Someone from this group, KidsCount, reached out to me to help them with a Tableau Public 101 Webinar they wanted to host for their folks in each state. First, a big shout out to MC Dingh who connected KidsCount with me...you rock MC!!! This was webinar also served to prime the attendees for a more in-depth data workshop at their conference in early May. Holy cow!!! I think The first message to my data BFFs was “OMG YOU GUYS. I'm so super excited!!” Then after I actually had time to think about it (and after they kept calling me a Tableau expert a couple of times), I thought, “Oh shit. I have to do a really good job with this. These folks are gonna look to me to have all the answers. I don't have all the answers. I feel remedial sometimes. Maybe I need to recommend someone else.” Then I told myself to buck up. I needed to do this and I should do this. And yeah it was scary, but it was good for me. One of the things that helped tremendously was that I clarified that I was no expert. This was a risk. But I used it as a positive.
You don't have to be an expert to develop a good visualization in Tableau.
So that was my goal. Give the attendees a good introduction to Tableau Public so that they could create good visualizations.
In the days leading up to the webinar, my daughter had her tonsils and adenoids out. I was expecting her recovery to be like my son's; rest with lots of Slurpees. Ah kids...you expect one thing, they do another. I was going to use that time she was resting to really draft out some super awesome talking points, do a couple of dry runs, & catch up on blogging.
Are you still laughing? I am.
So what really happened is that I commissioned the TV be a babysitter when I did a tech check for about 30 minutes. This time was really all about Katie so I otherwise spent time hanging out with my favorite chick and I worked on my talking points the weekend before the webinar. I also scheduled a dry run with one of my data friends, who I thought would provide constructive feedback in a way I could handle. That was super helpful in identifying where I needed to shore up my talk & other logistical items.
April 24th rolled around and I felt mentally ready to rock. I also know a couple of things about me. I like early afternoon presentations. It gives me time in the morning to mentally prepare myself, by having a great breakfast, working out, reviewing talking points on last time, etc. This is the formula that works for me.
So it was go time. Once I started talking, it just all fell into place. I presented for about 45 minutes covering everything from how to install Tableau Public to creating a dashboard, story points, as well as some data visualization best practices.
When it was done, I felt like a kickass rockstar. I shared the knowledge I had learned and I stepped out of my comfort zone. I set a goal to be a resource in the Tableau community for newbies and the KidsCount Webinar aligned directly with that goal. I might have jumped for joy and did a little shimmy and shake.
Are the attendees going to create Jonathan Drummey-esque table calcs or create a freakin' treasure map like Matt Francis as a result of the webinar. Nope. Should they be able to gain a better understanding and start creating visualizations? Yep. And I'm good with that.
If you're interested, here are my talking points and my workbook that I created in the Webinar.