It’s been a fair while since I was able to find time to write to my blog – having been at Gartner for nine months now, I think I’m getting the hang of things here! But the cadence of client inquiries, conference events and writing core research means that there’s really little time to do anything else. However, this week, I was delighted to attend Tableau’s “On tour London” event (thanks to some behind-the-scenes schmoozing by Alteryx…), particularly in light of my recent research paper “How to Deliver Data Discovery Projects“, co-authored with my colleague Joao Tapadinhas, who was also at with me in London).
(It’s not an IT show without the obligatory geek T-shirt. This one far funkier than normal, and a message I can certainly get on board with! Courtesy of the fine chaps at Exasol…)
“Tableau On Tour” proved to be really well put together event, with Tableau claiming +900 attendees. Very good invited guest keynotes from by Ben Goldacre (on bad science and the mis-use of data), John Medina (on brain function, visualisation and narrative) and mathematician Hannah Fry (on the mathematics of love) and a LOT of user sessions (11 breakout tracks!), targeted at beginner, intermediate and advanced users. Judging from comments the conference Twitter stream, the case study by Paul Chapman from budget airline EasyJet was also a real highlight.
Tableau also put a lot of effort went into making the event funky and fun. This wasn’t just a conference, it was a celebration – a joyous, spirited occasion buzzing with excitement, camaraderie and community. The overall atmosphere was one of joy and the sense of energy enthusiasm was palpable, from the Tableau folks and customers alike. Folks weren’t here because they had to be here – they wanted to be here. They believe. (Almost like an Amway convention, or Scientology…) How often can you say that about an IT product shindig?!
At the business end of things, a few key takeaways for me:
- Launch of a European data centre for Tableau Online Cloud solution (privacy/security/sovereignty barriers)
- Tableau Online IS Tableau – running the same engine, all the same features & functions, just paid as a subscription service rather than as a perpetual license.
- Ability to combine both on-premise and off-premise data sets with native direct connectors.
- Alteryx as a founding member of the R Consortium , focussed on supporting the growing community for open-source analytic functionality. (This for me is a particularly interesting development, that follows on from my recent research paper “Benefits and Compromises of Open Source and Corporate Software Suites for Advanced Analytics“)
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