How I started to learn Tableau

by Jamie Bassett

The objective of my blogs is to write content of things I wish I knew at the very start of my Tableau journey. One thing I’d love to include in my blog is how I personally started to learn Tableau. In this blog post I will outline the main ways I learnt Tableau, which got me ready to start the Data School. I hope therefore that this blog post will be useful for anyone applying for the Data School, and anyone just starting to learn Tableau who want to know of some useful resources to get started.

Practical Tableau by Ryan Sleeper

I credit Ryan’s book with getting me to the level where I felt I was ready to submit my Data School application. It was this book that made me realise the important of the visual perspective of Tableau such as removing any ‘data junk’ to improve the data-ink ratio. Ryan’s website contains articles which are featured in the book, which is a preview of what the book is about, here is one such article:

Projects that involve Andy Kriebel

Andy has many projects due to his massive involvement in the Tableau Community. I loved looking at his Tableau Tip Tuesday videos, which made me realise the power of calculated fields. I also learnt via the Makeover Monday project. The blogs on the Makeover Monday website were great at providing visualisation tips and the Makeover Monday book is also super helpful for this too!

Downloading workbooks from Tableau Public

Lots of Tableau vizzes still completely astound me and I think “I have absolutely no idea how to do that myself”. However at the very start of my journey this applied to almost all visuals I saw on Tableau Public. A great way of learning is to download the workbook from Tableau Public and reverse engineering the viz.

Click this button to download the workbook, a great way to learn!

Looking at the Twitter profiles of Tableau Zen Masters and others

I did not actually have a Twitter account until the Data School job, however I still used Twitter to just view the profiles of others to learn their Tableau tips.

Some examples of the profiles I learn from are: Lindsey Poulter (@datavizlinds) and Ken and Kevin Flerlage (@flerlagekr) (@FlerlageKevin). The Tableau Community is very powerful, and is definitely something I need to get more involved with (but that is for another blog…).