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Note: The following is a guest post by Tableau Zen Master Yvan Fornes.
I recently had the privilege of teaching my passion—data visualization—at the EDHEC Global MBA program in Nice, France. I was sent by my company, Amadeus, the leading IT solutions provider for the travel industry and largest processor of travel bookings in the world.
As institutions with similar goals, EDHEC and Amadeus often collaborate. For several years, EDHEC Global MBA participants have spent two months consulting for Amadeus, providing valuable project insights. In addition to welcoming interns from EDHEC, Amadeus also recruits graduates from the MBA program, as it is ranked among the top 25 in the world by The Economist.
The goal of my one-day class was to teach students how to answer a business question using Tableau. To achieve this goal in such a short period, I had to find a way to make the students learn by themselves before and after class. When I’m asked how to teach Tableau, I usually recommend doing it in five steps:
To motivate students to practice, we organized a data viz challenge in collaboration with the EDHEC, Tableau, and Amadeus. Participants delivered a final visualisation that was graded, and the top three teams were rewarded. (Scroll down for the competition details!)
My class dealt with data visualisation best practices and hands-on Tableau exercises. These approaches underscore these three data visualisation concepts:
To put these concepts into action, I presented nine data visualisation tips to the class. Here are the top three:
After my one-day class, the 96 students formed groups of three to compete in the Amadeus-EDHEC-Tableau data visualization challenge. In this competition, participants had two weeks to deliver their final Tableau Public vizzes, given these simple rules:
I was a bit afraid to ask too much of my students, since most didn’t know anything about data visualization or Tableau just a few days before. However, I was very pleased with what the students came up with. They all managed to publish informative, relevant dashboards. Check out the winning vizzes:
1st Place: New Airport Destinations for Nice, France
"I’ve come to realize the power a great story holds in a modern business setting. We are bombarded each waking moment with data from varying sources and scope, but it’s only those data points, accompanied by a great story, which take hold. With the help of Tableau, and expert advice from Yvan Fornes, my team and I worked to embody this concept of data storytelling into our visualization."
"I discovered Tableau thanks to EDHEC MBA and Yvan Fornes, Tableau Zen Master at Amadeus. As a PMP project manager, I'm excited about using this tool in a professional context! In addition, the gallery of Tableau Public is a very valuable source of information I now regularly browse as a complement to traditional news media."
3rd Place: Flight Seasonality and Airline Expansion
"With the fast pace at which decisions have to be made, and the quantity of data now available, Tableau is a powerful tool to quickly see patterns, trends, narrow in on problems, and come up with quick solutions."
It’s been a real pleasure teaching the EDHEC Global MBA students, who were highly involved and quick learners. Because they enriched the class with their extensive professional experiences from countries from all over the world, I’ve been able to improve and refine my teaching methodology.
I hope you can use these classroom resources to get to know Tableau better, and to help others learn about visual analytics in just one day. Be sure to leave a comment about which resources you rely on the most for learning about visual analytics and teaching. The more we communicate and share our experiences working with data, the better people will be able to see and understand it.
Check out Tableau’s instructor resource page for self-service learning options, ready-made curriculum materials, answers to frequently asked questions, and license support.