12 Replies Latest reply on Jan 27, 2016 2:58 PM by Ben Cole

    Tableau Certificates and The Analyst Toolkit

    Ben Cole

      Heyall,

       

      After 3 months of full time Tableau Dashboarding in business intelligence I took the Advanced Tableau and Visual Analytics courses.  The Advanced course was helpful but relatively simple and the Visual Analytics course was probably the worst $1,400 of company money I've ever spent.   I'm beginning to feel like Tableau is a great product with a lot of hype and marketing around it.  In an effort to become a more marketable analyst I'm eyeing both the associate and professional certificates, although I doubt any prospective employers are ever going to know the difference.  

       

      Has anyone taken either of the certificates?  Why? Whats the value of them been for you?

       

      also, I'm a relatively new to the product/data/business analyst role and curious to know how Tableau fits into the landscape of your analyst tool kit.

      I know a bit of SQL, Excel, and Python.

       

      Can Tableau be my main tool? my bread and butter? and/or Is domain space expertise a better investment?

       

      Thanks so much for taking a gander.

       

        • 1. Re: Tableau Certificates and The Analyst Toolkit
          Shawn Wallwork

          This will be interesting!

           

          --Shawn

          • 2. Re: Tableau Certificates and The Analyst Toolkit
            Ben Cole

            Hi Shawn, I actaully sent you an email awhile back asking a similar question.

             

            You ever get it? The subject was "Freelancing Tableau"

            • 3. Re: Tableau Certificates and The Analyst Toolkit
              Rody Zakovich

              Hey Ben,

               

              Ben Cole wrote:

               

              also, I'm a relatively new to the product/data/business analyst role and curious to know how Tableau fits into the landscape of your analyst tool kit.

              I know a bit of SQL, Excel, and Python.

               

              Can Tableau be my main tool? my bread and butter? and/or Is domain space expertise a better investment?

               

              Tableau is my main (And only) Data Visualization tool.  I want to highlight this, because many people try to make Tableau be something it isn't. Tableau is by far (IMHO) the best Data Visualization tool on the market. But it is not great at being used like a PDF viewer, Report Bursting application, ETL product or worse, Excel. And I think it is not great at those things, because it was never intended to be those things.

               

              90% of my data lives in SQL Server. So a lot of the "prep work" I do is with T-SQL. This is how I get my data into the "shape" I need to be successful in Tableau. A lot of the more complex problems we see on the Forums is related to Data not being in an ideal structure, and us trying to use complex logic in Tableau (Like nested Table Calcs, Densification, Etc) to make the Data fit the intended Viz. Here is a good article on the topic

               

              http://redheadedstepdata.io/lookup-vs-transactional/

               

              I've used (Still use) Python for more server admin related activities. But I have written some ETL scripts for data living in third party applications. I also find JavaScript to be very useful for adding additional "*****" to Tableau, as we can do thing with the JS API that we can't do with Desktop alone. Tableau Zen: Tableau Monopoly (Tablopoly?) - Part 1 #DATA15

               

              As far as Excel (To be more specific CSV files), I generally only use these for action item related reports (Like emailing a list of customers to call today). But I do all of these inside of SQL Server directly because, as I said before, Tableau is not  great at Report Bursting and I don't want to do these types of activities with it.

               

              Ben Cole wrote:

               

              After 3 months of full time Tableau Dashboarding in business intelligence I took the Advanced Tableau and Visual Analytics courses.  The Advanced course was helpful but relatively simple and the Visual Analytics course was probably the worst $1,400 of company money I've ever spent.   I'm beginning to feel like Tableau is a great product with a lot of hype and marketing around it.  In an effort to become a more marketable analyst I'm eyeing both the associate and professional certificates, although I doubt any prospective employers are ever going to know the difference.  

               

              Has anyone taken either of the certificates?  Why? Whats the value of them been for you?

               

              I am going to avoid this topic, simply because I don't want to step on any toes. I hope you understand.

               

              I hope this helps!

               

              Regards,

              Rody

              3 of 3 people found this helpful
              • 4. Re: Tableau Certificates and The Analyst Toolkit
                Shawn Wallwork

                Sorry, I meant to answer, and then life got in the way.

                 

                Your email was asking if 'freelancing' as a Tableau consultant was a viable career. The jury is still out on that one. On one side there are the large firms/partners charging $200/hr +/- for their consulting services, and then there are the folks in Asia who seem to be offering their services for $20/hr. or less. So at some point the market will resolve this pricing issue, and the viability of Tableau freelancing (here in the US) will be answered. I really don't know which way it will go.

                 

                But the question you have asked here seems to be about certification, and in my mind the jury is still out on that too. So I'm interested to hear what others are experiencing.

