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 […]