1st Data+Women Meeting

On Wednesday, March 23rd I held the first Milwaukee Data+Women Meetup at Anodyne Coffee. Seven people attended (including myself) and we discussed a variety of things. I began the conversation explaining why I wanted to start the group but that I was struggling with the group’s purpose. I posed a question to the group to get an idea of why they chose to attend.

Most people wanted to network with like-minded individuals and learn about what others are doing with data and the tools they use. Additionally, having a place where women felt comfortable speaking up was an important attribute. Reflecting on the meeting, I believe we accomplished the objective.

Our conversation began with mentoring. It was a topic that stuck with me when I read Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg. Starting with an anecdote about a human resource intern who approached me to get involved with analytics, we discussed how we can support other women or get younger women interested in data science. A good point was made about keeping women in the field of data as some of the participants had experienced women leaving their departments.

The idea of the meeting came from a Tableau leaders webinar. At the last Tableau Conference a Data+Women panel was held and more recently the San Francisco TUG held their own meeting. So obviously when I began organizing the meeting I shared the information with the Milwaukee Tableau User Group. While Tableau brought us together, the conversation was applicable to all. Actually two of the attendees aren't Tableau users (yet).

We discussed some of the data science tools available, one of which was Tableau. Since most of us were familiar with Tableau we spent more time discussing Alteryx, R, and Hadoop. Alteryx is a data preparation tool and one other user had experience with it. R is a statistical programming language and Hadoop is a database for unstructured data.

This topic lead us to talking about how to learn new things. It can be difficult to know what you need to learn, but even more difficult to take the initiative to learn it. You have to make time, focus on the subject, and then try to translate what you learn into actual implementation. We discussed the best websites to facilitate learning and how we each learn on the job.

I found an interesting image the other day that I shared with the group. It's called the Imposter Syndrome and it seemed to apply to other participants.

Tableau 9.3 Has Been Released

Like everyone else, I received an email notifying me of the release of the newest release of Tableau (9.3). As always I took a look at the new features and there is some pretty cool stuff!

Self-Service at Scale

  • SEARCH – Like it sounds, similar to the filter search bar
  • CONTENT ANALYTICS – Sorting by most popular workbooks, trend chart in tooltip for interactors to find dashboards they might not typically look at
  • VERSIONING – This is one of the most exciting additions for me as I’ve been tasked to put our workbooks into SVN, rolling back changes made easy!
  • CONTENT MANAGEMENT – Now more users can refresh data extracts, which will help me out since we have many data sources that I want to give our users access to run as needed
  • TABLEAU SERVER MANAGEMENT – While there are many fun things here, my favorite is disk-space monitoring so we can avoid any issues


  • PUBLISH DATA SOURCE – The interface has changed, the biggest impact here is the swapping the local data source with the published one
  • MOBILE SIGN-IN – Stay signed in to the mobile app
  • ALWAYS CONNECTED – Desktop will remember your connection, the downside here is for admins who may frequently switch sites
  • TABLEAU ONLINE SYNC – Notifications if your data source needs additional information, love this!


  • UNION – I’ve been using this for a while now from the beta directly to our Tableau 9.2 server because it’s a frequent request, no more writing weird queries using the “legacy connection”
  • SNOWFLAKE – I don’t know much (or anything) about Snowflake other than they were at the Gartner BI & Analytics Summit
  • DATA GRID – Additional preview abilities
  • GROUPS AND BINS – More data prep capabilities in the data source window
  • JOIN – The ability to pivot your data and then join, this just takes even more of those basic data prep needs and embeds them directly in the tool
  • DATA CONNECTIONS – Row level security capabilities among many other items regarding Teradata, PostgreSQL, Oracle, Pivotal Greenplum, Microsoft SQL Server, and Salesforce
  • PERFORMANCE – Better caching and only connecting to necessary data sources to create the selected view

Fast and Easy

  • MAPS – Even more geographic detail for Europe and India, more demographic information for the United States, and updates to postal codes
  • FORECASTING – Automatic seasonal selection to help with odd patterns
  • HIGH DPI – This speaks for itself
  • TOTALS – You can now exclude totals from coloring, which will help many of our users significantly
  • SHEET COLORS – Color in the sheet sorter and filmstrip views
  • PERFORMANCE – Various performance enhancements, I’ll have to test this on some of our more complex workbooks

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the newest Tableau features so please comment below! If you want to check out the details yourself, you can find them here: http://www.tableau.com/new-features/9.3

AE's 3rd Annual BI & Advanced Analytics Symposium

AE Business Solutions's 3rd Annual Business Intelligence & Advanced Analytics Symposium is being held on Thursday April 21, 2016. Marshfield Clinic Information Services will be the Customer Keynote Presentation, sharing how they are ‘Modernizing’ their Enterprise Data Warehouse. The day will be filled with great information and the latest technologies in the advancement of Self Service Business Intelligence, Enterprise Data Warehousing, and Advanced Analytics. Please see the invite below.

AE Business Solutions always puts on wonderful events and you should definitely attend if you have the time!

Advanced Analytics and Self-Service BI: Modernizing Today’s Data Warehouse Environment
8:15-9:00 Registration & Breakfast
9:00-9:15 AE Business Solutions - Symposium Kick off
9:15-12:00 Customer Keynote Showcase & Partner Presentations
12:00 Lunch
1:00-2:00 Predictive Analytics in the Cloud – How it Works
2:00-3:00 High Performance EDW & Business Intelligence on Hadoop  - How it Works
3:00-4:30 Happy Hour & Networking

Dan Murray's MKE TUG Presentation

As promised, Dan provided me with his presentation and Tableau workbooks from the Milwaukee Tableau User Group's first quarter meeting. The presentation is embedded below. You can find Dan's post about his trip to Milwaukee and the workbooks he presented here: http://tableauyourdata.com/news-press/tyd2-journal-milwaukee/

In addition to Dan's wonderful presentation materials, he is also involved in Interworks' podcast called "Podcast Your Data". With two episodes out so far, you have plenty of time to get in at the beginning and not miss a thing! Find the latest episode here: https://www.interworks.com/blog/interworks/2016/03/01/pyd02-alberto-cairo

While Dan was in town he held a giveaway of his book the 2nd Edition of Tableau Your Data. Luckily I was one of the winners!

Milwaukee's First Data+Women Meeting

Inspired by the Data + Women Meetup held at the 2015 Tableau Conference, the Milwaukee Tableau User Group (TUG) is organizing a local Data+Women Meeting. While the location has yet to be determined (it will most likely be downtown), the date and time has been set: Wednesday, March 23, 2016 at 6:00pm.

Come celebrate achievements and accomplishments by women in data. Discuss pressing topics generated by you, the community. Topics could include, but are not limited to, mentoring, advocacy, career, education, leadership, and impact.

Wondering if this session is for you? All are welcome to join. Are you a woman? Have a mother? A sister? A daughter? Work with women? Well, then you qualify. We hope to see you there, and that you'll participate in this open discussion on how to help advance women in data.

Please bring your own questions and topics you would like to discuss. Need ideas? Check out this great post: Data + Women Meetup Question Bank.