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 […]

Optimizing Extract Load Times

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Tableau Tips and Tricks

In our most recent episode, I introduced a challenge that a customer of mine is currently trying to wrap their head around – how to optimize data performance in a self-reliant analysis environment. How can an organization empower its employees to answer any data-oriented question that pops into their head without requiring them to deal with the difficult and often time consuming processes around staging and loading data? Well, I have a few suggestions: 1. Use Tableau Data Server   Tableau Data Server in and of itself does not do a lot to help performance but the workflows it enables are crucial to optimizing data load times. You may already know that Tableau Server can schedule data extracts to refresh automatically. Well, utilizing the data server allows those automatically refreshing extracts to source multiple workbooks, for multiple users. All Tableau visualizations on the server that use the same data extracts can point to the same extract. This has a lot of implications. But for the purpose of this conversation it stages the data that everyone might want in an optimized format so they don’t have to go create their own extracts. It also severely reduces the load on the server […]