Category Archives: Tableau

Tableau futures—seamless access to your data

From the 2013 Tableau Customer Conference!

Seamless Access to the Data—coming in Tableau 8.1 and 8.2

Nothing else matters if you can't get your data into Tableau. This was a common refrain I have said for quite some time, Tableau is irrelevant if regular business people can't figure out how to get the data into the product. In fact, it is a very frustrating experience.

Tableau states that cleaning, integrating and reshaping your data should be available as visual operations. You shouldn't need to learn SQL to manage it.

A new data connection interface was demoed. Earlier this year, I contributed to the vision and feature debates for this area as part of a talented team of people at Tableau. This team included Jun K, Dan C, Jock M, Chris S, Richard and several other great people. Here's an example flow:

1) You have some data about bike rentals.  It's in Excel or a text file and looks like this.  A bit rough-column names in all caps, start_time is a text field and some other important data isn't in this file.


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A brief history—Freakalytics and Tableau—since 2008

Stephen and I are frequently asked the story of why we wrote the first book endorsed by Tableau Software and how we launched their original, in-person training program back in 2009. In fact, we have been asked about this so many times, I decided it would be worthwhile to share the details.

Stephen first discovered Tableau Software while working at Netflix. He was so impressed with the visual analytic capabilities of the product that after working with it for a couple of years, he approached the executives at Tableau about writing the first book on Tableau, which was still a tiny company at the time. They were excited about the idea so we met with CEO Christian Chabot, CDO and Co-founder Chris Stolte and several other executives to discuss the book content.

July 2009
Stephen completed and published the first edition of Rapid Graphs with Tableau Software just in time for the Tableau Customer Conference in Seattle. Marc Rueter, now a Senior Director at Tableau and Technical Reviewer of the book, wrote

“A great work- this is going to be a much-loved book."
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Free Tableau 8 e-book at the TCC Alteryx Pavilion!

RGTS 8 Book Cover Front 1500Visit the Alteryx Pavilion at Tableau Customer Conference 2013 in Washington, DC next week to learn more about the value of Strategy Analytics and Alteryx for Visual Analytics.  Notably, attendees can pick up a complimentary USB key with Visual Analytics Best Practices including work by Freakalytics and the key even includes a preview of Rapid Graphs with Tableau 8 and a coupon code for a free copy of the e-book! Note that you must redeem your code by September 18th, 2013.

This is the original guide to Tableau for The Accidental Analyst®.  Now in its fourth edition, this is the best-selling book on Tableau, trusted by thousands including many Tableau employees who learned Tableau from it- both before and after joining the company!  Back in 2009, Elissa Fink (CMO at Tableau) wrote about Rapid Graph with Tableau Software 5, “A must read for anyone interested in Tableau. Clear explanations, practical advice and beautiful examples!”  Just a few months ago, the Marketing team at Tableau ordered bulk copies of Rapid Graphs for their new customer acquisition program, reiterating their excitement over the four editions of this book!
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Free Access to Rapid Graphs with Tableau 8–Chapter 6

Rapid Graphs with Tableau 8
The Original Guide for the Accidental Analyst

Rapid_Graphs_Tableau_8_Freakalytics_Copyright_346_433We are pleased to provide free access to our book for all site members. It is also available as a printed book on Amazon. The home page for this release is here.

Read Chapter 6 (pages 97-118)

     Take over with Tableau—View structure,
          Marks Card, Summaries,
          Formatting and Titles-97
     Customize views using the Columns,
          Rows, Pages and Filters Shelves-98
          1. Columns-98
          2. Rows-99
          3. Pages-100
          4. Filters-101
201307_Quick_Dirty_Tableau_8_Freakalytics_111     Enhance your visual appeal with the Marks card-103
          1. Label-103
          2. Text-104
          3. Color-105
          4. Size-107
          5. Shape-108
          6. Detail-109
     The Summary Card—handy description of your data-112
     Headers and Axes-113
     Titles, Captions, Field Labels and Legends-115
     Format values in your views-117

Free Access to Rapid Graphs with Tableau 8–Chapter 5

Rapid Graphs with Tableau 8
The Original Guide for the Accidental Analyst

Rapid_Graphs_Tableau_8_Freakalytics_Copyright_346_433We are pleased to provide free access to our book for all site members. It is also available as a printed book on Amazon. The home page for this release is here.

