TC16 – Save the Best for Last (11/10/2016)

Viz the Grid: How PNC Bank Revolutionized Reporting has been scheduled at the conference!

Thursday, November 10, 2016

12:00 – 1:00 CST


Thursday at noon?  Isn’t that when people have lunch?  Will people have recovered from the Wednesday party by then?  You can imagine my initial reaction?  All this hard work, how can that be my time slot?

Then a simple note from a friend said “save the best for last”.  My world pivoted.  Of course, headliners, keynotes, the grand finally of a fireworks show!  Your words have incredible power.  Keep them positive.  You don’t always know the impact.

Doesn’t matter if there are 1 or 1000.  Incredibly excited about the opportunity and all the great experiences ahead.

So bring your lunch and a blanket, we are going to wrap up TC16 with the biggest fireworks show and even might have a rock band.

Start planning your week now!  See you there!

Dinner with a Zen Master

screenshot_20161011-085000What question would you ask a Tableau Zen Master?

That was my tweet.  Knew it would spark a lively conversation in the twitter sphere and give me something to discuss at dinner.

Perhaps it’s the big purple egg on my profile or lack of experience with social media?   The topic never took off.

Next step, Google “questions to ask a Zen Master”.   Surely there will be some enlightening questions that will fill the evening with energy?  Make the night memorable?  Thankfully that list never got read.

So what do you ask a Zen Master at dinner?

You don’t.  You listen.   You connect.

Don’t worry about the list of questions or what you are going to say.  Ground yourself, relax, be present in that moment.  You would be surprised where the conversation takes you. 

Want to be truly enlightened?  Try being vulnerable and sharing part of yourself.  Be real.

My TC16 talk started out as “look at this cool dashboard we came up with that changed the world”.  A dashboard doesn’t change the world or even a small department.  People do.  Does yours make things better for them?  Is it curb-side pickup or a long line at the grocery store?

A magician never gets to see the magic they create.  They are the only one that doesn’t see the illusion.  To make magic, they must put themselves in the shoes of the audience. 

Are you magically connecting with anyone?  Why aren’t you connecting with everyone?  Are you putting yourselves in the shoes of the Zen Master, your audience, the ones you built the dashboard for, the people reading your blog?  A blind man in a restaurant?

This magician exposes the secret.  It’s so easy everyone can do it!


Remember the 2012 conference?

Twenty minutes after driving away from the airport, fell deeply in love!  Ah you still have my heart.  Anyone in San Diego hiring?

Was my first Tableau Conference.  My mission to find flaws and pain points as had been done many times before with other software.  Understand what we might face during implementation.  Look for something scary that might make us go a different direction.

Will find flaws in nearly everything.  But what you must look for is Leadership and Vision.

Christian’s first words were about growing up in his family’s business.  How the conference was important, because every single employee of Tableau was there to listen to their customers to make things better, to collaborate, to help them be successful.

Are you listening to your customers? 

Start up companies always tend to listen at the beginning right?  Tableau still do a pretty good job today after 10 years.

But it was later in Christian’s Keynote where he described the history of Business Intelligence and shared this video from 1958 that I knew things were different.

As we prepare for TC16 and celebrate Tableau’s 10 years, take a few moments to reflect on your story.  Are you innovating?  Using the great tools available to us to make a difference in the businesses and lives of the people that use your work?

The information machine is 9 minutes and worth it as you make your commute.  The Keynote is longer, but well worth your time.

In 2012, there were around 2,500 people in San Diego.  In Austin, there will be 15,000 attendees representing about 1,600 of Tableau’s 50,000 customers.

Be inspired by Tableau, your peers, your new friends.  Go back after the conference and pass along that Vispiration to your companies and organizations.


Remember that party with the awesome food, amazing atmosphere, and people you met for the first time?  No boring interview questions, “so what do you do” and “nice weather today”.

They shared your passion.  New friends inspired countless ideas.   You learned things and only regret not recording it.

Maybe your passion is golf and a new technique was shared.  Perhaps you were in a room full of people excited about wine and great food.  Maybe a conference with thought leaders from your industry.  Or a group of skydivers that finally convinced you to take the jump you’ve always dreamed of.

Remember how energized you felt?   Remember how much you couldn’t say because there wasn’t enough time?  Or did you forget because you had one too many and barely remember getting home?

Why are you here?

Maybe we met at a great party, networking event, conference, or you attended one of my talks.

VizTheGrid is to be the napkin you didn’t have to write down those ideas.  The extra time we didn’t have, because you had to catch that cab.  A way to stay connected and to reach others that share our passion.

Glad you are here.  Help keep the party going!