Michael Cristiani In His Own Words: Tableau Customer Conference Attendees from 2008 Speak Up
I wanted to share more of the feedback that we received from attendees of last year's Tableau Customer Conference. With the conference discount deadline this Friday, May 15th, now's the time to get registered!
If you missed last week's post from Dan Murray, we asked some of our last year's attendees not only what they thought about the conference, but how their conference experience has impacted their work and their business in the past year.
This week Michael Cristiani, Principal at Market Intelligence Group, speaks up on this year's Certification Training workshop and shares his feedback about the conference, commenting that the opportunity to learn from many very focused and dedicated software developers about the importance of best practices and analytic work flow was priceless. Keep reading for Michael's take on last year's conference and the immense value that this year's conference training opportunities offers.
Michael Speaks Up
What I Got Out of Last Year's Conference
The opportunity to learn from many very focused and dedicated software developers about the importance of best practices and analytic work flow was priceless. These concepts have stayed with me and inform everything I do on a daily basis.
The Thing that Made it Worth It
Repeatedly hearing the phrase "simply beautiful / beautifully simple" applied to data analtyics.
Value in Application
I devoured all the training and workbooks (especially the Visual Examples and Forum contributions) Tableau made available through the web site. They get used over and over in our work here. If I had not attended the conference, I probably would not have been as motivated to make productive and repeated use of all the resources Tableau makes available for its customers to succeed. They save time and impart knowledge.
Since we are a business analytics and hosted database management consultancy, having certified staff in this field of visual analytics will help us win new commissions and bring street cred to our work.
Value of Certification
As Elissa Fink recently noted in an interview with Ted Cuzzillo about "The New Breed of BI Analyst" on TDWI's web site, "...analysts are often self taught, and they apply brute force to tools. They are the massively under-served of the business intelligence world." Hopefully, Tableau's push to provide Certification Training for its breakthrough tools will give analysts a firm foundation and roots, as well as confidence that they don't always have to use brute force. This should save developers and consumers even more time in bringing respectful Visual Analytics to bear on the questions they seek to answer. My expectation is that Tableau Certification Training will help users learn more than just, "click here, press there to make a pretty picture." Instead it should teach participants why it's important to design visualizations with best practices in mind, and why Tableau has made the commitment to make it so.
By analogy: Microsoft Excel has been around for a long time, and a burgeoning industry exists around teaching users how to make the most of this powerful tool for everything from tracking the household budget to building the most complex engineering models. And users can get certified as ultimate Excel wranglers; but the number of takers is minuscule compared to the installed base. And, there seems to be little effort made in explaining to Excel users how the brain perceives information, so even the best Excelers can, and often do, offend the human brain. And waste a lot of time doing so. What a pity.
Since the Conference
Last year, I was inspired from learning in real-time from others who have faced similar challenges and solved them over and over again. It encouraged me to use all the tools I have at my disposal in a more respectful way, to know when not to use them, and helped me re-dedicate helping others grow in their capabilities to perform business and visual analytics tasks at the speed of thought.