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Susan Kistler on Tableau and Users Groups

I’m Susan Kistler, the American Evaluation Association’s Executive Director. I contribute each Saturday’s post to aea365. I’m striving to improve my capacity to use Tableau, a data exploration and visualization tool. I’ve read the manual, watched their video tutorials, will be attending training, and have spent time working with the product on my own. However, as with any complex tool, the devil is in the details and I occasionally find myself caught up with how to make it do exactly what I want as efficiently and effectively as possible.

Today, I wanted to share three tools that I use for support as I strive to use new software and hardware, and to get the most from products with which I have worked for years.

Rad Resource – Product Discussion Lists: Discussion lists, or forums, devoted to a particular product are usually populated by both users and representatives from the manufacturer. They are places to learn from others who have ‘been there, done that.’ A quick check of Tableau’s site and I found Support -> Forums. Support forums tend to be fairly no-nonsense question-and-answer spaces.

Rad Resource – Experts Exchange: Experts Exchange is a site where you can post tech questions on almost any topic or platform and get answers from thousands of other users. It is like having ready access to hundreds of discussion lists covering multiple products. Experts Exchange isn’t free, but for $100 per year, I’ve received multiple specific answers tailored to my problem. I’ve found those who respond to be very sophisticated users who know the details of a particular product.

Rad Resource – Users Groups: Sometimes, you want a bit more than Q&A. You may be seeking demonstrations, meetups, peer-critiques, examples, and networking. Users Groups bring together those with an interest in a particular product and usually supplement what you’d find on a discussion list with other streams for capacity building. User Groups used to be location-dependent, so there were often many groups for a particular product, but increasingly there are virtual groups as well. Apple and SAS have both set up spaces on their website to support users groups for their products. And, if you know of other users groups that may be of interest to evaluators, please share them in the discussion section for this post.

Hot Tip – Join the Tableau Virtual Users Group: I like users groups. They combine product support and demonstration with networking and commiseration. I’m starting a Tableau virtual users group and welcome anyone working in evaluation or a related field who’d like to join us to add to the discussion on AEA’s LinkedIn group here. We’re hoping to meet monthly via webinar with short demos, peer-critique, time for questions and networking, etc.

Do you have questions, concerns, kudos, or content to extend this aea365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on the aea365 webpage so that we may enrich our community of practice. Would you like to submit an aea365 Tip? Please send a note of interest to aea365@eval.org. aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.

3 thoughts on “Susan Kistler on Tableau and Users Groups”

  1. I just came onto your post and found it quite interesting. I am also associated with Tableau Support, Tableau Consultant, Tableau Admin, Tableau help, Tableau Services and love to enjoy the stuff on the same as its rarely found on internet. Thanks again for writing such a good post.

    For More Info : Tableau Support

  2. Thanks Jacqui! I’d love to make it to London for a meeting. The LinkedIn Tableau groups have been great – hoping that our value added may be some real-time monthly virtual connections.

  3. There is an active Tableau community on LinkedIn for Tableau and a numb er of what appears to be location specific User Groups. However the location also operates as a virtual environment.

    I run the first Tableau User Group – UK Tableau User Group, UKTug to its friends and we have members from all over the world. We are closed on LinkedIn to non Tableau Users, we direct people with an interest in Tableau to the Tableau Software and friends group. As a Tableau User you would be welcome to apply and meet the other Jedi in the group, and attend any of our London based meetings.

    We operate as a closed group to allow people to share their experiences good or bad and the group is usually able, and keen to help.

    You can also visit theUKTug website https://sites.google.com/site/uktableauusergroup/ for more resources.

    Kind regards

    Jacqui Taylor

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