Have you ever come across people who ask you, ‘Why do you do it?’, ‘How does it benefit you?’ I get asked those questions a LOT when it comes to my participation on the Tableau community forums. Well, the answer to that is, benefit doesn’t always have to be materialistic. It sure benefits me in other greater ways. Camaraderie with some of the finest, most talented people (my very beneficial camaraderie with Adam Crahen for example, in collaboration with whom this blog was launched), acceptance in the community, respect and trustworthiness. To me these benefits outweigh the materialistic benefits by far too much.
Let’s rewind this to August 2014. While deconstructing a previous employee’s workbook a typical Tableau novice question cropped up in my head and I was like, now what? No one else uses Tableau at work to whom I can go and ask a question. I am curious, remember? That’s when I came across the community forums, a place I wasn’t initially too interested in participating. At first, I only read others’ responses and picked up a few tricks along the way.
Its only later that someone had a question; I once had when I started using Tableau that I thought of answering on the forums. What did that do in turn to me? It taught me that helping someone is the most superior forms of satisfaction I have ever experienced. Since that one response, there was no looking back.
Let’s look at it a little superficially, the numbers. So far I have answered 1,915 questions on the forums. What that means to the receiver? Someone helped them. What that means to me on a deeper level? That I have a platform to share my skills and help someone have a better day, a better understanding of Tableau and a better reason to come back on the forums should they ever need help again. It builds trust and it sure did.
Fast forward to July 2015. I was having the time of my life in New York, when I got an email from Tracy Rodgers, the community strategist to invite me to join the Ambassadors program. I was thrilled to hear the news. I asked her what it is all about? And she said to me, “As a Tableau Ambassador for the community forums, you are a representative and extension of the Tableau voice.” I couldn’t agree more with what she said. I instantly agreed to join the program and met some of the most wonderful fellow Ambassadors at TC15, some of whom I did not get to meet, I look forward to meeting them at TC16.
Here is a great shot with some of my fellow Ambassadors at TC15
So people ask me, what do you do with this title? Is it just bragging rights? Well, no. It is way more than the superficiality of having the title. It is maintaining value, integrity, honesty, teamwork and simplicity. All of which reflects in the personalities of Tableau’s chosen community Ambassadors.
Apart from all said above, I also have a slightly selfish motive to participate in the community and that is the fact that I get to learn a lot too. There are some amazingly talented people out there who have helped me understand the know-how and the functionalities of Tableau and continue to teach me everyday. I would like to take this opportunity to encourage more people to join the community. I would love for more women participants to join the forces as well.
Also a great opportunity to mention and thank some of the most inspirational women I have come across in the greater Tableau Community:
and many more (I am sure, I am forgetting someone). All of them have inspired me by their innovative and creative work and each of them never fail to remind me that talent is everywhere around us. I am very glad to be a part of the technological space and such a dynamic community that speaks volumes of data.
That said, if you see a shortie with dark hair and a happy face running around Austin Convention Center, don’t forget to stop by and say hi! 🙂 Or as Toby Erkson would say it:
Actually, don’t quite believe Toby. Joe is clearly not two Poojas tall if you refer to the picture above 😀
I hope to connect with one and all at TC16! Thank you for reading a rather long post.