Tableau Data Day Out


A few weeks ago, the KeyData Team attend the Tableau Partner Conference, and the Data Day Out down in Sydney – A great excuse to get out of the office! It was a huge privilege to be given an exclusive insight into the up and coming features in Tableau coming in the next year. Just a small sample of the upcoming features include:

Tableau Data Prep – Tableau are throwing their hat in the ring for data cleansing and manipulation with Tableau Data Prep. This new tool allows you to connect to databases and files, and produce reusable workflows to clean and manipulate your data before bringing it into Tableau. The best part about Data Prep? It’s completely free with any creator license! We here at KeyData have used Data Prep, and we think it shows great promise, and really helps fill the gap between traditional ETL/ELT Architectures and ad-hoc data analysis. You can try Data Prep out right now with Tableau 2018.1.

Extension API – In my opinion this is potentially one of the biggest game-changers for Tableau. Don’t be fooled by its dull name, the Extensions API allows for a huge leap forward in functionalities in Tableau. In a nutshell, users will be able to create native Javascript applications that run inside Tableau Dashboards, and can interact with Tableau directly. A simple example is now you can create a d3.js animation of your data as a dashboard element that will respond to dashboard actions. The big advantage of this functionality is the potential for new Dashboard objects and visualisations, allowing super users to break the rules of Tableau.

Natural Language Processing – All the power of a search engine, reading directly into your data sources! With Natural Language Processing, you can now ask questions of your data in plain English. You will be able to directly ask your data with questions like “What are my biggest sales regions for 2017?” and it will intelligently search your data for the relevant information, and return the result as a Tableau Visualisation. This functionality can help end-users answer their business questions, bypassing traditional report-oriented approaches. It’s an exciting feature that we believe will help set Tableau apart from the competition.

Dashboard Starters – A welcomed feature is the Dashboard Starter. These dashboards are optimised for displaying data directly from a data source like Salesforce for example. The biggest advantage is for new Tableau users looking to get a quick win and speed up time-to-insight for commonly used data sources. At the moment, the number of dashboard starters is fairly small, isolated to a couple of commonly used data sources, but will evolve as time goes on from what we heard.

New Subscription Offering – Tableau have recently shifted towards a new model for subscriptions, where all users are either Creators, Explorers or Viewers. Creators now have access to Tableau Desktop, Data Prep and either Tableau Server or Online, making it the complete package for data operators. Explorers are given web edit capabilities in Tableau Server, allowing end-users flexibility to create dashboards with existing data sources. Viewers are given access to dashboards in Server. These three categories aligns better with the different types of roles in an organisation.

The Data Day Out itself was a blast. Fantastic talks all around, especially Jason Fox on breaking the cycle of default thinking. Special thanks to Francois Ajenstat (Chief Product Officer at Tableau) for flying all the way across the world to talk about what’s new and exciting at Tableau.

It was great to chat to so many Tableau enthusiasts from so many organisations. It is great to hear the stories about the difference that Tableau has made to improve the day-to-day operations to so many groups. One common trend that was running through most conversations was around data governance, especially among larger organisations. It’s a difficult balance between keeping data secure, whilst empowering data analysts to work effectively.

Anyway, thanks heaps to Tableau for running an awesome event…again! We’ll see you at the next one!

Tableau Data Day Out 2018-06-08T15:28:23+00:00

Is the Sunburnt Country Burning Up?


At KeyData, we are passionate about using data to understand problems and share information.  Analyst Sam Gillespie has created an interactive visualisation using data available from the Bureau of Meteorology to help illustrate what is happening at temperature stations across Australia.  Using this infographic, you can explore how temperature varies across Australia, and see how it’s changing over time. Check out some statistical analysis of the trends to work out just how much the temperature is changing across the face of the country.

With Tableau, making interactive visualisations is a breeze.  Explore Australia’s temperature data below!

Is the Sunburnt Country Burning Up? 2018-03-18T22:27:58+00:00

Key Data Consulting wins the Tableau’s 2016 Services & Training Partner of the Year Asia Pacific Award


I am incredibly proud to announce that Key Data Consulting has won Tableau’s 2016 Services & Training Partner of the Year Asia Pacific.

With over 200 partners in the Asia Pacific region the award recognizes our team’s performance and achievements in helping customers to see their data differently, using Tableau.

In the past year, we have delivered a blend of services and training to customers throughout Asia-Pacific and beyond, including India, Papua New Guinea, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Hong Kong, the United States and almost every State in Australia. This accolade shows that our efforts, expertise and approach are making a real difference to our Tableau clients.

We work hard to differentiate ourselves with our experience, deep understanding and service offerings over end to end Analytics platforms including sourcing data from raw data sources to ETL to Data engines and Data Warehousing, Best Practises in Data Preparation, Visualisation and of course the Tableau front end.  This allows us to offer Tableau services & training within the broader organisational context of how to get the very best from Tableau’s fantastic capabilities.

Receiving the award at the annual APAC Partner Summit was a great honour—and a strong motivator to continue our focus on delivering best-of-breed analytics solutions to all KDC clients.  We are ecstatic with the award!


Key Data Consulting wins the Tableau’s 2016 Services & Training Partner of the Year Asia Pacific Award 2017-03-06T12:26:41+00:00

Our size, services, and reputation are growing!


Tableau Partner Summit 2016

Our size, services, and reputation are growing!

It’s still early in the year but already I have plenty of news to share.

Firstly, I was thrilled to discover Key Data Consulting was one of only three Tableau Partners nominated for Services Partner of the Year at the 2016 Asia Pacific (APAC) Summit.

The nomination at APAC recognised our small team’s excellence in delivering Tableau powered solutions and training for our customers, not just in Australia but across the whole Asia-Pacific region.

