The Importance of Community

By Chris Stolte 2007/11/18

As you’ve likely noticed, we launched a whole new website with the latest version of our product suite - and a key focus was fostering customers' connections with the Tableau community. For any product, a vibrant and strong user community is important. Users need to be able to connect with other users to learn how to use the product most effectively, to discover ways to apply it to their unique tasks and data, and to share their own insights and discoveries. Lately, I’ve been spending a lot of time with our customers working together to refine our product roadmap, and in that process I’ve discovered that community is especially important for us.

Why is community so important? Our customers aren’t just using Tableau Software to more quickly and easily access their data to generate their existing reports or perform existing analysis processes. They are also discovering that they can question their data in ways that weren’t possible before. Users that used to only view static reports can now have intuitive Q&A sessions with their data. Fast visual analytics for everyone.
With these new abilities come questions: What are the best practices of visual analytics? What types of questions can I ask of warranty claim data or investment data or network utilization data or survey results? How can I most effectively approach a Q&A session with my data? How do I best equip my user community for visual analytics? How do I get help completing my tasks in Tableau? We hope our web site will help users answers many of these questions. The forums and sample gallery will provide an opportunity to connect with other users and to provide access to examples of how people are using Tableau in many verticals and for many tasks.
One of the things I am really excited about is that our new packaged workbooks and Tableau Reader have given us the technology to not only provide screenshots and write ups of examples but to also allow you to click and download that workbook and data to your desktop and interact with it yourself or repurpose it to work on your own data.
Many of our users are also passionate evangelists within their organization for visual analysis and for our products. And we are extremely grateful for that. But they want to know more about our mission, our values, our product roadmap, and about the science of visual analysis. One way we are working to support that is through our new corporate blog and “Tableau Letters”. In our blog, we will be providing frequent examples of how we are using the product internally and we will be talking about exciting ways our customers are using the product. Tableau Letters are longer articles that our team will be authoring on the science of visual analysis and our unique way of connecting you to your data. Our CEO, Christian, has authored the first letter. In it, he debunks the two major myths of visual analysis and shows why visual analysis is so important regardless if you have 200 rows of data in Excel or 2 TB of data in Netezza. It’s a great introduction to visual analysis and our unique perspective.
I am really excited about our growing community and enabling deeper connections between our users and ourselves.