Tableau Public is one of the best ways to enhance my skills. And I don’t mean just my Tableau skills, which sounds obvious, but also my data-analysis and data-visualization skills.
Tableau Public has helped me think in a more analytical way. It’s improved my communications skills and taught me to focus on the key messages I want to convey. I’ve also discovered new data sources to explore and learned to analyse data from different perspectives. In short, Tableau Public pushes me to learn more every day.
But how do I learn, exactly? The first way is by reverse-engineering dashboards from other Tableau Public users. It’s as easy as downloading a workbook you like and figuring out how the author built it.
There are many reasons to download a workbook: a calculation that you’d like to learn, a chart you really like, a particular design that you want to use in the future. For the same reasons, allow other users to download your workbooks. This is, in my opinion, one of the key points of all of Tableau Public.
The second way is through the great Tableau community. Read blogs, ask questions on Twitter, and save dashboards for future reference. The amount of knowledge, inspiration, and ideas you can get from the community is huge. And it's probably one of the key reasons why Tableau is the great tool that it is.
But of course, miracles don’t exist. Willpower and effort are necessary as for anything. The more you practice and more visualizations you create, the better. Practice is the only real way to improve doing something. Think about your hobbies, the things you are interested in, and look for data sources about them.
Or join the community for Makeover Monday, a great way to practice every week without spending time searching for data sets.
Don’t forget to also learn to use additional tools that can save you a lot of time getting the data from websites where the data is not available to download in a nice way. Import.io or ParseHub are two good free options. Alteryx, an excellent software for data preparation and data cleansing, is also a perfect pairing for Tableau.