                 

                Cheers,

                 

                --Shawn

                • 5. Re: Tableau Certificates and The Analyst Toolkit
                  Shawn Wallwork

                  Rody, excellent post! (Of course.) I want to highlight/reiterate one of your comments:

                  A lot of the more complex problems we see on the Forums are related to Data not being in an ideal structure, and us trying to use complex logic in Tableau (Like nested Table Calcs, Densification, Etc) to make the Data fit the intended Viz. Here is a good article on the topic

                   

                  http://redheadedstepdata.io/lookup-vs-transactional/

                   

                  Thanks,

                   

                  --Shawn

                  • 6. Re: Tableau Certificates and The Analyst Toolkit
                    Shawn Wallwork

                    Ben are you aware that Tableau will be hiring 1,000 new employees in the near future? Freelance Consulting is great for me, but I wonder if you wouldn't be better off joining the Tableau team, before going out on your own. At least you'll get a whole bunch of free training! Just ask Matt Lutton (Maybe he can give you a few pointers.)

                     

                    --Shawn

                    • 7. Re: Tableau Certificates and The Analyst Toolkit
                      Philip Riggs

                       

                      Can Tableau be my main tool? my bread and butter? and/or Is domain space expertise a better investment?

                       

                       

                      I come from Python scripting, ArcGIS, and databases. Tableau has taken over almost all my Data Visualization needs, at least so far. And I'm so thankful I don't have to write R code or Python Matplotlib code to create great visuals. ArcGIS still has its place for mapping needs where more than one spatial layer is needed, but I've found that Tableau has taken over 90% of what I used ArcGIS for, mainly just displaying and interacting with data having a spatial location.

                       

                      I still write the occasional Python script, but Alteryx has taken over 98% of what I was using Python for and allows me to do what I need with data faster and easier.

                       

                      Both Tableau and Alteryx have R integration, so I do the occasional R script.

                       

                      I'd say my bread and butter is the combination of Tableau and Alteryx. They compliment each other extremely well. I spend more time in Alteryx just because the data I deal with needs a lot of work before putting into Tableau. But Tableau is the fun part and people I work with are extremely happy to have the Tableau visualizations of data that has been locked up in Excel.

                       

                      I wouldn't want to have to work without having both at my disposal.

                      1 of 1 people found this helpful
                      • 8. Re: Tableau Certificates and The Analyst Toolkit
                        Rody Zakovich

                        Alteryx is the one tool I wish I had more than any other. I have watched vids of it online, and it just looks like it "Flows" so smoothly.

                         

                        I'd give up a raise to get that at my office!

                         

                        @Ben I see a lot of companies starting leverage Alteryx right now (And for good reason), if you are able to somehow learn it, it will certainly be beneficial to you.

                         

                        Regards,

                        Rody

                        • 9. Re: Tableau Certificates and The Analyst Toolkit
                          Kevin Swanzy

                          I will be going down the path of both Qualification and Certification tests in the next 2 months. I previously took the Fundamental and Advanced classes with version 8.2 and found them very beneficial and well done.

                           

                          To prep for the Qualification test I plan to go back through both class workbooks, view TCC14 and TCC15 sessions on the new features and review the Prep Guide. With 2 years experience working with Tableau this is a validation that I have all Tableau foundation skills covered.

                           

                          As to the Visual Analytics class, I intend to take it at my personal expense and if I am not satisfied I intend to provide constructive criticism to Tableau as I have found them receptive to receiving such. My intent is to develop a solid foundation, secure the Certification and use that in combination with TSQL and Tableau Online to Architect solutions and train new Tableau Desktop users in an organization.

                           

                          I will not be pursuing the freelance route but one within an organization and will update this thread after I complete the journey.

                           

                           

                          Ben, can you please elaborate on why you feel this way?

                          "the visual Analytics course was probably the worst $1,400 of company money I've ever spent"

                           

                          -- Kevin

                          • 10. Re: Tableau Certificates and The Analyst Toolkit
                            Prabhmeet Arora

                            Hi Ben, please could you leave your email address here? I have a couple of small projects in my company and we're looking for a freelance Tableau developer/consultant.

                             

                            Thanks

                            • 11. Re: Tableau Certificates and The Analyst Toolkit
                              Ben Cole

                              Hi Parabhmeet,

                               

                              Feel free to reach out. 

                              bcolebuild@gmail.com

                               

                              Thanks

                              • 12. Re: Tableau Certificates and The Analyst Toolkit
                                Ben Cole

                                Hi Kevin,

                                 

                                Sorry for the delay.

                                 

                                I'm speaking to this nested quote, ha!

                                     "Ben, can you please elaborate on why you feel this way?

                                     "the visual Analytics course was probably the worst $1,400

                                      of company money I've ever spent""

                                 

                                The Visual Analytics Course had little in the way of deliverable content.  The teachers were great, but the course was primarily structured around having dialogue about which dashboards we liked and why.  My time would have been better spent skimming through either one of Steven Phew's two books Information Dashboard Design or Now You See It.  Considering the hefty price tag on the course I expected that we would have been introduced to more actionable takeaways.