Every now and then in life, you come across people you really connect with. They’re fun to be around, great to chat with, they challenge and inspire you. They’re your crowd, you’re kind of people.
For me this happens with a handful of close friends, mostly people I have known for many years and almost exclusively women.
But I recently discovered that I also really feel at ease, happy, inspired, encouraged and content when I am around people who share the same passion for the things they do in their professional life.
That passion for me revolves around data, visualisations and Tableau in particular.
I was lucky to go to the global Tableau conference in Las Vegas in October 2015, where I met a number of passionate, smart and inspiring Tableau enthusiasts from all around the world. They welcomed me into their community and made the week in Vegas especially memorable and fun.
I have missed being around so many like minded people, as the Tableau community down under is still comparatively small.
But this past week, Australia had its very own ‘Tableau conference on Tour’, which saw Tableau customers, partners and Tableau staff from Australia, New Zealand and Asia come together in Sydney for 2 1/2 days of education, inspiration, networking and fun.
4 months after the global conference, this felt almost like a high school reunion. I had a great time connecting with local Tableau reps, fellow partners, friends, Tableau fans and the visitors from overseas who made the long trip to Sydney to attend and hold sessions, deliver key notes and be part of the fun.
Together with my fellow ‘woman in data’, passionate Tableau fan and ever enthusiastic friend Fiona, we hung out with Andy, witnessed his clever magic tricks, discussed Tableau, upcoming events, motivation, inspiration, how we got to where we are, and what we want to contribute to and move in the global Tableau community.
I had the chance to learn from great technical experts like Alan, who managed to bring a lot of clarity into the little dark corner of my brain where I’ve stored my LOD skills.
I was inspired by great keynote speakers who challenged our views on generational differences, change, and staying relevant. Who showed us the importance of communicating visually and using appropriate symbols to convey our message. And we heard about the opportunities of influencing people through well crafted stories, data visualisations and communicating data from different angles to provide a complete picture.
I truly enjoyed the renewed inspiration from technical sessions and customer presentations. Nothing beats going to these events to see some fresh ideas, talk to experts and other enthusiasts and learn new skills and knowledge.
And aside from all of that, I always go away encouraged to delve further into various analytical, visualisation and technical topics.
Community is what makes Tableau great. I’ll happily sit in a quiet corner working on a dashboard or losing myself in data analysis, but becoming part of a wider network of people who are all passionate about helping people see and understand their data while creating long-lasting value for the community – that most certainly is what gets me going.
In the spirit of sharing and collaboration I am making it my goal this year to contribute to the online (and offline, I.e. ‘Real life’) Tableau community and to help it grow so that it can reach more and more people who get excited about their data.