How to Teach Tableau/Alteryx : Louise's Experience

by Louise Le

Last month, DS11 taught the public Tableau and Alteryx and this month, we are conducting webinars teaching the same content. Check out our meetup page for more details on upcoming webinars and events!

For both of these lessons, I taught Alteryx Data Prep. If you missed my webinar, it was recorded and will be uploaded so I will update this post with a link later.


In this blog post, I will go over my teaching experience and some top tips from myself and from the beautiful people at the Information Lab.


My Teaching Experience and Top Tips!

Fig 1. DS11’s Alteryx Training Day


To prepare for teaching, I sought advice from the wealth of experience of the Information Lab consultants. The advice I received was super useful and helped me to prepare my lesson plan. Figure 2 below shows all the teaching tips I gathered categorised into four sections.


Fig 2. My teaching tips notes!


  • I found that the best tip is to prepare more than you think you should! 


  • When creating your teaching material, look at the resources out there currently and build on the great stuff. Practice your delivery on friends or family who don’t know the topic to check it’s understandable and to practice to your pace. The more you know the topic you’re teaching and the more comfortable with the material you are, the better your class will be. Your students will be confident that they’re learning from someone who knows their stuff and you’ll feel more ready.


  • Provide a schedule for the day, including when break times are. Also, make sure your students know where the washroom facilities are. Your students will appreciate knowing this information.


  • Demo a technique/task, then your class does a task on their own, then demo then task… This is a good structure to use for your training.


  • When actually teaching, go slow. If you think you’re slow, slow it down more. You do not want to go too fast for your students and risk losing one of them.


  • Say everything you’re doing. For example, ‘Now I drag the Select tool from the Preparation tab onto the canvas next to our previous tool and connect the green arrows’


  • Body language and voice are super important! Stand firmly on the floor, don’t fold your arms or fidget. Try not to stand behind your podium constantly. Come out and point on the big screen, walk to your class to check everyone is following along. Project your voice. Speak loudly, slowly and clearly.





Install or turn on a cursor highlight – This helps your students track where you are on the screen. It can be difficult to follow a small cursor on a big screen, especially when your students look away for a moment to their own computers and then look back at your screen. It is very easy to get lost. So, whenever you click on something or want to draw attention to an area of the screen, use a cursor highlighter.


Zoomit – I have not played around with this application but it was recommended by Jason Rochin (Tableau Trainer). This allows you to zoom, draw boxes and arrows directly on the screen, write text and has a countdown timer! Figure 3 shows an example of what you can do with Zoomit. I would keep this on the screen so my students won’t ask what they need to do multiple times.


Fig 3. Use Zoomit to draw directly on your screen



I really enjoyed teaching but I definitely need to practice more! When I encounter more tools/tips for teaching Tableau and Alteryx, I will share it with you guys!


That’s all, folks!



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4 mins read

Thu 31 Jan 2019

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