Business Intelligence Blog

Latest Stories

Featured Stories

Filter By Categories
Ashleigh Trinh
July 11, 2018

Promatix | Week 10 - The sky’s the limit!

I am officially a Tableau Desktop Qualified Associate! The exams were on the first day of the European Tableau Conference, I was booked onto the 3pm slot, this allowed me to use the morning to go over the practice questions and to calm my nerves. If you want to read more about how I prepared for my exam, read last week's post here.

As expected, the phrasing of the questions made it difficult to understand what the examiner wanted the examinee to find from the data; I found that I would doubt myself if I thought that the journey to the answer was ‘easier’ than I anticipated. The self-doubt helped in this case, it meant that I would question my methods and re-do the question to check my answer again, but this also added to my nerves. My overall score was much better than I expected however I only got 58% in the Organising and Simplifying Data category. I would like to go through some of the sections I performed lower in to brush up on the techniques and knowledge. I cannot wait to learn and achieve more with Tableau, though there is a long way to go and there are many more qualifications to take before I reach the level of the amazing people I saw at the conference!

Back to the key topic of this blog… Tableau Conference 2018 Europe!



My first Tableau Conference was a great experience, it really showed me how friendly the community of Tableau and data is and that there are such amazing people to learn from. The Tableau Keynotes were so much fun, and it is brilliant that Tableau is constantly growing and changing, with updates to the software every quarter, and to hear about the changes from some of the people behind these new functions that we will be able to enjoy soon. Some of my favourite sessions at the conference were the National Trust talk, Embedding Tableau with JavaScript and, of course, Iron Viz.

The Information Lab: Discovering Tableau After 123 Years: How the National Trust is Turning Data into Insight provided a great point of view to a business getting started with Tableau. The talk made me think about how the transition to using Tableau is not always smooth-sailing and it is understandable as to why change can be hard to overcome in any organisation. Despite the challenges, it was interesting to get a glimpse into how a great historic, non-profit organisation like the National Trust manages to use Tableau with a variety of skill sets and data knowledge to improve their business. They also use a Profit and Loss statement similar to Andy Kriebel’s visualisation (found here) which makes it easier for the viewer to pick out the key information than from the typical Profit and Loss tables that are widely used, I thought this would be a great viz to show in a demo for clients where this could be relevant to really show off Tableau’ ease of use to achieve great insight into data.

I attended two sessions on JavaScript, the first was a hands-on workshop, Customise and Embed Tableau with JavaScript. As mentioned in a previous blog, I was on a JavaScript course back in May, at the time I was unsure when it would be useful with our work at Promatix. This session demonstrated how, with JavaScript, you could customise a viz on a website so that you can add filters using HTML controls, which blends in seamlessly into the website or app, and add information without losing the interactivity that is usually on a dashboard. JavaScript can also respond to user actions in the visualisation, such as display detailed information in the page from a selection of marks. The other session was a talk on Embedding Tableau: The Whys, Whens, and Hows. This one was much less hands-on but showed a much more client-side use of JavaScript than the hands-on workshop. Some of the benefits of embedding is that all the information that the client requires can be found and observed in one place rather than having to go to the server hence increasing workflow efficiency. The code to embed Tableau is quite easy to find online and can be copied, pasted then amended to suit your requirements so it is quite easy to implement into your own HTML code; as with all common programming languages, JavaScript is frequently queried on the web so it is likely that, if you should run into a problem or want a specific outcome, someone will have asked about it and there is a solution out there. Like Tableau, the programming and coding community is also very open to sharing problems and solutions on the internet via blogs, videos and forums, so there is no shortage of help to start embedding vizzes to your own websites.

Iron Viz was extremely impressive to say the least; it is amazing what the vizzers managed to achieve in just 20 minutes! This year the data was about the Big Mac Index, which monitors how the price of a Big Mac changes as an indicator of the current economy in different countries, and it was interesting how three people can tell such different stories with the same set of data (plus some supplementary data). Sarah Bartlett and Daniel Caroli decided to use data from one specific country to focus the story on the economy of that country, whereas Klaus Schulte was more generic and focussed on Europe as a whole. I particularly enjoyed the story that Daniel Caroli did about the economy in Venezuela and how it was highly dependable on the oil industry hence when there is a drop in oil prices there is a huge increase in price of the Big Mac. In my opinion, that story was impactful since there was a clear trend between the two industries and focussing on oil meant that it was a very relevant story since oil has been a highly regarded topic, especially in recent years.

My first Tableau conference was a great experience: I learnt a lot about Tableau and the community, I had a lot of fun (correlating strongly with the amount of food I ate), I met and watched some amazing people doing what I can only hope to achieve using Tableau, and I passed my exam! I hope to attend many more Tableau conferences and develop my skills even more before the next conference in Berlin next year.

If you are interested in seeing some of the talks from the conference, you can find the recordings here.


If you are interested in learning more about Tableau or having a free demo,

Contact Us

Subscribe Email