Featured image courtesy of Tableau.
On the surface, doctors, mathematicians and designers don’t seem to have much in common. Look a little closer though, and there is one main thread uniting them: data. And that was proved at Tableau Conference 2015 (TC15) in Las Vegas, where 11,000 attendees from all over the world gathered to share their passion for data from Oct. 19 – 23, 2015.
Christian Chabot, Tableau CEO and co-founder, kicked off the 8th annual TC15 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena the morning of Tuesday, October 22. He highlighted the impact of Tableau’s software in a wide variety of industries, from steel production to education.
His keynote was also the prime place for launching new Tableau features and products, including enhanced mapping, cross-database data integration, and Vizable, a new free app for iPads that gives users the ability to easily make beautiful visualizations with just the touch of their fingertips. With Vizable, Tableau made another step towards the democratization of data analytics by making the field more fun, beautiful and accessible.
Data is fun
Once again Tableau proved to the world that data doesn’t have to be boring, and data scientists are not a bunch of quiet nerds. On the contrary, data geeks know how to have fun, and the conference was the perfect setting for them to share their passion in the most enjoyable way.
Data Night Out was proof of data geeks’ penchant for partying. The evening is a tradition that started last year during TC14 in Seattle, when the conference took over the Seattle Center and threw the biggest party the center had ever seen. This year, Fremont Street in downtown Las Vegas was the perfect location for the big bash, with lighting decoration inspired by data visualizations, plenty of food and drinks, and music from four different bands.
TC15 was a fun and well organized event, with 350 Tableau employees ready to help customers at Tableau Doctor, as well as more than 300 sessions and 70 partners sharing their passion for data at the expo hall. There were also meet-ups for everyone, a playground to take breaks between sessions, and of course, plenty of food and drinks.
Data and storytelling
Along with the sessions and expo presentations, the four keynotes featured Neil deGrasse Tyson, astrophysicist and host of the TV show “Cosmos”; Daniel Pink, best-selling author of “Drive” and host of the TV show “Crowd Control”; Dr. Hannah Fry, a mathematician at University College London Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis; and Sir Ken Robinson, best-selling author and internationally acclaimed expert on creativity and innovation. The diverse lineup of speakers shared how data can tell a story from different perspectives and industries.
For instance, Daniel Pink focused his talk on people’s motivation. Neil deGrasse Tyson took us on a #BackToTheFuture trip in astronomy and how it has been represented in films. Dr. Hannah Fry showed us how data is the beginning of the story, and the starting point that allows us to open our eyes to new possibilities. And Sir Ken Robison spoke on how creativity allows humans to reach what we previously thought was impossible.
— Laura Gómez Moreno (@LauGMoreno) October 21, 2015
Data is everyone
TC15 made it clear that both data is for everyone through new tools like Vizable, but that wasn’t all. Tableau CMO Elissa Fink introduced “Tableau for Dummies” on the third day of the conference, which is targeted at those interested in data but who have no scientific background.
Besides democratizing data, Tableau created a memorable event, setting expectations high for TC16 in Austin, Texas. If this year’s conference is any indication, Tableau will once again turn data into a party.
Full disclosure: Tableau paid for Laura’s airfare and lodging for the duration of the conference. They did not pay her to specifically write this article.