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October 16, 2018

Tableau Public: The Heart of the Tableau Community

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As this is my 1000th blog post, I wanted to write about Tableau Public and what it means to me.

When Tableau Public launched back in 2010, I had no idea how much it would change Tableau the product, Tableau the Community, and me personally. The impact on how people see and understand data would not be what it is today without Tableau Public. I'm 100% convinced of that. Why?

Tableau Public is the heart and soul of Tableau. Tableau Public is THE BOND that holds the Community together. Tableau Public is THE PLATFORM for sharing our work. Tableau Public is THE SOURCE for getting inspiration from others.

Without Tableau Public, learning, sharing, and exploring would be significantly more challenging.


Without Tableau Public, there would be no Makeover Monday. There would be no Makeover Monday book. There would be far less people improving their skills week by week. There would be far less engagement within in the Community. The thousands of people that have participated, never would have engaged. If there was no Tableau Public, would these people have ever found Tableau?

Without Tableau Public there would be no Viz for Social Good. There would be no Workout Wednesday. There would be no Sports Viz Sunday. Without Tableau Public there would be far fewer people practicing data visualization and data analysis week after week through these Community projects.

Without Tableau Public there would far fewer friendships born out of a common love for data. There would be far fewer people finding the careers they love.

Without Tableau Public, would there be a Tableau Community?


Picture this: you've purchased a new office and need to hire a designer to help you make the space yours. How would you go about hiring this person? Would you scan LinkedIn and look for people with the title "Interior Designer" or look for people that went to design school? Of course you wouldn't. You would ask to see their portfolio. Imagine a designer coming in to meet you and not bringing a portfolio of their work. Would you hire them? Of course not. You're interested in WHAT they've done, not where they went to school. Their portfolio IS their CV.

From a Tableau perspective, Tableau Public is the new CV. The secret to hiring people that are great at Tableau is to look at their Tableau Public profiles. If someone doesn't have a Tableau Public profile, don't hire them. Those people, more often than not, don't understand the ethos of the Tableau Community. And if they aren't part of the Community, I would seriously question their skills. How can you evaluate their work if they don't have a portfolio? can't!

Eva and I have been asking people to tell us how Makeover Monday has helped them get a job they love. Person after person has told us that their Tableau Public profile was the major differentiator for them getting the job. People have been able to DEMONSTRATE their work, live in front of those interviewing them. They've been able to prove they have the skills needed for the role. Those companies may have asked for a CV, but what really mattered to them was WHAT people have done.

Through Tableau Public, you can see the progression of someone's skills. You want to look for people that have clearly shown improvement. Without Tableau Public, how would any of these people have been able to show their progression?


Tableau Public is a platform that allows you to practice. You can build chart types you have never built before. You can practice data analysis, storytelling and design. Without Tableau Public to inspire each other, how would we know where we need to develop?

The development of these skills allows you to showcase your work. Having Tableau Public to share you work helps others see your passion and the quality of your work. It's this combination of passion and quality that distinguish high performers from others. Without Tableau Public, how would people showcase their work?


What has Tableau Public meant to me? First and foremost, it's been a way for me to share what I'm learning. Yes, I write about each technique on this blog, but I can actually share the workbooks and the techniques by uploading the workbooks to Tableau Public and allowing people to download them, try to recreate them, whatever they want to do with them. Tableau Public, the platform, encourages sharing and I'm grateful that Tableau Public has provided me with that opportunity.

Tableau Public completely changed my life. If I didn't have a Tableau Public profile, I would not have gotten my job at Facebook. If I didn't have my Tableau Public profile, would Tom Brown have taken a chance on me to run The Data School? I'll never know, but I'm certain that Tableau Public exposed me to these opportunities. When I share, I expect nothing in return. When you share freely, opportunities will come to you as they have to me.

Without Tableau Public, I would not have been able to travel the world introducing people to Tableau for the first time. Tableau Public allows me to show people what is possible in Tableau. All I need to do is show them the Tableau Public gallery. People think we're all crazy for this addiction we have to Tableau. I'm perfectly ok with that because I know Tableau Public provides me an opportunity to learn every day.

That leaves me with only one thing to say...thank you Tableau Public. Here's to many more years.

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