Our experiences shape our world isn’t it?

When my team participated at the Big Data Analytics Championship in November 2014, I observed a little trend during the final presentation. The judges who were evaluating the final pitch were asking two types of questions to the presenters: (1) So how does this visualization help the organization (2) How holistically did the visualizations covered the scope of the issue? If you think, these are significant questions and focuses on the solution side of the problems.

We all know Data is a core building block of modern organizations and transforming data into information and knowledge enables firms to perform better. I took a course on Business Intelligence this fall of 2014 (MIS 5101.001) where we focused to understand practices of acquiring, assessing, and analyzing data to solve business problems. One aspect of the course was to learn about the technologies that are used to build our understanding of data better and with this I was introduced to Tableau.

Tableau is an easy to use data visualization tool which helps in visual data discovery, dash boarding, and storytelling. I personally love the tree charts, bubble graphs, heat maps, geo special mapping, the forecasting and predictive analytics features. The visualization’s can be in the form of worksheets, dashboards or stories.

The teams which did better than others in Championship were able to communicate better stories. Stories are important, to demonstrate what I mean, find below two visualizations from the same data. In the first figure below, I am showing the life expectancy in BRICS countries and with some others such as US, Mexico, UK etc included, if you notice this visualization does not communicate much.

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Now see this second visualization, In Geo spatial setting I have communicated the life expectancy, in this visualization one can see the ages across BRICS nations and others. This is so much more powerful.

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Tableau is getting adapted across some really cool companies such as Space X & Tesla, Bank of America, Intermountain Healthcare, Merck, IAG, Goldman Sachs, LinkedIN, Louis Vuitton, Facebook and Google among others, as you see Tableau covers pretty much every industry. 

The industry regards Tableau pretty high, in the Gartner’s Magic Quadrant report for Business Intelligence and Analytics Platform 2014 they are positioned as leaders.


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I personally find Tableau pretty powerful and friendly but if you really want to enjoy Tableau, the real value comes when you start to engage in Tableau’s open online community of enthusiast’s, I go to the community to read comments of other users and listen to their novel ideas, my learning has grown many folds due to just participating in the community. You can access the community by creating an account on the Tableau website.

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So to come back to the original question, yes our experiences shape our world and if you immerse yourself openly you tend to gain much more. With this I want to conclude for now. Let me know what you think send me an email at gaurav.varma@gmail.com and don’t forget to try your hands on Tableau.