What is Tableau?
A data visualization tool to present compelling data insights and stories. I was first exposed to Tableau, when I found a job ad on Seek that would select candidates based on a ‘Viz’ they submitted. I thought it had an interesting application process and I downloaded Tableau to play around with. It wasn’t really a difficult program to pick up, it was a fairly simple interface with a lot of drag and drop features. But I knew if I wanted to stand out, I needed to learn more and familiarize myself with Tableau. So like all university crash courses, I googled and YouTube as much as I could on producing stunning tableau vizes. So my experiences with tableau was to an extent enough to get an interview with the Data School Down Under. Surely, I knew enough? But coming into the 2nd week focusing on Tableau 101, I was entirely mistaken and there was much much more to learn.

My bad thinking
Most of my cohort only knew about tableau when we submitted an application to The Data School. So coming into the 2nd week of data week, we were all going to go through a Tableau 101. We were going to through everything on Tableau ensuring that nothing gets missed out. I have to admit it was a bit repetitive and a little bit tedious in the beginning but in hindsight it was a very productive week. Because there were just so many things that I had no idea of. I originally thought tableau was just limited to the graphs and charts on the “Show me” tab, I was really wrong on this one. Our coach pointed out on day 1, avoid at all costs, and proceeded to show us how charts are really made on tableau.

Tableau Fundamentals
This week we learnt all things fundamentals of Tableau, we looked at topics like:
-Tableau Basics like Data Imports
-Creating customised colours and shapes
-Filters, Sets and Parameters
-Introduction to Tableau Prep (The Tableau Data Cleaning Platform)
-Creating charts from scratch (without using the Show Me panel)

My important lesson: To learn with an open mind
The most important thing I learnt was to come in with an open mind. It was important to be patient with things especially when the materials seemed repetitive. Not only did our coach share her knowledge of the program, but she also shared a lot of her work experiences relating to tableau. It is during those moments, that very effective and efficient tips and tricks are taught and explained. Despite having an experienced coach, I am also learning a lot from my fellow cohort. Each time we share our work, I am astonished to see their efforts and the quality of their work. It inspires and motivates me to follow through, and I am confident that at the current pace, we will be great data analysts in the near future.

Anthony Wong
Author: Anthony Wong