Posted by Karen
November 24, 2014
I would like to extend a thank you to everyone who attended our Tableau Data Visualization & Dashboard Seminar last week in Toronto! With record attendance, you helped to make it our best seminar ever! Held at downtown Toronto’s St. Andrews Club and Conference Centre, the seminar drew 106 people. I believe the increase in attendance (up 55%) reflects the surging interest in data visualization and in Tableau specifically as well as the apparent need for guidance, education and training when building dashboards.
We began the seminar with some fun by creating a real time dashboard to display interesting statistics on attendees such as arrival time, location, distance traveled and gender. The visualization revealed some remarkable insights. For instance, those who had further to travel actually arrived earlier. Perhaps they allowed for greater travel time variance because they had further to travel? In addition, the visualization indicated that women seemed to arrive later than men. I won’t dare to make any conjectures based on this information. The audience was impressed that we were able to build and display a dashboard so quickly.
The seminar offered something for everyone – for those who were already avid Tableau users to those who were had never used Tableau. Before launching into the Tableau demonstration, Peder Enhorning, Unilytics president, spoke about the importance of basing dashboard visualizations on business goals and objectives that are driven by KPIs. He emphasized that it is critical for organizations to have a disciplined process in place to create and measure Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that provide direct feedback on the success of your business.
To facilitate such a process, Peder introduced Karta, a cloud based, monthly subscription service that helps companies identify, measure and manage business metrics such as KPIs and track them against actual performance. He went on to explain that Karta optimizes organizational success by aligning everyday actions and activities with corporate goals to ensure they are met. It maps relationships to provide a visual hierarchical interface for collaboration, verification and adherence to the right metrics. In conclusion, Peder provided a brief demonstration of the Karta beta version which piqued the interest of many who wanted to learn more.
Next, Eric Tobias, Unilytics VP Business Intelligence, wowed the audience with his dashboard demonstrations. He covered innovative visualization techniques; dashboards for various business applications including marketing (digital analytics, AdWords, campaigns), market research, surveys, geo-location and many others; integrating multiple data sets in the same view; and emphasized how business users can become more self-reliant and less dependent on external resources by employing Tableau.
You can take a look at some of Eric’s dashboards here.
Following a lively Q & A period, we wrapped up the seminar with a game of “Keep the Cash”. Attendees were challenged to guess the amount of cash contained in our cash barrel. The person to guess the correct amount (or closest) would win the cash. The actual amount of cash in the barrel was $177.00 Guesses ranged from $67.00 to $2,277.00, and the lucky winner of $177.00 was Chris Chard with a guess of 175. Congratulations, Chris! And yes, we created a dashboard to show stats for the cash guesses.
Our guests then joined us for “Hamingjusamur Klukkustund” (translation: “Happy Hour”) with delicious hors d’oeuvres, drinks and scintillating conversation!