I started working with Tableau only 3 months ago when I started interning for Pooja Gandhi at Turning Technologies. I'm currently about to start my junior year at Miami University (OH) where I'm going for Finance & Analytics. Going into my internship, I had absolutely no experience with any real business intelligence software unless you count Excel and Access. Between Pooja's help, the KB Articles, Tableau Public, Tableau forums, Twitter, #makeovermonday, and my personal favorite Tableau 201 from Ryan Sleeper, I was able to get a very good understanding of Tableau in a matter of months. I even managed to sneak a Viz of the Day in there somehow (shameless self-promo).
My favorite feature early on was Action Filters in 9.3 because the only charts and dashboards I had known before were entirely static and calling them dull would be an understatement. I love icon based navigation and I think it has become one of the staples of my viz structure.
My favorite feature in Tableau 10 is Device Designer. I had a lot of fun back in 9.3 trying to make effective mobile-friendly dashboards, but man were they tedious to test out. I lost count of the number of times I would publish a viz and then check to see how it showed up on my phone. Device Designer takes most of this frustration out of the equation which just leaves the fun parts like assembling your dashboard.
I've learned so much from the great Tableau community in such a short time, that I cannot wait to see what the future holds in store!
Glad to hear that the Device Designer is helpful Nice feedback!
That's cool you worked with Winnie the Pooja, what a great way to learn about a tool than from an expert! I only hope she didn't bore you with vegetarian recipes
Agree with Toby - what a great experience getting to work with Pooja!
I also went to Miami for undergrad - go hawks! There are a couple of us (not many) who work here at Tableau
Tracy Rodgers no way! You were in Ohio before Seattle? How come I didn't know this? So cool!
Yeah, right Toby Erkson. As if you ever listened to my recipes last year at the conference For people who don't know Toby. He thinks eating 'pieces of cilantro on his steak' is eating greens. Really? I can't stop laughing even now, when I think about that!
Small world! I'd love to meet the alumni, maybe if I can swing TC16 with my classes... Also, let me know if you are ever in Oxford as I'd love to grab some Bagel & Deli any time of day.
Toby Erkson don't worry, I'm with you on the 'greens'. She did get me hooked on Indian food, however (mmm... curry). Believe it or not I have not heard a single vegetarian recipe yet, and today is my last day so I may be in the clear .
I lost my second job as a school teacher in Indianapolis due to budget cuts in 2013. At the time, very few positions were open for technology instructors in my area. I began looking at alternatives, and sure enough, a network of charter schools (Goodwill Education Initiatives) was hiring a BI Analyst, whose primary responsibility would be building Tableau dashboards and Server administration.
My life changed overnight. I downloaded the trial, built a few (very rudimentary) dashboards in Tableau Desktop, Version 8 (The Kraken ) -- I was able to download public school data, and produced some compelling views to compare school districts in Indiana. I was amazed at the speed in which I could build a dashboard in Tableau, with no background or experience in data analysis. The video tutorials and resources online made it fairly evident that this product would be well worth learning, and I began digging into the tool and the resources available on the Web, as much as I possibly could. In the beginning, I assumed this would be a temporary role for me, and I never imagined that I'd be using Tableau 3 years later... but like many others before and after me, the product really did change my life for the better.
At this time, I knew NOTHING about data. Granularity, SQL, aggregation -- these were all foreign terms to me. When I was hired as "the Tableau guy" at Goodwill Education Initiatives, I immediately began browsing these Community Forums in an effort to teach myself about the product. I soon realized I knew very little! With the help and support of the amazing people on these Forums (here's looking at you, Jonathan Drummey), I was able to build several dashboards within the first few weeks on the job. I became immersed in these forums, partly because I love Forum participation in general, and partly because I was sort-of bored with my day-to-day work -- coming here to solve problems was an adventure, and a challenge that I really enjoyed.
Fast forward to two years later, when I decided to try something new. After being to two Tableau conferences, and being a part of this Forum, I felt connected to something much bigger than I ever intended... Tableau opened my eyes to what a company could be. When looking for new work, I could not help but apply at Tableau -- I had learned a lot in two years, and wanted to continue applying what I learned. Any role where I could teach others about Tableau seemed like an amazing opportunity to me, and so I applied to be a Trainer for Tableau. I was lucky enough to find my spot on the Training Team, and my life has held more meaning and passion in the past 15 months than ever before.
Tableau has changed my life, and each day I work with the tool, I tend to learn something new. I love the product, and I love the company. Thanks to all of you, for making the Community such an awesome, inspiring place to learn and collaborate! I never thought I would work remotely, or work for a software company -- and now I just do it, and I feel extremely blessed to do what I do each day.
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Wow, in 3 years you have been able to pick up the tool - without backend knowledge and made such contributions to the community. That's very impressive! I am following a similar path and have looked to your posts for help as well.
It really shows when we are doing what we love.
Congrats for version 10 release.
Here is my short story on Tableau.
As many people in my generation are so, I was heavy MS Excel user.
The Excel skill itself was actually beneficial in my company.
In the past I tried to learn MS access, but not succeeded with technical difficulties I encountered.
3 years ago, I met Tableau and I became a fan of Tableau immediately.
The way I came to know Tableau was actually from info as Emerging Stock.
And I became interested in the service itself because it is said that the program is expanding their users through user-to-user communication.
The first two years. I have not used Tableau so much. Partially tried to replicate the same graphical view which was made by Excel and Powerpoint.
But I have not learnt enough skills to replace existing materials and cannot persuade my colleagues/bosses with confidence.
Two things happened around one year ago.
First, my company decided to use Tableau as replacement of Proclarity.
Second, I started to use Forum.
I asked my first question which I had been struggled with and successfully got answer thru Forum, supported by multiple people with big effort.
