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Ashleigh Trinh
July 03, 2018

Promatix | Week 9 – Small Bump in the Road

This week was mostly about practising for the exam next week, the closer it gets the more nervous I am. Read more about my preparation from Week 8 here. I attempted the practice questions last week which was easy enough but this week I had some questions from Merel from when she did her exam.

This was significantly harder than the questions in the exam guide! I did not do as well as I would have liked and a lot of the time it was due to not misunderstanding the question or just silly mistakes (such as reading the P-value instead of the R-squared-value). The questions are sometimes phrased in such a way that the outcome required is not apparent or easily interpreted. There really aren’t many resources to practice before the exam but I think similar style questions help and it is good to get into the habit of reading the questions properly and at least twice to fully understand what is needed to find the answer. Another potential issue that I may stumble upon is answering all the questions in the two-hour time limit since I tend to always need more time in examinations. The questions can be difficult to understand and there feels like a lot to do in two hours, however I have read people’s experiences of the exam and it seems like many people finish before the two-hour limit so hopefully this will not be an issue for me on the actual day.

On Friday, Merel and I were working with a client, this is always a fun experience for me since you can come across cases or issues that are not seen with nice, tidy data such as those for Makeover Monday, Workout Wednesday or other great modes of developing your skills for Tableau. This time an interesting issue occurred, the data was from Excel spreadsheets and appeared to be perfectly in order with field headings and content with no nulls. However, when this was input into Tableau, everything shifted, and the data became jumbled and there were a lot of null fields. I was not sure if this issue occurred since I deleted one row (containing heading descriptors) so I downloaded the data source again, but the same issue occurred. It was baffling, I looked closer at the spreadsheets and it seemed that Tableau was splitting the main text field up into sections so that sections of the text was being put into different (and wrong) fields. Again, Google to the rescue! This seems to be a rare issue to happen, but we found that Tableau does not behave well with line breaks in the cells. After replacing all the line breaks with spaces (or other punctuation) the issue no longer occurred, this can be done by CTRL-F to find the line breaks (which are found by typing CTRL-J) and replacing them with a space or punctuation mark.

Next week is the big annual Tableau Conference (Europe)!! This will be my first Tableau Conference and I am excited to see the variety of talks available. I am particularly looking forward to the Customise and Embed Tableau with JavaScript talk since I learnt the basics of JavaScript back in my first week and some of the talks relating to healthcare. It will be great that the talks will be recorded since Advanced Analytics with R and Python would be interesting too since coding is a hobby of mine but by no means would I be ‘advanced’, so with more experience and training I could go back to the talks and watch it then when it would be more useful.

My exam will be on the first day of the conference (Tuesday), I am feeling the nerves now, but I am sure I will be fine. Despite the outcome I give it my all! Wish me luck!


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