2016 is coming to an end – a year of incredible friendships, goals, achievements and lots of fun. I want to take this opportunity to thank each one of you in the Tableau community who I’ve had the opportunity to talk to or work with for a very fulfilling year yet. All of you in some way have contributed to my professional growth and development this past year.
From my first Tableau Public visualization to being named a Tableau Zen Master, 2016 has given me incredible things to look back on and feel accomplished!
I didn’t start 2016 with all this in mind of course, but a lot happened over the past year that I value and cherish. Here are my top 10 highlights from the past year (in no particular order):
- Launch of thedataduo.com in April 2016 with the very talented and grounded Adam Crahen. Adam has been such a valuable resource for my professional growth this year. His persistence and ability to keep up with my high-energy attitude is commendable. His work with #MakeoverMonday has been phenomenal and has inspired many across the globe. I am glad Adam and I got to start this joint venture of blogging and learning in a collaborative environment. It has been invaluable! Thank you, Adam. Together we also launched our first ever collaborative data exchange initiative called #DearDuo, more about it here and here.
- Being named a Tableau Public Featured Author from July 2016 to October 2016 – I started using Tableau in August 2014 and was never into public vizzing until my first encounter with #MakeoverMonday this past year. Being part of the Tableau Public community has meant that, I have access to some of the most amazing work done by the data visualization community around the world. The ability to download and take apart workbooks meant that I learnt something new each time. From new users to Tableau Zen Masters, everyone has taught me tricks that I didn’t already know of. So cheers, everyone!
- #MakeoverMonday Participation – #MakeoverMonday didn’t just teach me how to visualize or use Tableau but also taught me a lot about commitment, consistency, networking and collaborating. Some of the things we usually take for granted, but does require efforts to maintain. During the active participation process, I also learnt how necessary it was for me to identify new ways to visualize datasets to continue growing and learning new techniques. I now have relationships built with people of world-class talent and know for a fact that anyone I ask, would readily help out if need be. This sort of networking and relationships wouldn’t have been possible if it wasn’t for #MakeoverMonday. In a fast paced world like today, it is pretty easy to get distracted and side tracked but both Andy Kriebel and Andy Cotgreave did a great job all year to keep the community connected and focused. So commendable!
- #IronViz participation – This was the most exhilarating experience of 2016. Last year, I would have never thought that my skills were competitive enough to participate in a high intensity data visualization competition. I think I learnt a whole lot by participating in all three feeder competitions this year. The Tableau community never ceases to amaze me with their skills, creativity and willingness to learn new things. I got feedback on my work from the #IronViz champion himself for all three feeder competitions. I knew, Curtis Harris had it in him and it was just a matter of time. And it indeed was! It was a surreal experience to see him win the coveted title at this year’s Tableau Conference in Austin, TX. Congrats again, Curtis! You have been very inspirational with your work all year.
- Tableau Zen Master news – I was on a call and an email by Andy Cotgreave pops up on my screen saying, “Congrats, you are a 2016 Tableau Zen Master”. My reaction? WHAT?!? I was thrilled to hear the news but it did take a while to digest the news. Being named a Tableau Zen Master is definitely one of the most exciting news I heard in 2016. I never had plans or never worked towards being one, it just happened! This again taught me that, working hard is in your hands, rest will all happen in due time. Diligence and determination takes you places you don’t even think about. But of course, all this wouldn’t have been possible without all the support I got from you all the entire year. Being on stage with these amazingly talented folks in Austin, TX in front of thousands of data rock stars was exciting!
- Fantastic job opportunity at Comcast NBCUniversal – Who would’ve thought that my weekly #MakeoverMonday submissions were being eyed by a potential employer? I never thought. One fine day in July, I get a message from Josh Tapley (he is one of the coolest, btw) saying, “Pooja, any interest in relocating to Philly for an exciting job offer at Comcast?”. Things like these have blown me away this year! Consistency in your work and dedication rarely goes unnoticed especially if your skills are showcased on the right platform. Twitter and #MakeoverMonday combined have shown the world of possibility this year and I am sure, I am not the only one to assert that. Fast forward to October and I am now part of a dynamic team at Comcast. If you’re interested to join us at Comcast, you can apply here.
- #DataplusWomen Meetup at TC16 – Data women all over the world came to one place on November 6th, 2016 in Austin, TX. The result? Mind blowing conversations, lots of fun and lasting friendships. It was so good to finally get to see all my favorite ladies who I am in touch with via social media on a daily basis. There is no shortage of talented women, but there is definitely shortage of these meetups. I am going to try and remember all my favorite ladies and thank them for showing that women can rock too! Brittany Fong, Bridget Cogley, Chloe Tseng, Eva Murray, Emily Chenty, Emily Kund, Brit Cava, Sarah Bartlett, Anya A’hearn, Fi Gordon, Sophie Sparkes, Alex Duke, Erin Simpler Kellett and all the Data School ladies (I am sure I am forgetting someone) – but know that you all inspire me every day, your work has been amazing in so many areas, keep it up!
- Tableau Conference 2016 – I have been to many conferences before, but Tableau Conferences are one of a kind. I can’t pick one or two things that I enjoyed the most. The whole experience has been amazing! Getting to meet people I admire, talking to other Tableau users, seeing some great content in sessions are all the things I enjoy and value. This year was more fun than last, because I knew a lot more people. It is amazing to spend time with like-minded professionals and learn from the very best. I can’t wait for #data17 at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, NV!
- Tableau Wannabe Podcast – Matt Francis and Emily Kund always remind me of Adam and I, they are two very inspirational people in the Tableau community and I admire both of them for their work and dedication towards life in general. Being on the podcast with them and Tim Ngwena was a blast. I am sure Matt had to edit out a lot of unnecessary laughs and giggles out of the podcast recording. Matt and I have also become great friends over the past year. His sense of humor is second to none and his English accent rocks! Thanks you two for being awesome. You can listen to the podcast here!
- #MakeoverMonday Live – What an amazing way to wrap an incredibly Tableau heavy year! Andy Kriebel is in Philadelphia and we get to relive the #MakeoverMonday live experience. 11 of us here in Philly are currently doing a LIVE #MakeoverMonday as I type this. What fun! Thanks to both the Andies for a very successful and enriching project of 2016.
I cannot thank everyone enough for all you’ve done to inspire me and the greater Tableau community this year. I can’t wait to see what 2017 brings with it, until then…dream big and work hard! See you all next year. Happy New Year and thanks for reading a rather long post.