Eight-year-old Judah Bausili has been playing a whole lot of Pokémon Go lately. He and his dad, Ben, have caught 46 so far.
“I’ve caught Doduo, Bulbasaur, and the last one...I can’t remember,” says Judah.
Judah has always enjoyed catching Pokémon, but he hasn’t always been discerning about the types he caught. And that’s where Ben, his data-minded dad who happens to work for Tableau Gold Partner InterWorks, saw an opportunity.
Ben pulled some Pokémon character stats from Wikipedia. Then he gave Judah a quick tour of Tableau.
“I explained dimensions and measure. Then I showed him how to build charts, then had him try it,” says Ben.
Five minutes later, Ben turned on the camera.
After exploring the stats, Judah realized not all characters were created equal, and declared a new favorite: “Mewtwo, because he’s like really strong, fast, and really defensive.”
This exercise was Judah’s first introduction to Tableau, but it was hardly his first lesson in seeing and understanding data.
It all began when Judah was just 6. Ben was sitting on his bed, analyzing data, when Judah came into the room.
“And he jumps on the bed and says, ‘I want to watch you! Daddy, look at all the numbers!’ He was super-excited about it,” says Ben. “That’s actually one of my favorite stories about Judah.”
Since then, Judah’s often watched his dad work, sometimes asking questions about what he sees on the screen. And Ben has seized those moments to impart small lessons.
“When he shows curiosity, I indulge him,” says Ben. “I try to let him be a part of what I’m doing. I explain why I’m doing something, why it’s important. He learns, and it’s meaningful to him.”
Because Judah has been around computers since a young age, teaching him how to use Tableau took no time at all, says Ben.
“As I find opportunities in daily life, I try to introduce him to technology. And that made teaching Tableau easy, because Tableau is very intuitive,” says Ben.
The Draw of Do-It-Yourself Data
As for Judah, he’s learned that watching is one thing; doing is another. Ever since he tried Tableau, Judah has been bitten by the bug.
“I really, really liked it because it was really fun to do,” he says.
For his next act, Judah wants to explore Marvel Comics data—and he’s considering letting his younger brother, Leo, help.
“He wants to make his own dashboard now,” says Judah of his brother.
It appears watching Dad work, while once nice, is no longer enough.
“The other day, I was building a dashboard for a client. And Judah asked me if he could do it for me,” says Ben.
Still, ask Judah about his favorite part of exploring data, and the answer’s likely the same as it’s ever been: “Spending time with my dad.”
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