So, like always Adam had the lead to write our recap blog while I was vacationing in Los Angeles. But I was quite ok with that, because as you can see below the Gandhi family had a blast. Although, I am happy to report that I am back to Philly this morning after almost 2 weeks of being out! Feels good to be home.
We know we weren’t the only ones who were counting down the months, weeks, and days until our 2017 family reunion (more commonly referred to as Tableau Conference). To many data nerds out there, this is an annual highlight where we can come together with friends from around the world. This year was no different, until it was…
The attack on Mandalay Bay the week prior to the conference definitely changed the vibe. However, the Mandalay Bay and Tableau did a great job making sure everything went off without a hitch. There was not a moment where we didn’t feel safe. Tableau did a great job being respectful of the victims and along with the community efforts for donations, it was inspiring to see. Great job to all those involved in #data17donates! Its not just about how great the technology is, it’s also about how amazing the people are!
We were both able to arrive a bit early this year. I arrived earlier than expected and surprised Pooja with an off-roading adventure. She was a little reluctant at first, I think mostly because she needed to buy her first pair of sneakers for the event! Check out those bright laces!
When Adam said, I am going to have to drive this as well, I was like no way!!! But nonetheless, I showed my bravery, put on my first sneakers and let him be a passenger for a short drive around the sand dunes. He was also able to take pictures of the drive while enjoying a passenger ride because I was just too scared to take some pictures while I was a passenger 😂
Poo was a little afraid to drive at first, but when she did it only took about five seconds for her to put that heavy foot down and floor it! And, she drove pretty well, even with her fancy purse around her neck. 😂
Ok, I didn’t know I shouldn’t be carrying a golden chain fancy purse, if only I had a fanny pack! But that was too much shopping just for driving around the sand dunes 😂
Next up, was a fancy dinner at the Wynn with one of our best friends, Curtis Harris. Curtis’ wife, Mady, even flew out for the event. We had a fun time all eating vegetarian, trying to determine if the numbers next to the wine list were mls or price (750), and even Facetimed kids in the tub! We party hard! We are data people but first we are party people! 😉
Thanks Mady for flying out to Vegas to enjoy the dinner and some hard core data talks! We loved chatting with you and Curtis.
Next time, we will even let Curtis up front in the photo! Doesn’t it look like he’s photo-bombing us? 😉
After dinner, we all headed over to the Data + Women meetup Sunday evening. This is becoming one of my favorite events of the conference. It is such a good way to start off the conference with the opportunity to catch up with everyone. This year, it was held at the Skyfall Lounge with a beautiful view of Las Vegas from the 64th floor. I think it took about 45 minutes to get ten feet inside the room. It seemed like everyone in the community rushed over to say hello (such a welcoming group). We are not going to list names because there are way too many to list here, but we enjoyed talking with everyone! If you haven’t attended in the past, mark your calendar to arrive a day early next year, you won’t regret it. Arrive a day early and leave a day later, great way to start and end the conference!
All this fun and the conference didn’t even start yet!
Monday was full of meetings and hellos. We did our speaker tech-check and headed off to #MakeoverMonday, where we were promptly denied access. The project is so popular now that the room filled up and we were sent packing. Instead, we broke into the actual room of our session and tested out the WiFi and sound. We were glad we did because a few things didn’t work and we got them ironed out with the tech who was surprised to find us in the room. 😂
The afternoon keynote by Talithia Williams was excellent! We liked the addition of a featured speaker on Monday. Being a father of two girls, her talk really hit home!
The evening was filled out by the Speaker Reception, the Welcome Reception, and the Community Meetup at EyeCandy. It was so good to see everyone again.
Tuesday/Wednesday were solid session days. We picked sessions by the speaker and ones that might help us at work. We attended Peter Gilks, Tatiana Gabor, Paul Banoub, Matt Francis, Adam McCann, Rody Zakovich, Jeffrey Shaffer, Andy Cotgreave, Steven Wexler, Andy Kriebel, Shawn Levin, and Bill Saltmarsh.
