My focus for several years now has been Business Objects. But recently our client expressed a strong interest in Tableau. (Yes, I do believe it was the classic "the CIO read an article, everybody duck" routine.) For those who don't know, Tableau has made some strong strides in the BI market over the last few years. Gartner has had some great things to say about them, and a lot of people have been listening.
|Just look at it there, lording it over the rest of them.|
So what? Yeah, I know, it's not a big deal. But, hey, you're reading this, so you must care. Or be really bored. I am mostly mentioning this to let you know that I will be mixing some Tableau posts in with by BO posts. As I come across interesting blog posts (check out this wacky method for having both different colors and intensity of color as indicators on your chart!) or nifty ways of solving problems, I'll post about them.
But wait, what *is* Tableau? The short answer is that it's technology that is intended to short-cut a LOT of the work of the data visualization professional. Any business analyst with a good grasp of their data and enough savvy to create decent charts in Excel is supposed to be able to pick up Tableau and create awesome charts. Naturally, the truth falls a bit short of the marketing hype, but not as far short as normal. It actually is really easy to create awesome charts in Tableau. If you have an interest in data visualization or exploration, you should check out their public gallery. And you can download a free version of the software to play around with.
It's pretty darned cool. Almost Joe Cool.