The Simplest Way and The Best Way: How Tableau Consultants Learn

Posted on 2 CommentsPosted in Calculation Lessons, Tableau Tips and Tricks

“You answered the question correctly, but you lost the sale.” I’m 26 years old and I’ve been working at Tableau for approximately 6 months. I’m on the phone with Marc Rueter who is dialing in from an undisclosed location (i.e. across the hall) in the Lakeview building, Fremont, Washington, the 4th floor of which houses the entirety of Tableau Software, Inc. presently in the summer of 2011. Those of us who worked at Tableau at this time, particularly the technical experts, consider Marc Rueter to be something of a god. He designed the Product Consultant role that was my entry-level job at the firm, and he defined the strategy behind all of Tableau’s training, pre-sales consulting, services delivery, and more as the company emerged as a startup. Marc interviewed me, hired me, mentored me, and now was proctoring my Gold Certification, the highest level of internal product certification Tableau offers. I had invested weeks into preparing for the technical questions he would ask, which started from a common list of prepared challenges but quickly spun into off-the-rails and improvised challenges designed to hurt your confidence and test your ability to adapt when dealing with a particularly difficult customer. Sometimes the […]

Data Radicalization

Posted on 1 CommentPosted in The Soapbox

Data literacy, moving beyond visualization, and the cultural impact of the Tableau mission Note: I work for Tableau, but the comments in this article and through the rest of this site are my own. I think these ideas are true, and smart, and right. But they do not necessarily represent the views of Tableau. Tableau has been successful at convincing people that the problem with data analysis is a traditional lack of visualization. Visualization makes data more accessible for everyone and drives engagement with information. Looking at our website, promotional materials, and branding, this is apparent. Go to and you’ll be instantly confronted with bright, colorful visualizations on a myriad of devices, active verbs like “inspire” and “impact” and “drive” and pictures of smiling people delighted by what they’ve found in their data. This is all great. I’m not complaining. We’ve moved an entire industry centered around high priests acting as data gatekeepers and accumulating information like oil without ever getting value from it. We’ve forced this section of society to consider the everyman. I think Tableau, as a company, should take credit for the massive shift in a market worth tens of billions of dollars and be proud […]