Hello from Tableau Conference 2022 (TC22) in sunny Las Vegas! Attending in-person from Beezwax were Rob, Sarah, Vince and Jay from our Tableau/Analytics team, with several more Beez joining virtually.
We finished TC22 Day 1 with our brains stuffed with new information and insights. There’s always a diverse set of topics presented at Tableau Conference, including technical topics, hands-on learning, case studies, thought leadership and community inspiration.
Here we’ll briefly mention Tableau product news, and focus on highlights from the range of TC22 Day 1 sessions.
By the way, most of these sessions are recorded, so these highlights also serve as a checklist toward future learning and review.
TC22: New Tools For The New Scale of Data (Keynote/Announcements)
While AI and ML and cloud and integration and products and platform functionality (Model Builder, Slack integration) were the actors on stage, the show’s director behind the scenes is still Business Intelligence. to “make better decisions and drive action”.
Tableau CEO Mark Nelson and team confirmed that data continues to grow “at a new scale” and so have the opportunities to collect, analyze and (most importantly) gain insights from it…given the right approach, including development resources.
New in Tableau: The Little Things That Count (Keynote Product Announcements)
We always love new toys, and while Tableau Cloud, Slack and platform offerings are exciting, our developers were most excited about announced new features in Tableau:
- Multi-Dimension, allowing relationships between different fact tables would make developer life a lot easier.
- Prep Additional Actions, also making life easier, especially offering multi-field calculations in Tableau Prep.
- Dynamic Rendered Images, introducing a way to add dynamically rendered images in bulk to Tableau content using a field with image URLs.
This session was overview of developer resources, highlighting several Tableau Developer Tools that we’ve used…
- Tableau Connector API/SDK
- Python tools like TabPy
- Embedded API
…And several that we’re excited to try out:
- Hyper API
- Extensions API
The highlight of this session was a chess game, playable using Tableau:
It was built using “64 data fields, along with heavy use of Extensions API” to run the chess engine and Tableau AI code. Best of all…it worked quite well, swiftly countering its opponent, which relied on audience suggestions for moves.
Hands-on: Get More REST, Automate Your Tableau Life with APIs
This session covered connecting to Tableau Server using Python, and creating projects, groups, users, and more using Tableau Server Client. This followed the API reference, in a guided step by step example, which was both a good refresher and enlightenment on a few new features. “I wish I had done this one a few months ago, when we had to step through the API without a guide.”(- Sarah)
Data+Women: Bridging the Gender Gap with Kyla Guru
The gender gap is worth examining in many places, but Kyla Guru focused on specific information about gender inequality in technology and data security, showing how women are more vulnerable to cyber-attacks and leaks of sensitive information, in general. Kyla founded a non-profit organization (Bits N’ Bytes) that promotes Cybersecurity Education to young girls in order to bridge the gender gap in the near future.
Developing Data Infrastructure and Culture at the University of South Carolina
These two sessions both addressed the question: How do you go about “engaging with multiple levels of organization” to create a better Data Culture? For those carrying the torch in building a data-driven organization, they (we!) often start to navigate that path as individuals or small teams, rather than bridging the data culture gap to support the organization at large. There are many paths toward success here: building Centers of Excellence (whether centralized, distributed, or federated), Executive stakeholder engagement, infrastructure (e.g. Data Dictionaries) but above all communication is needed to find consensus, build user and executive trust.
The callout here was to be “data informed” and not just “data driven”. The speaker, Hannah Fry, provided examples showing where data couldn’t provide answers on its own, or even where data analysis by itself led to the wrong answer. In those cases, it makes good sense for keeping ‘intelligence’ in the picture: people, data culture, analysts and subject matter experts, and (perhaps more) AI. This brought us full circle back to a supporting undercurrent from the Keynote, about the importance of Business Intelligence, and remembering that data informs the means to this end: “to gain insights…make better decisions and drive action”.
Day 1 Done … Day 2 Coming Up
Can’t wait to see what’s in store at Tableau Conference for Day 2 and beyond!