I was excited to attend the summit, meet other Tableau Partners, and access previews of next-generation programs. I was even more excited when I learned we’d been nominated for the 2016 Asia Pacific Services Partner Award!

The nomination shows just how quickly we’re gaining a positive reputation in our industry. It was truly humbling to see our name up against some of the industry giants including the winner, RXP Services.

Recognition at APAC came just after I learned we’d been successful in our bid to become an approved Panel Member for the provision of ICT services to Queensland Government agencies.

Panel Membership puts us in the best possible position to help government agencies harness the full potential of their data. I’m looking forward to developing new working partnerships with government this year.

Last but not least, our size and services are growing! Our analytics services are expanding as our team is growing too. Stay tuned to find out who’s joining the KDC team and our new service offerings in the very near future!


Our size, services, and reputation are growing! 2016-02-23T11:04:16+00:00

Open Data Institute of Queensland here we come


Next week on Thursday at Lunchtime I have been invited to do a demonstration using Tableau Public with Open Data Sets to show people how Tableau can be used for understanding available free data at the ODIQ Lunchtime Lecture Series.  I have been to several of these events and they are great for those who want to understand and explore what can be done with Open Data sets.  If you would like to come along you can find out more and register here.  Also tomorrow Neil Gladwin of the DSITI website will be presenting about Qld Govt Open data, this is also well worthwhile if it fits your schedule!

Its quite a busy week, between a number of private engagements on Wednesday night I am also hosting the Brisbane Tableau User Group at River City Labs, at this event I have JJ Phillips the CEO from Alteryx ANZ having a Q&A about Alteryx, what it is and how it can be usefull with your data issues, also some presentations from our broader user group on how they are using Tableau, these are great nights, if you would like to come you can get details and register here!

So that’s next week. . .busy, this week I am in Papua New Guinea teaching an oil company how to use Tableau with their data, I love my work!!

Open Data Institute of Queensland here we come 2015-08-18T21:31:20+00:00

Tableau on Tour Presentation – Sports Science: Using Multiple Disparate Complex Data Sources to Win


Last week I presented at the Tableau on Tour conference in Melbourne, my topic was “Sports Science: Using Multiple Disparate Complex Data Sources to Win”.

Truth is I am not a sport scientist but wish I was, this stuff is just fascinating and has the advantageous sideline of forming the basis for those potential clients asking about what we can do for them with their data, it allows me to show capabilities without compromising anyone’s private data, it also means I don’t need to explain business processes etc, people just get sport but have to think much harder about foreign business processes. It makes it easy for me to add value to our club as a data geek / sports science wannabe!

This is based on our dragon boating club and how we are collecting and using data to fine tune and shape our technique and training routines.  There is some material that would ideally have the advantage of words I use during the presentation to add context, if you hit one of those feel free to email or comment and ask!



Tableau on Tour Presentation – Sports Science: Using Multiple Disparate Complex Data Sources to Win 2015-03-11T10:52:46+00:00

Dragon Boating Data Visualisation example


In early September I competed in the 2014 Dragon Boating Club Crew World Championships, my team (Manly Dragons) went pretty well (1st of 22 teams in Australia), as a data geek I was interested in analysis of the results to better understand how my team went with much stronger insights than the official results website allowed.

I approached the IDBF (International Dragon Boating Federation) and am grateful that they have provided data for the results (Thanks very much guys). I then used a combination of Lavastorm and Tableau to make the data much more user friendly and easy to interpret.

For Dragon Boaters I hope you enjoy it, please feel free to share the link with other Dragon Boaters

For data geeks, clients and anyone interested in how I did this, I welcome inquiries and questions about the technology, tools and techniques I have used to develop this.  I have an ongoing interest in using data generated in my sport to help our team and demonstrate how powerful transformation of data into intuitive, meaningful insights can be.  This data is public domain, my sport allows me to do this without concerns about client confidentiality.  I have some fantastic vizualisations in the pipeline of applying science to sport!

Keep watching this space for more examples.




Link to Viz

Photo by Cameron Martin


Dragon Boating Data Visualisation example 2014-11-11T15:14:53+00:00

Brisbane Tableau User Group


Key Data Consulting hosts the Brisbane Tableau User Group every 2 or 3 months.

This provides an open exchange of ideas, techniques and even open data sets so we can build a community of people interested in helping each other out and learning from each other with the added bonus of a good venue and a beer.  The venue is excellent and just around the corner from Fortitude Valley Railway Station.  If driving there are local parking stations and I have had luck in the past finding street meter parking around in Alfred Street.

The door is open for people to do a small presentation of their own Tableau workbooks and be in the running for an IPad mini, the intent is NOT to show the latest greatest techniques and jedi tricks, rather it is to show stuff that is interesting and get a feel for how we are collectively using Tableau.  Interesting maybe due to:

  • Data available (check out my open data blog entry)
  • How insight is gained from the data
  • A good looking Viz
  • How quickly you were able to go from beginner to getting some interesting insights
  • or a new Jedi technique.

The intent is to hold 3 or 4 of these annually and the format will evolve as we have the events and see what works best, more than happy for feedback on what you would like to see and if specific topics or short sharp user presentations are preferred.  My current thinking is the 2nd half should remain about opening laptops and having a chat about work we are doing as individuals over beer & pizza.

I am also happy to give a small plug for RiverCity Labs here, when you come along I suspect you will be surprised at the facility, this is by far the BEST venue for this kind of thing I have come across.  I moved from Sydney 3 years ago and was one a small team of TUG organisers in Sydney and we never had a facility as good as this there.



Brisbane Tableau User Group 2014-09-17T10:01:43+00:00

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