Off the Wall / Tableau

Oh, the Ways You’ll Tableau!

Today is your day!
You’re on to Great Vizzes!
You’re off and away!

You have bits on your screen
And bytes on your brain
You can choose the graph yourself
Without the need to train!
You are free to play, to explore how you choose
To escape the BI wall that gives analysts the blues.

You look at rows, a drag here, a drop there
Placing dimensions on marks for charts that ensnare
With your bits on the screen and bytes on the brain
Producing graphs to questions and answers that rain.

And you may not like them
But you can continue to explore
In that case, you just copy
And switch the fields once more

It’s free with this
In the free-to-paint canvas

Out there things can happen
And frequently do
To data bits and bytes
Before you

And then things start to happen,
don’t worry. Don’t stew.
Just go right along.
You’ll start happening too.


You’ll be on your way up!
You’ll be finding insights!
You’ll join the Zen Masters
who rake data all night.

You’ll be like Gartner, because you’ll have the speed.
You’ll be a cat in the weeds and take the lead.
Whatever you viz, it’ll be best of the best.
Whatever you chart, it will top all the rest.

Except when you don’t.
Because, sometimes, it won’t.

I’m sorry to say so
but, sadly, it’s true
that chart-lock
and viz-block
can happen to you.

You can get all locked
in a rigid mind.
And your Zens will fly on.
You’ll be left in a bind.

You’ll come out from the bind
to a precarious perch.
And the chances are, then,
that you’ll be in a Lurch.

And when you’re in a Lurch,
you’re not in for much fun.
Un-lurching yourself
is not easily done.

You will come to a place where Show-me is no helper.
Some charts are right, but others are a-kelter
A bullet chart with no similar measures or kin
A pareto with an index, or its brethren
How to move to this place, to this vision?

And IF you try this, which blog do you choose?
All the different directions, the ideas, the views?
Or to the the forum, the community or a video
The KBB, the many ways you could go
for a Tableauer to Tableau

You can get so confused
that you’ll start muck up a viz
Crushing calculations, spinning balls and colors galore
Maybe a server error, failed permissions, and much more,
headed, I fear, toward the worst type of biz.
The Sticking Place…

…for people just sticking.
Sticking minds into limits
or in tables, or endless pivots
or in one chart type, or KPI carats
or 3D pies exploding, or the graph repair-its
or sticking into everything that prohibits
or sticking in tight like rivets
Everyone is just sticking.

Sticking vizzes in the same views
or sticking with the same old hues
or sticking like Elmer’s glue
or sticking, perhaps, like gum on a shoe
or a roll of tape, or Chart Junk blues
or 16-point Times New Roman, or a right skew
or SDLC, or Another Tool.
Everyone is just sticking.

That’s not for you!

Somehow you’ll escape
all that sticking and fading
You’ll find the bright places
where vizzes are parading.

With dashboard shin-shining,
once more you’ll fly high!
Ready for anything under the sky.
Ready because you’re a Tableau Jedi!

Oh, the ways you’ll Tableau! There is fun to be done!
There are vizzes to be made. There are feeders to be won.
And the things you can do with data large and small
will make you the vizziest-est vizzer of all.
Fame! You’ll be as famous as a data viz wiz,
with the whole wide world watching you win IronViz.

Except when they don’t
Because, sometimes they won’t.

I’m afraid that some times
you’ll do to-spec dev too.
Sprints you can’t do
’cause you’ll plan against you.

All To-Spec!
Whether you like it or not,
To-Spec will be something
you’ll do quite a lot.

And when you’re drafting, there’s a very good chance
you’ll see charts that scare you right out of your pants.
There are some, on the whiteboard or hand-drawn,
that can scare you so much you won’t want to go on.

But on you will viz
though the charts be scary.
On you will viz
though your mind is wary.
On you will viz
past the Vanishing Data Fairy.
Onward up many
a frightening dash,
though your eyes may get sore
and your emails may lash.

On and on you will viz,
And I know you’ll viz well
and move past your blunders
wherever they fell.

You’ll get mixed up, of course,
as you already know.
You’ll get mixed up
with many strange birds as you go.
So be sure when you viz
Balance great story with what’s fact
and remember that Flow’s
a Great Balancing Act.
Just never forget to be adventurous and wise.
And ease up on colors for other’s eyes.

And will you succeed?
Yes! You will, indeed!
(98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed.)


be your name Andy or Anya or Shawn
or Joshua Milligan of Teknion,
You’re off the Great Vizzes!
Today is your day!
Your viz is waiting.
So…get on your way!

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