The broader Tableau Community is an engaged and enthusiastic group. You’ll find the local model is much the same, so the Field of Dreams mantra, “If you build it, they will come” often rings true. This means they’ll come the first time, however being intentional about vision, and your specific community has a much better chance at leading to sustainable growth.
Utilizing the Eventbrite registration process, the Seattle Tableau User Group leaders have decided to ask a few other questions about our registrants. In particular, we ask about their Tableau experience level. Our results continue to point to a community that predominantly identifies as beginner to intermediate with less than 15% identifying as advanced. It’s easy to assume a well-established TUG in Tableau’s own backyard would lend itself to a more experienced community. With our data supported understanding of our community, we continue to focus on content that will reach those early in their journey. In turn, this opens the door for those with more experience to gain confidence in passing along knowledge to fellow members.
Do you remember your Tableau journey? Take a moment to think through the bullet points. If you use your current Tableau knowledge to dictate content, you’ll often overshoot your crowd. Here are a few key points we keep top of mind:
- Remember the challenges in moving from Excel, or other enterprise reporting platforms, to Tableau. Sure there is a learning curve, but a predominant challenge early on is a shift in mindset. Help your community through these stages.
- It’s all about the data. Depending on previous experience there are lots of new terms; extract, live data, server, pills, measures, dimensions, parameters…etc. Providing practical demos and hands on training as part of your events can quickly get a new user from hesitance to confidence. Once confident, the user is much more likely to feel capable in self-serving with their Tableau questions online or on the forums in addition to their TUG involvement.
- Don’t forget about the analysis process. I remember being directed to Stephen and Eileen McDaniel’s “The Accidental Analyst”. While serving in analyst roles for years, the clarity in choose your questions, collect your data, check data, clean data (in that order) was incredibly useful. Discovery and exploration in Tableau is not to be overlooked in the process of producing beautiful dashboards.
Just like any marketing campaign, a focus on your audience is paramount. Topics that are on the leading edge (big data, predictive analytics, and development for the mobile platform) sound great at the outset. However, if the content doesn’t directly apply to a common skill required on the job, it doesn’t leave your community with actionable insight. And that brings us right back to the beginning of our Tableau journey.