Data Viz Done Right

October 28, 2011

TCC11 session feedback positive, except for the guy drinking the Pepsi


Wednesday I received the feedback from my session/presentation at the 4th Tableau Customer Conference.  I had a blast presenting my case studies (The Holy Grail of Strategic Decision Making) and the interaction from the audience made it a wonderful experience.  I presented three case studies:

  1. Collaborating for Value – An era of winning (this was an interactive analysis of retail prices by store by price point)
  2. Customer Segmentation – Planning for growth and identifying opportunities
  3. Penetration & Voids – Growing the business by finding the gaps

As has been my experience with presenting this same material both internally to our customer teams and externally to our buyers, the audience was able to gleam insights by “seeing” the data.  It’s a pretty cool experience when the data and the tool tell the story without you having to say a word.  Tableau makes it oh so easy.

What surprised me most about many of the customer presentations I attended was the lack of using Tableau live to show off their work.  Maybe my material lends itself more to that type of interactivity, but I would highly encourage anyone presenting findings from Tableau to use the tool live; you’ll get immediate feedback and you’ll be able to answer questions on the fly.

So how’d I do?  First up is a chart from Tableau that ranks all of the presentations, not only the customer presentations.  I’m the circle that the red line points to.  According to Tableau, this placed me in the top 3 of the customer presentations.

But how about the feedback on my presentation?  The response was overwhelmingly positive. I always get anxious waiting for the feedback!

I asked someone that was drinking a Pepsi to leave, jokingly of course, but I wonder if he gave me the “poor” ranking.  I tend to be a bit too directly and sarcastic and sometimes it’s taken the wrong way.  Or maybe it was someone that didn’t win the t-shirt I gave away.

Anyway, thanks to all of you that attended my session.  It was an awesome dialogue with the 75+ of you.  Hopefully we’ll catch up again in Europe.




  1. Andy, will you be posting your session workbooks here ?

  2. Andy,

    Keep the Pepsi comment for future sessions; it's funny.

    As for the scatterplot viz -- you know I've got a problem with green and red so why not use blue and orange and not alienate 7% of the male population?

    As for your Likert scale questions, I would use Joe Mako's and Naomi Robbins' divergent Likert scale approach that you can find at

    I think it will make the awesome positiveness of your session really pop.

    Nice work.


  3. Sorry, but I can't post my session workbooks. I can work with you on the techniques if you have any questions.

    Steve, the scatter plot was created by Tableau, so unfortunately I didn't get to change it.

    Thanks for the tip on the Likert scale approach.

  4. Andy

    I could not attend the Tableau conference, Would it be possible to get a blogpost outlining the session ?


  5. My session or the conference as a whole?

  6. Your session !! By all accounts, it was a huge success and while the good folks over @ Tableau are going to post something soon, we would not mind seeing your session here !


  7. Unfortunately my company will not permit me to post any of the materials from my session. I'd rather not get fired by going against their wishes. :-)

  8. No issues !!

    I did have an unassociated question on the Sets

    Is it possible to create a set and then add it to an existing set ? The reason I am asking if that each set actually brings the unique count of records (If I have ID and Name with Name being repeated twice, when I create a set, only the unique IDs get ported over). I don't want to create a new set, I just want to add one to an existing set;

  9. There's a great explanation of sets in the Tableau Reference Guide:

    However, there is no mention of adding more records to a set. My suggestion would be to post a question in the Tableau Forum:

  10. Hey, I'd love to see where I stack up on the customer presentations. Where did you find the viz of all the sessions?

  11. Hi Jon. Jacob Little sent me the feedback on my presentation plus the scatter plot image. He did not sent me the data for all presentations.

    I'd suggest you send him an email and ask him to point your's out.