Presenting at Tableau’s Customer Conference 2014!
Update: The video is now available
As previously mentioned when rebranding this blog about more general BI topics, I’m excited to announce that I’ll be presenting at Tableau’s Customer Conference this September with my colleague, and fellow blogger, Andy Kriebel. I humbly say that Andy is to Tableau as I am to MicroStrategy, and having the chance to work with him for the last two years at Facebook has been an incredible treat. In addition to Andy and myself, our entire Facebook Data Viz team will be in attendance and everyone is contributing topics to this presentation.
Moving Fast and Counting Things at Facebook: Doing Tableau the Hacker Way
“The Hacker Way is an approach to building that involves continuous improvement and iteration. Hackers believe that something can always be better, and that nothing is ever complete. They just have to go fix it — often in the face of people who say it’s impossible or are content with the status quo.” – Mark Zuckerberg
I’ve always subscribed to The Hacker Way mentality even before I’d seen it put so eloquently by Mark. This is how we treat every problem, every day at Facebook, and our talented team has come up with some truly incredible things around Tableau that we’re really excited to share. We’ll probably share a few teasers leading up to the big day, but we’re saving all of the great stuff off of our blogs until then. The presentation will be packed with entertainment, laughs and wow moments. I promise no matter what your experience level is with Tableau, we have things you’ve never seen before.
And of course as is our style, everything will be fully documented on our blogs immediately following the presentation, so there’s no need to take notes (we won’t get into too many details during the show anyway), so you can just sit back and enjoy the performance. All tools and scripts we show will be fully open sourced (for real this time!) and we may even have a few tshirts to share 😉
Tableau’s Customer Conference 2014 is September 8-12 in Seattle, WA. (register)
If you’ve never been, it’s a truly remarkable experience with world class speakers including the incredible Hans Rosling this year. The keynotes and sessions echo the community’s passion for data, visualization, storytelling and analyses, and have something for everybody, even if you’re not actually a Tableau user.
I know quite a bit about Microstrategy but practically nothing about Tableau (except the presentations, videos etc.). The thing that puzzles me is in which situation one should give up Microstrategy in favor of Tableau. Why/when from functional (in a very business sense) perspective should I propose my users: Hey lets do it in a different way? Is it obvious to you by now?
I’ll probably save a more in depth analysis for a dedicated post on the topic, but my opinion is that there’s pretty good synergy between the tools right now.
* MicroStrategy’s main strengths are the SQL Engine and Scalability, with main weaknesses of Design Speed and Visual Design (lack of interactivity, visuals look unusable out of the box.
* Tableau’s main strengths are Design Speed and Visual Design (visuals look great out of the box with full interactivity where you’d expect it), with main weaknesses of Scalability and the lack of a SQL Engine means you have add another layer of transformation per dashboard.
So right now, they fit together like puzzle pieces. Basically, I weight which of these factors is most important on a given project and decide which of the weaknesses I want to invest in overcoming. Assuming they’re perfectly balanced against each other, I’ve personally found it more fulfilling to spend time trying to solve performance challenges in Tableau than solve design speed and visual design challenges in MicroStrategy, even assuming the amount of effort to build the same solution were equal in both platforms.
These days I tend to build way more stuff in Tableau because speed of delivery is my #1 requirement, and right now Tableau blows MicroStrategy out of the water in that regard. Of course, every environment is different, and my environment makes certain trade offs for the expectations of speed, so this may not be the #1 thing for everyone. For others, it’s going to be object definition reusability or high concurrency or something that would tilt this scale in MicroStrategy’s favor.
One thing I’ve noticed though is that Tableau is solving it’s weaknesses faster than MicroStrategy is solving its.
Waiting for the blog post following the presentation 🙂
All the best for You doing it in the Hacker way
I will be there in the front row.
I’m looking forward to your notes from the presentation as well! You guys showed high level solutions to many of the problems we are still facing today.