The community is growing at such a rapid rate that it is impossible to attend every session that you want to see. We had several more sessions starred in the app, but some had 15 minute overlaps that meant you needed to leave one early and arrive late at the other (ensuring you’ll be locked out). The #MakeoverMonday lockout just taught us to stay in the ones we were able to enter. We will have to watch the recordings for the rest. We wish they also recorded the speakers and not just the screen. If we missed your session, we really wanted to be there. 🙄
The silent sessions in the data village looked like a cool idea, but most were jammed packed with people standing outside. We hope Tableau takes feedback from the presenters on whether they like this format. We could hear music in the expo hall over the noise-canceling headphones. We wonder if it is annoying as a speaker, plus you lose the interactivity with the audience. If they keep the format, the speakers should get to select their elevator music like baseball players that get to select their walk-up music when batting.
The keynotes were pretty good. We enjoyed the Tableau Vision and Devs on Stage. It did feel a bit like they were presenting on a lot of content/features that have already been delivered. We wondered if this is the result of the agile project management and/or fallout of viz in tooltips ala TC15 (which is finally back in the 10.5 beta – still waiting…). Adam (not Poo who doesn’t like maps) is going to build some density maps though!
We enjoyed Stephen Dubner and Steven Levitt. It was funny and interesting to hear their approach to data. Dubner was a keynote at Alteryx Inspire so the turkey sex and bathroom hand washing studies were repeats for Adam, but still funny!
We didn’t enjoy the Adam Savage keynote. We didn’t really see the relevance, but it was delivered well. We really hope Tableau gets some data visualization rock stars for keynotes next year. How about Nadieh Bremer and Shirley Wu? These ladies rock! Let Tableau know via the button below that we want @DataSketches.
IronViz was a great as usual. Tristan definitely deserved the crown and did an amazing job. Jacob and Joshua also created great dashboards and we continue to be intimidated by the thought of being up there! Great job guys!
Thursday started out great! The absolute best part of Tableau Conference is the Vizzie awards. We really like this because it comes from the heart of the community and from outside Tableau. The community picked Adam for two awards this year: 1) The Most Technically Sound and 2) the Hackiest. They sound like oxymorons, but Adam LOVES IT! Congratulations to everyone who won an award. Thank you to everyone who voted. Adam has his proudly displayed in his family room and walks by them everyday. This picture totally looks like a red carpet picture with these celebrities. Congrats, Adam!
The Data Duo Session was awesome! We had a lot of fun presenting! We really enjoyed seeing many of our friends in the crowd that battled through data night out hangovers (see if you can spot Paul) and were willing to miss other sessions that overlapped with ours. Here is a selfie we took during the talk while we showed a community video. Look at everyone waving at us, so cool! Thanks to everyone who joined our session and heard our story. We strongly recommend finding a data champion in the community to collaborate with. It’s an enriching experience and the learning is beyond amazing. I want to thank Adam for being such a cool half of the duo, its been a great year being the data duo! 😍
If you missed our talk, you can watch the recording here. If you were there, please make sure to fill out the session survey. It is important for all speakers. It looks like you can rate the video as well on the TClive site.
But let’s be honest, what really makes the conference is the people. We think every time someone asked us about our favorite part, we said “it’s always the people”. Whether it’s seeing someone in the hallway, sitting next to them in a session, drinking beers on a rooftop bar, speaking with your best friend, it’s always the people. If you aren’t involved with the Tableau Community, you should be. It will change your conference experience. Many of you are my closest friends and we stay in touch throughout the year.
We are already looking forward to #TC18.
So with people in mind, here are some more of our favorite photos from the week. See you in New Orleans!
We’ll leave you with a quote:
“Let there be so much passion in your work, so that; when there is a need, you are the lead” – The Data Duo