Bulletin from the Bay: Tableau User Group at GoPro

Last week I had the pleasure of attending a meeting of the San Francisco Bay Area Tableau User Group. It was a sold-out affair. Josh Byrd of GoPro talked about how the company is managing all kinds of data, including device data, using Cloudera, Trifacta, and Tableau.

In January alone, there were 42 TUG meetings around the world. And there are hundreds of active groups. The San Francisco group is one of the largest and most active, and I always have a good time when I go.

What made this meeting special? Many of the same things you’ll find at user group meetings worldwide.

The People: 'A Community of Overachievers'

At any Tableau User Group, and in the Bay Area in particular, you’ll find all kinds of data geeks. Talented data professionals, bloggers with worldwide followings, Zen Masters, that kind of thing. John Abdo called the user group “a community of overachievers.” I’ve seen that same dynamic at every user group I’ve visited: people who are passionate about understanding their world through data and are trying to get better at what they do.

User group leader John Abdo (left) poses with other members of the SF Bay Area Tableau User Group.

The Learning & Practice Sharing

The program for this meeting was a presentation by Josh, GoPro’s head of analytics. Josh and his team talked about how they built their data and analytics system from the ground up to handle a massive amount of data from disparate systems.

GoPro collects data from devices like Roku, Xbox, and Fire TV Stick as well as from cloud-business applications like Google Analytics and Netsuite. Josh described how GoPro uses Cloudera to collect all its data in Hadoop, then figures out how to put it into tables later. GoPro use Trifacta for the data pipeline and transformation, then does the analysis in Tableau.

The Pizza

The pizza was fine. More to the point, it was free and accompanied by beer. In San Francisco, you don’t choose a user group meeting if your criteria is primarily culinary. But if you want to meet people who are smart, creative, and passionate about data, I highly recommend you find your local Tableau User Group.

I mentioned the ringers. Here they are: Tabelau Zen Masters Allan Walker and Anya A’Hearn, and RJ Andrews of the data blog Info We Trust.

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