Tableau Conference recap

Wow! Just WOW!

Another TC has come and gone and with it, another week of inspiration, injection and good ‘ole fashioned gumption

It’s pretty difficult to come away from TC without having new tips and tricks in your Tableau arsenal or without a few new ideas of how to solve that pesky calculated field that’s been the bane of your existence. You probably also are coming home with, and this is the biggest one, a few more connections to put in your rolodex and be able to use them as a lifeline during a difficult project, an extra set of eyes on a new dashboard you’re creating. Either way, you are better equipped to handle the year ahead and we’re only ~12 months out from the next one!

Here are the key takeaways I had from NOLA and #TC18



I arrived at the conference center bright and early Monday morning after devouring some delicious beignets to tackle the Tableau Desktop Certified Professional exam. And I killed it! I’ll find out the results in a couple weeks but it felt really good. And here’s a #ProTip for anyone attempting to take the test

Go straight to the Dashboard & Storytelling sections FIRST. They are worth the most points and take the longest amount of time.

It took me about 90 minutes to finish that section and then another 30 for the other sections. This gave me even more time to tweak and polish up the storytelling sections.

I highly recommend getting yourself certified. Not only is it great for your resume but it also forces you to make sure your skills are as well rounded as possible. I’ll speak for myself when I say that the data I use every day is the same with little variability. I’m pretty good navigating my data but the certification test isn’t about my data, it’s about the Tableau, the product. So studying for the test forces you to deal with different types of data and chart types while encouraging you to step out of your comfort zone and try new things.

Ready to prepare yourself for the test? The single best way to get ready is to get on Tableau Public and participate in #MakeoverMonday and #WorkoutWednesday

#MakeoverMonday TC LIVE v3

This section needs no introduction. It’s awesome and amazing and it’s getting so big! I think I saw a tweet about more than 700 people attended in multiple rooms? That’s crazy!

I was able to snag a seat at the front with some awesome folks


Also, one point of interest for me in the session was that this was the FIRST time in three prior attempts that I 100% finished my entry prior to time running out! That was pretty cool. Go me!


I’ll tell you what. I went to several sessions but I think the bookmarked to attended ratio was about 10:1…for EACH timeslot! Meaning, I have quite the backlog to get through. Luckily, the majority of session recordings are on YouTube for your viewing pleasure.

However, here are a couple of sessions that I attended that I think you should check out.

There are SO MANY amazing sessions so please go check out the session recordings on Youtube. In fact, there are currently 361 recordings. You could easily space it out and could watch every single session leading up to #Data19 in Vegas next November!

Data Village

I love the village, it’s where it’s at!

It’s got everything:

  • Food
  • Drink
  • Tableau Swag
  • Vendor Swag
  • Tableau Labs

All that is cool and important but ya know what’s better than all that?

The Community

And this is where we hang out. It’s got the zen garden where you can meet your Tableau idols (Zen Masters, Tableau Ambassadors or otherwise). And they really are the nicest people you can imagine. Their passion for Tableau and data visualization is on full display in the humblest form.

#WorkoutWednesday LIVE

This session was awesome! I’ve been participating in this project for the last two years. I even made a guest challenge back in August. Ann and Luke did a great job coming with and facilitating the challenge to a roomfull of eager participants! And I got 95% of the way finished. FEEL THE BURN!

Tableau Labs

This was a first for me. I made it a point spend some time in the Labs with the directly building the product and let them see how I currently use Tableau, what works, what could be improved and it’s your chance to say “I think it would be cool if…because…” to someone who actually has the power to make that thing a reality.

And last but no means least…


This session is the headliner of the conference and with good reason. The User Group motto I’ve always strive for is “by the community, for the community.” This is that motto executed by Tableau Public and it’s amazing. If you wanna know what the Tableau community is all about, this session has it all.

Four short, yet no less incredible keynotes followed by breakout sessions. And this year, they added hands-on workshops for any Tableau Public newbies.

The best part of Fanalytics is that Tableau Public actually listens to the feedback given during this session and implements them into the platform. For example, the new #IronViz format was born out of a similar conversation at Fanalytics ’17 in Vegas. Additionally, there was a talk in ’17 about attribution and just this summer, Tableau Public announced that you can now give attribution on your vizzes!

They listen!

The Community

I could write for days about how awesome the community is and the relationships and friendships that have been grown out of conference but instead here are some pics of this amazing community

Thank you Tableau for another conference. See you in Vegas next November!

Thanks for reading

OH WAIT! Please take a moment to read some of the other awesome recap posts (in no particular order):

And with that…


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