Tableau: How do you use Tableau in your courses?
Prof. Ulrich: Actually, I use Tableau in three different ways.
One way is a summer course centered around and focused on Tableau, where a group of 15 to 20 students learn to create dashboards, to analyze data sets. And at the end of each course they produce a presentation that they upload to Tableau Public.
Secondly, each winter, I have a lecture on demography and health and I use Tableau to produce about 10 files, which I uploaded to Tableau Public. My students can interact with demographic data as data customers. With this demographic data lab, that’s how we call it, they get much deeper into the demographic data and they can answer the questions I post in the lecture, but also the questions they have themselves to the data.
There is a third area where we use Tableau and that’s in so called project seminars.
One project was about delirium patients in the Bielefeld hospital. And the students – with the help of Tableau and without any previous knowledge of Tableau – were able to identify the specific characteristics, the demography, of delirium patients. They found out that they are much less geographically dispersed as other patients in the Bielefeld hospital. And the management of the hospital invited us to present these results they had not known, before.
Tableau: What are the benefits of using Tableau in your courses?
Prof. Ulrich: The biggest benefit of using Tableau in courses is that students get acquainted with Business Intelligence. So by learning this already at the Bielefeld University our students get an advantage compared to other students and they might be able to apply this knowledge in their later careers.
Besides administrative hurdles, the biggest hurdle was to get the students beyond the very first euphoria with Tableau. In the very beginning – it’s like game and toy, and lots of colors and everything – so the challenge is to bring them beyond that point and motivate them to learn much more difficult things like the art of filtering or other things.
Tableau: What type of feedback do you receive from your students?
Prof. Ulrich: Students like these courses very much. And I get a lot of questions if it will be offered next year again.