To those with even the slightest knowledge of Tableau, the name Andy Kriebel is synonymous with great data visualisation. Andy started using the data visualisation tool back in 2007 and as he says himself he has used it “every day since”.
“Tableau is still the easiest and most intuitive data analysis and data visualisation tool around,” he says from his home in London. “The drag and drop interface is being copied by other tools, which of course is a compliment to Tableau’s innovation. Other tools may be catching up, but Tableau created such a large lead that it’ll be hard for any other tool to reach parity. I think Tableau also continues to innovate, with the user experience still remaining essential to every new feature that they release.”
Achievement and Innovations
The Philadelphian’s list of achievements and innovations are impressive to say the least. A member of the Tableau Visionary Hall of Fame, Andy has worked with some of the world’s leading companies, including Coca-Cola and Facebook where he was responsible for “implementing Tableau at scale”. Having helped these companies with the rollout of Tableau, he found he had a desire to impart knowledge and help to revolutionise the way data was read. Andy’s mission is to help as many people as possible “see and understand” their data with Tableau.
In 2009, he launched vizwiz.com which remains the go-to for the best in data visualisation best practices, tips and tricks. Soon after, he started Makeover Monday and Workout Wednesday; two forums that have been catalysts for many careers in data visualisation.
He has been at the helm of The Information Lab’s Data School UK for over seven years and just this year, with the opening of The Data School New York, he became Global Head Coach.
“The usability of Tableau has been fundamental to our training program and the success of The Data School,” says Andy. “At its heart, Tableau is fun to use and I love passing on my enthusiasm to everyone that goes through The Data School. Our enthusiasm as coaches translates to our consultants, who take that on to their clients, and the cycle repeats.”
Since those early days in Coca-Cola, Andy has seen major changes in the data analytics sphere. Most noticeably the increase in its use and the knock on demand for analysts.
The changing face of Data
“Obviously there’s way more data to analyse” he says. “But, data is just data. If you can’t analyse it, what use is it? Companies, governments, small businesses, sports teams, the list goes on and on; they all need data to make decisions. And that means they need data analysts. Those skills are in massive demand. There are so many opportunities for people to build their skills to get these jobs, but don’t do it unless you’re passionate about it. It’s so much more fun and rewarding when you do the work you love to do.”
And this isn’t empty rhetoric. Andy lives and breathes data. An avid runner, fitness fan and dog owner he uses data on a daily basis outside his work to track and inform his life.
“I am training for a full distance triathlon at the moment so I need data to understand my performance. I have a dog; I need to know how many walks we do together, how many balls she finds and all the other stuff that goes with owning a dog. Basically, I look for any reason to track data. I find it fun. I get to learn about myself and the world around me.”
Tableau User Group Ireland
At the next TUG Ireland on September 7th, Andy’s presentation will focus on Effective Dashboard Design.
“There are so many overly complicated dashboards,” says the Zen Master. “I’ll be talking about the do’s and don’ts of dashboard design, what works and what doesn’t, examples of well designed dashboards, and how to get better.”
We very much look forward to the presentation on the day.