Blog - Tableau Conference 2015 takeaways

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TC15 tableau conference 2015 data prep Tableau Server Slalom Navigator

Tableau Conference
2015 takeaways

One conference-goer’s take on DATA15: the increasing importance of data prep and the need to help users maximize the value of Tableau Server.

Zack Finer | October 27, 2015

Tableau Conference 2015 featured well over 10,000 attendees—quite a significant increase from last year’s 5,500 attendees. This increase included customers from all stages of Tableau savvy and adoption, but two common themes consistently crossed these boundaries: the importance of data prep and the need to help users maximize the value of Tableau Server.

Data prep is increasingly important. (And Tableau and others are listening.)

One of the most common conversations I had at TC15 involved customers’ increasing need for enhanced data preparation to bring together, blend, and cleanse data from a constantly growing set of disparate data sources to produce the most compelling and useful visualizations.

Fortunately, Tableau and others are listening. Along with various sessions covering strategies to best handle these use cases, Tableau announced a series of features surrounding data prep coming in future releases, including the ability to union multiple datasets in a single datasource and cross-database joins, among others.

This need was further reinforced by offerings from key technology partners offering best-of-breed data blending and data prep solutions. These include Alteryx, Lavastorm, Paxata, and Informatica Rev. I was particularly excited to discuss these tools as Slalom is collaborating with each of these vendors to aid in cleaning up and combining data sets to create the best possible visualizations.

Realizing the full value of Tableau Server can be challenging. Slalom Navigator can help.

I spoke to a number of customers that had experienced great success at the departmental level with Tableau Server, but have encountered subsequent challenges such as sluggish adoption; appropriately scaling their environment to handle demand; balance and role definition between business and IT; and defining a data governance strategy—to name a few.

There were a number of excellent sessions designed to address these challenges; I was particularly excited to draw attention to Slalom Navigator—a new offering that holistically addresses these pain points, and provides a methodology for scaling self-service analytics.

Missed us at TC15? It’s not too late to connect

We had a great time at TC15. Thanks to those who visited our speaker sessions, swung by the Slalom booth, or cheered on our very-own Iron Viz contender. If you missed us in Vegas—it’s not too late to connect!

Contact the Slalom team to learn more about how we can help you push Tableau to the limit to do amazing things for your business.

Zack Finer is an information management and analytics consultant with Slalom’s Cross-Market team, as well as a technologist, gadabout, foodie, cycling enthusiast, beer geek, gadget fiend, and overall life appreciator. Follow Zack on Twitter: @ziggityzack.


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