An exhilarating 3 day experience and complete necessity for every Tableau fan on the planet!

On the first day we took our Tableau Desktop 9 Qualified Associate exams and in the evening we joined the other Tableau enthusiasts for the welcome reception. My mentor Andy P set the standard by telling me he achieved 91% when he took his exam last year. I didn’t beat him, but did achieve a score of just 1% less, oh so close! If you plan to take this exam, make sure to do the practice exam as it was very useful.

The next two days of the conference were just awesome. It was an opportunity to understand the big data industry, the use of Tableau by different companies and for us to gain a different perspective. There were probably around a thousand people at the event at Montcalm Hotel, from budding data analysts like us at the Data School to C-level executives of companies. I really enjoyed speaking with people at different stages in their careers from a wide array of industries and diverse backgrounds.

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The schedule included a number of keynote talks, customer stories and hands on Tableau training. Here’s a list of the sessions I attended:

  • Keynote: James Elloart – Unleashing Human Intellect with Tableau
  • How I lost my Fear of Clients’ CEOs at mib:con by Filip Dousek
  • Criteo’s Release Process for Tableau Server using the REST API by Damien Lesage and Justin Coffey
  • Keynote: Dr. Ben Goldacre—Bad Science, Better Data
  • To the Moon and Back Eight Times a Day with EasyJet by Nik Stoychev
  • The Pilot Thickens: Using Visualisations to Tell Stories About Data by Robert Kosara
  • Turning the Tables on Advanced Calculations by Bethany Lyons
  • Keynote: Dr Hannah Fry—The Mathematics of Love
  • Meet-up with the London Tableau User Group by Paul Chapman, Elissa Fink , Emily Kund, Francois Ajenstat

The conference opened up my mind to the endless possibilities of Tableau. There is so much more to it than Tableau Desktop. A colleague from the Data School said she went to a session where they displayed a Tableau dashboard you can actually talk to just like Siri, how amazing!

Most importantly the conference made me realise how brilliant and supportive the community is. Should you ever get stuck with anything, rest assured there will be a true data Jedi out who you can reach out to for help, that too for nothing in return. The community was very friendly, welcoming, helpful and shared its knowledge freely, a key ingredient for success! After the conference I felt that I was now a part of this wonderful community and will do my utmost in contributing and sharing my knowledge just like the rest.

Of course, a Data School week wouldn’t be complete without any special guests. Andy arranged Tableau Vice President for Product Management Francois Ajenstat and Alteryx President and COO George Mathew to pay us a visit, both were tremendous at delivering their respective messages.

Our entertaining and interesting week ended with our presentations on our top three tips we learned from the conference. Mine were: an LOD Exclude calculation, not to take news articles based on statistics at face value (research Dr. Ben Goldacre – well worth it) and performance recording.