#Data24 Recap

Nicole Klassen
5 min readMay 18, 2024

Goodbye San Diego, and Thank You for the Memories!

Tableau Conference 2024 is over, but the memories and connections will live on! It was such a wonderful time! I had such a great time last year, but this year was even better. Here are some conference takeaways, sessions, and other goodies. I will be talking about presenting, meeting with representatives, key sessions and some takeaways from the keynote.

  1. Presenting

This was my first time presenting at Tableau Conference, and it was phenomenal. Sadly, it wasn’t recorded, but I was on a panel about Vizzing for Social Impact with the amazing Allison Wright, Andrew Grinaker, and Christian Felix. We had a great time, and the audience seemed really engaged. If you want to present, be on the lookout for when the call for proposals opens. Remember, it’s a numbers game. If you really want to present, submit multiple topics so you have a greater chance of being selected. If you want help writing a proposal, please reach out to someone (including myself!).

2. Meeting with Representatives and Employees

I met with a few Tableau representatives and employees at conference, and it was definitely worth the time. I work in the Public Sector, and I was able to meet with our Tableau representatives about issues we have like Accessibility features and FedRamp roadmaps. Tableau Conference can be whatever you want it to be. You can spend all day at sessions, you can get some Tableau Doctor time in, meet with the Research Labs and other employees, and more. Don’t feel limited to only sessions if there are other people you think it’d be helpful to chat with.

3. Meeting friends

Tableau Conference is the place to meet all your online friends in person! One of my absolute favorite parts about conference is getting to see all my online friends in person, and meet new friends.

If you’re coming to Tableau Conference by yourself however, it can be overwhelming and lonely simultaneously. If you see someone with an Ambassador or Visionary nametag (or someone with an arm full of friendship bracelets!), please don’t hesitate to join the table and say hi. Also, don’t be surprised if you’re eating by yourself and these people ask to join your table and start talking your ear off about Tableau. We’re friendly and want everyone to feel welcome!

4. Attending Sessions

There are always too many sessions to go to, people to see, and events to attend. This year, over 50 sessions were recorded and are available for free on Salesforce+. Be sure to browse through them, but some key ones I have enjoyed:

At the Speed of Iron Viz: Lisa Trescott. You’ll see a few tips and tricks sessions listed, and they’re all amazing. But Lisa has a fantastic way of presenting not only the tips, but how to apply them directly in your work the moment you finish watching the session.

Own Your Data Path: Women in Data Careers Panel: This wonderful panel talks about how they have navigated their careers in data, and provide tidbits on how to chart your own path.

Tableau Tip Battle: Jennifer Dawes and Jade Corley. This Harry Potter-themed extravaganza has so many amazing tips, it’s a must-see.

8 Ways to Elevate your Text Tables: Clients love their tables; find out ways to elevate text tables to provide valuable insights and design for your clients.

How to Do Cool Stuff in Tableau: Ken and Kevin Flerlage. Every year they present their tips and tricks, and every year they are different with new “how they heck did they do that??” moments.

Colin Dunlop also did a recap at the Atlanta Tableau User Group, and here are some great takeaways:

From the Wow! Did you see that KPI Dashboard? session.
Key takeaways: In Western culture we read left to right, top to bottom, so design with high level KPIs on the left, then move to more detailed analysis as you go to the right. Use color to train your users, being extremely thought with your use of color and being consistent throughout the design.

Think Like a Hacker session. Key Takeaways: If you get an ad hoc request; just do it the first time. But if the same request comes in more than 2 times, make the request repeatable and automated. Spend time to automate as much as you can, and make your calculations dynamic so you never have to update a hardcode. For example, instead of filtering you dates to 2024, set them to a calculation like Max(date) or date=year(today()). Also, when writing if statements, add a flag, such as “else Unknown,” at the end. This will help to catch new values when the data are updated, especially if you create an exception report to catch any “unknowns,” and you don’t have to go searching for errors (or have a client ask why their new department isn’t showing up).

Executive Excellence session. Key Takeaways: sessions on some of the softer skills are just as important to attend as tips and tricks. In this session, the presenter talked about making sure to understand how your audience, especially executives, ingests information and what they are being measured on. If an executive doesn’t use a company computer, and instead is handed printed reports, build the dashboards with limited interactivity. By building around the metrics they are measured on and in the format they consume information, you can ensure your dashboards provide valuable insights and don’t languish.

5. Keynote takeaways

Tableau is back! And AI is king. The keynote is long, and recorded on Salesforce+. If you listen to the first part on 2x speed you’ll get the gist without having to dedicate 1 hour and 48 minutes on it, while getting an idea of where executives see Tableau going. BUT DON’T SPEED THROUGH DEVS ON STAGE! There are so many amazing features coming out, like the ability to join published data sources (finally!!), a huge upgrade in accessibility features, and much more. Tableau has really leaned back to listening to the community, and focusing on Tableau as a product, instead of Tableau as a piece of Salesforce.

There you have it! If you read all this way, thanks for sticking with me. I hope you all had as much fun as I did, and find the recorded sessions helpful. Hopefully we can all see each other next year, when TC25 returns to San Diego!

--

--

Nicole Klassen

A data viz lover, passionate about always learning and helping others.