Read Chapter 5 (pages 79-96)

     Advanced view types in Tableau-79
          Scatter Plots—explore relationships-82
          Circle Plots—go beyond bar charts-83
               Circle views-83
               Side-by-side circles-86
               Packed Bubbles-87
          Maps—great for location data-88
               Symbol maps-88
               Filled maps-89
201307_Quick_Dirty_Tableau_8_Freakalytics_086          Area Charts—track multiple groups over time-90
          Dual combination-95
          Gantt Chart—track activity over time-96

Free Access to Rapid Graphs with Tableau 8–Chapter 4

Rapid Graphs with Tableau 8
The Original Guide for the Accidental Analyst

Rapid_Graphs_Tableau_8_Freakalytics_Copyright_346_433We are pleased to provide free access to our book for all site members. It is also available as a printed book on Amazon. The home page for this release is here.

Read Chapter 4 (pages 59-78)

     Core view types in Tableau-59
          Tables—an eye for detail-62
               Text tables-62
               Highlight tables-64
               Heat maps-65
          Bar Charts—five flavors
               to meet your needs-66
               Horizontal bars-67
               Stacked bars-69
201307_Quick_Dirty_Tableau_8_Freakalytics_073               Side-by-side bars-70
               Bullet graphs-72
          Line Charts—display what
               happened over time-73
               Lines (continuous)-73
               Lines (discrete)-74
          Percent-of-Total—contribution of categories
               to the overall amount-75
               Pie charts-75

Tableau Online Total Cost of Ownership Calculator

Stack_Money_Flickr_artist_in_Doing_NothingWith our new cost of ownership calculator, you can estimate the number of Tableau Desktop, Tableau Desktop Pro, Tableau Online and Tableau Reader (free!) licenses to obtain for your specific needs. You can even calculate one-year and three-year estimates of cost to have Tableau at your organization, purchase consulting services and train your team.

To illustrate, the 3 Year Total Cost of Ownership, consulting and training inclusive, for a department of 30 is around $45,000. A larger deployment to a business unit with 500 people would total approximately $696,000. A 3 person company could get by for just $12,500. Start using our calculator now and make a smarter choice about your analytic investment!

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Free Webinar—Quick & dirty analysis with Tableau
in 13 lucky steps!

July 31st, 2013, Noon Pacific, 3 PM Eastern, 8 PM London
So much data, so little time!
–Stephen McDaniel
Co-founder of Freakalytics

Let’s face it: in the daily world of work, you often are asked to provide an answer to a new problem in less than a day. Of course, your boss tends to forget about the other three project deadlines you are currently facing, so you really have only 10 or 20 minutes to squeeze in a quick and dirty analysis.

If this sounds familiar to you, this webinar will walk you through the thirteen flexible steps that can take you from being clueless to looking smart with Tableau in just a few minutes. Hopefully you’ll be able to obtain enough information to come up with ideas for an e-mail update or talking points for the unexpected meeting that is looming large over your day, showing your boss and colleagues that you can deliver great results in time to be useful.

So, if you’re already a user of Tableau, this webinar will guide you in the critical path of many analyses in Tableau. If you are totally new to Tableau, you can see the possibilities of what you can accomplish in a short amount of time, once you get started and practice these techniques.
A preview of the first few steps

1 What question will you examine?



Okay, in reality this step might take hours or even days! But let’s assume you have your question, and if it is complex, break it down into several, simpler questions.

2 Grab the closest, readily available dataset Continue reading

Rapid Graphs with Tableau 8—Chapter 1 & Table of Contents

The 8 version of this book is published in grayscale in order to meet popular demand for a lower list price versus earlier versions (5, 6 and 7) of this book series.

Rapid_Graphs_Tableau_8_Freakalytics_Copyright_346_433+ Written by Tableau insider
   & product manager, teaching
   Tableau to thousands since 2009

+ Real-world examples that you
   can follow include tips
   and tricks to save you time

+ High-def videos & solutions

+ The fourth edition—proven & trusted

+ Buy it on Amazon

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Freakalytics Newsletter for June 2013

Thank you for your interest in our newsletter. Please share it with your colleagues that can benefit from it.   Also, Stephen is once again full-time at Freakalytics and we are excited to be back on the road, so please let us know if we can be of service!

Freakalytics_Timeline_Since_2007_Map.pngFreakalytics Timeline

Since 2007, we have traveled 365,000 miles to help tens of thousands of people via

8 books,
24 conference talks,
47 public trainings,
26 on-site trainings,
5 conference seminars,
15 analytic advisory engagements
and 36 consulting projects.

Click here to download a summary of our accomplishments since 2007.
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