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Here are some resources we tend to share with clients and other developers looking to build their Tableau muscle. Everyone has different learning mediums they prefer, the following collection is aimed at distance learning (preferably via video).  The official Tableau trainings are a good option if videos are your preferred learning mechanism, but I'll try to note the additional bullets below that also contain video content.

Cartoon people work with technology.

Online Courses (all have video content):

Video Channels:

Blogs – TONS out there, great community around this tool

  • Pretty much any Zen Master (term Tableau uses use for prolific developers and community builders that know the tool well) will have a blog worth reading, you can find the list of them here: https://www.tableau.com/zen-masters
    Personal Favorites:
  • The Flerlage Twins – All around awesome, tips for beginners and experts alike  <-- video content coming soon
  • VizWiz.com is a good one for beginners (including Makeover Monday) <-- has video content
  • Data + Science is awesome, especially the tableaureferenceguide.com portion of his site, tends to get into more advanced topics.
  • The Tableau Student Guide by Maria Brock lays a great foundation for Tableau knowledge and introduces people to the wonderful Tableau community.

Books

  • Practical Tableau – Great primer on best practices and concepts!
  • Storytelling with Data – Covers the ‘why’ of dataviz and some of the how for effective storytelling with data
  • Big Book of Dashboards - One of the best resources for improving your business dashboards. Includes a great foundation of visual deign principles and a large number of example dashboards and what decisions went into making them great.
  • Don’t Make Me Think! – Good Primer on user experience design, useful in coming up with good data interaction experiences.
  • Signal – A good book from a prominent Data Visualization thought leader Stephen Few, goes into the why much more deeply than other resources.
  • The Functional Art - Written by Alberto Cairo, this is the book that opened my eyes to a lot of the concepts of what good data visualization is (and isn’t), especially in journalism.

Hands-On Practice

One of my favorite aspects about the #datafam community.  Real, hands-on exercises to truly build your Tableau muscle.  Great participation by the community, and led by some absolute rock stars.

  • Workout Wednesday - My personal favorite, as it digs in to a lot of the technical aspects of developing with Tableau and covers a wide range of skill levels (particularly great for intermediate and advanced users).  Has a stellar cast behind it that posts challenges to the community each week.  You can search for keywords or find a challenge by difficulty.
  • Makeover Monday - This is an awesome way to learn a tool like Tableau from one of the OG #datafam community contributors, while also learning how to think critically about how to apply data visualization to a variety of different situations.  A great spot to start building your Tableau muscle before moving on to the technical challenges of Workout Wednesday.

The One Training Tool to Rule Them All:

Google.

Honestly, there are soooo many amazing resources out there for learning this tool, which is a testament to the incredible community that has been built around it.  I’ve received valuable help from an uncountable number of blogs, all written by developers far more talented than I am, that have each helped me along in my career. 

My favorite way of getting someone up to speed is to get them a dataset they’re passionate about (hit up Kaggle’s public datasets for variety beyond analyzing Tableau’s Superstore data) and just have them start analyzing with Tableau.  You’ll run into your most pressing questions, and a quick google will almost always get you an answer.

Congratulations on starting your journey with data visualization and Tableau, this tool has completely changed the way I interact with data and has taken me places in my career that I never dreamed possible.  May it do the same for you.

 


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