I was surprised that many people are helping each other. And started to answer the question as much as I could. (very small contribution at the beginning)
In couple of months, I could be able to create all the company-use charts by Tableau and succeeded to change the way to approach the data in my group.
Thru the Forum, I learnt that teaching other people is the biggest learning opportunity to me!!!
Especially practicing how to use LOD is quite difficult only by reading textbook.
Reading and trying to understand many people's use case is the bast way.
Technically, LOD was the biggest when version-9 came in.
Then, I expect another big step on version-10 with clustering.
I still need to learn other features from now, but just looking forward to tasting them.
I am working as a Analyst and I am using Tableau from last 10 months and I am enjoying it.
I learnt tableau through basic training which is provided by my company , KB article, Online Video and Tableau community.
When I was in the learning phase ,I used to ask many questions to my colleague jagadeesh How to do this calculation or formatting? and he used to end up saying that visit tableau community and you will find out number of multiple Solution from Experts, but Jagadeesh you helped me alot. One day I saw another colleague Ashish replying on some thread on tableau Community so I asked him What exactly is this community and he explained me about community in detail. Thanks Ashish
I joined community on 16 March 2016 and Came to know that there are number of problems. I Downloaded some workbook and followed the same steps as in the marked answer and learned many things.Still I am learning calculations and continue to learn new things.I remember my first reply to Abinesh Sathish thread, Re: how to Show and hide the Sheets in Dashboard and he marked that reply as"Correct" , that day I felt like Tableau Expert , but now I realized that many things need to be learnt to became an expert.
Best thing about Tableau is tableau Community where everyone is sharing their knowledge and are appreciated by Thread owner like "Thank you very much.I got my perfect output".
Talking about my favorite feature in Tableau 10 is Device Designer and variable-width bar charts with mark sizing control (One of the requirements from client when working on Tableau 9.1).
Thanks and regards,
Our story? We run a 9-1-1 Fire and EMS Communications Center in LA County for 14 Fire Departments. We are busy! We have limited staff and high demand for our time and for analytics.
Our old experience with BI and analytics was to scrape data from our Computer-Aided Dispatch System and 9-1-1 Records Management Systems and join common data fields for some type of result using MS-Access and/or MS-Excel. It was limiting to say the least and not consistent. We knew we weren't seeing the results we needed to see much less what our Chief Officers wanted to see for performance measurement and statistics.
We studied all the key BI software tools currently on the market for about 6 months before making a decision to go with Tableau this time last year (ver. 9). By far it has been the best business decision we've ever made. It's been so easy to use (even for me) for calculated fields, controlled distribution for our monthly and annual reports to our stakeholders, beautiful charting, mapping (key item for us for incident locations) and now it has improved even more. Tableau has allowed us to move off of MS-Excel worksheets which only produced a moment in time; now, all of our agency's can obtain up to 5-years trended data all on their own. It's been a tremendous timesaver for our staff and it brings consistency with our reporting and self-service analytics.
And we are still learning either from Tableau Masters or from the Community Forums which are TREMENDOUSLY helpful!!!
Thank you for all the great design changes and we can't wait to try clustering and nested LODs!
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Right from layoff as a school teacher to Tableau employee, your story has inspired me and I hope it inspires everyone who reads this thread. Thanks for being so open about telling your story.
You have exactly summerized why many of us are here.
and partly because I was sort-of bored with my day-to-day work -- coming here to solve problems was an adventure, and a challenge that I really enjoyed.
You are an example that anyone can learn Tableau quickly and that's what Tableau as a product believes in.
Thanks again. I wish you and everyone all the very best. Hope your future journey will be more adventurous and exciting than that of past.
I am a living example of better living through Tableau, and I'm not alone. I wish you all the best as you continue onward and upward!
Thanks to the Tableau Community and people who engage on this learning platform. Thanks to Tracy and team as well for creating such interesting and engaging reward system which doesn't let you sleep many times.
I have followed Mahfooj and checked on "Inbox" as well after looking at the kind of solution he used to provide. Every morning when I used to login to the forum I could see only "Mahfooj has replied ......" all over my inbox. Later replying few questions I realized how much efforts it does take to reply a question and how much Mahfooj must be spending time to replying all this questions. That day I decided to spend time on tableau forum after my work.
He is one of the friend that I have made on community and we are in touch. Happy to have you as a friend. So this forum is not just knowledge sharing platform but place where we can meet people across world and make connections that will help us in long run.
Thanks for sharing your journey and inspiring me, Mahfooj Bhai.
Whenever I meet fresher or experienced using Tableau, I always have deep discussions with them over Tableau as a BI tool. Many times I have seen people are willing to switch their career from Tableau to something else. Whenever I sense it without forgetting first thing that I do is showing your LinkedIn and Tableau community profile which gives them overview of your journey from "Speech Pathologist" to "Tableau Community Strategist" and let me tell you I have never failed to inspire many of them though your example. I always make them read your tableau community profile loudly which says
" I ANSWERED QUESTIONS AND FORMED RELATIONSHIPS WITH SEVERAL PEOPLE ON THIS FORUM. THREE YEARS LATER, I AM NOW THE COMMUNITY STRATEGIST"
This has helped them to visualize their future and create vision where they see themselves in next 3-5 years. Many among them have joined forum and taking benefits by learning though solved questions or providing solution to open questions.
Trust me after knowing your journey, I started spending more time on community helping people all around the world. Thanks for inspiring those people who almost gave up on Tableau and everyone else.
P.S. Rody is the another example which I give who's journey starts as a Recruiter to Program analyst. I show his tableau public, LinkedIn and Twitter profile. I do this to make them believe that Tableau has changed lives of many people. You can be the next one.