One of the best things about the data visualization community, and the Tableau Public community in particular, is the fact that everyone is very generous with their ideas and techniques. When I first started using Tableau Public as a data viz blogger back in 2011, I was amazed by the helpfulness and quality of online tutorials posted by enthusiasts around the world. I was further encouraged that all were more than willing to interact on their comment threads and on social media networks like twitter.
To celebrate that aspect of the community, and to generate as much practical "how-to" content as possible, we're declaring April to be #TableauTipsMonth on the Tableau Public blog.
Our goal: share tutorials, guides, tips, hacks, and generally useful stuff all month long.
How to get involved
We'd like to encourage you to do the same on your site. To contribute to the helpfulness, just do the following:
- Think of a super useful technique or poignant insight you'd like to share
- Post a tutorial or write-up on your site
- Tweet about it using the #TableauTipsMonth hashtag
That's it! We'll be on the lookout for awesome tips to include in our next newsletter, and we'll publish a whole slew of guest posts and posts of our own all month long. If you want to keep up-to-speed on all the submissions, we've created a TableauTipsMonth tagboard for you to follow.
Additionally, we'll be awarding six blog posts with the following honorable distinguishments:
- Most Useful - goes to the tutorial that is the most practical and useful
- Most Sage - goes to the blog post that is the most wise and insightful
- Most Mind-Blowing - goes to the how-to guide that is the most ingenious and creative in it's approach
- Most Wacky - goes to the guide that is the most off-the-wall and crazy
- Most Hacky - goes to the technique that breaks all the rules and does things it probably shouldn't
- Most Beautiful - goes to the tip that most allows us to enhance the look-and-feel of our visualizations
What do these six contributors win? Besides the eternal glory and adoration bestowed upon them by the data visualization gods, they will inherit a featured place in our upcoming "In the Public Eye" Tableau Public newsletter. Translation: website traffic -> eyeballs -> attention -> LOVE.
The ball's already rolling!
It may already be the second week of the month, but the useful blog posts have already begun. Here are a couple examples:
- For an example of a thought leadership blog post, head over to 2013 Iron Viz contestant Kelly Martin's site, where she recently published "5 Tips to Good Vizzin". In it, she describes her process for dealing with data, building dashboards, and presenting to her audience. Great stuff, all of it. Seriously, go read it, and then come back for example #2...
- Welcome back. Now, for an example of someone who's really going all-out with practical how-to guides this month, check out the website of Nelson Davis (aka "The Vizioneer"). Nelson has a series going this month called #Tableau30for30 and he's posting a different Tableau technique each day of the month. Here's what his calendar of content looks like so far:
Don't worry, though, you don't have to publish 30 tips for us to include you - just publish one. And it doesn't have to be earth-shaking or revolutionary; it can even be something that's been covered elsewhere. Your perspective will be unique. We're looking forward to seeing what we can learn from each other.