical skills that caused the tool to crash.
Everyone I know who does anything tech related spends a good bit of their time being annoyed and Googling fixes to tech problems that may or may not be their fault. This includes people who get paid big bucks to work on confusing super high tech systems barely anyone else understands.
So later this week, because I’ve decided to post this and just go to bed, I’ll put up my Tableau post that I had originally planned to write. Stay tuned.
In case you were wondering, yes, I choose all of my clothing so that I blend in with restaurant decor. That’s just what you do when you’re a professional…