One of my resolutions for 2018 is to improve my Tableau skills, which stalled somewhat in 2017. That isn’t to say I learned nothing, but most of that learning came about because of work I had to do as part of my day job – and not because I was pushing myself outside of that. With this in mind, I downloaded the first Makeover Monday dataset of the new year and got cracking.
Now, I’m not entirely new to Makeover Monday – I participated on three previous occasions (here, here, and here), but if there’s one thing I’ve come to realise with Tableau it’s that learning in my case has to be a continuous process for it to stick, and an odd Makeover Monday submission here and there doesn’t give me the sense that I’ve achieved much. It’s like any skill in that regard – if you only practice it sporadically, then your improvement isn’t going to be anything other than incremental.
Another difficulty I’ve experienced is the sense that my own makeovers pale in comparison to the works of art that other Tableau enthusiasts seem to turn out on a weekly basis, and that does make it hard to motivate myself to even get started on these things. Makeover Monday is so public, and even though we’re reminded it’s not a competition that doesn’t stop my own inner critic from treating it like one, and of course comparing what little I can achieve against the masterpieces I see all the time on Twitter is also going to feel like defeat.
So, it’s clear: I need to get involved with this initiative regularly, and I need to keep reminding myself that I’m doing it entirely for myself. It’s perfectly fine to admit that, even after using Tableau for over two years, I still know very little – but it’s through engaging with (and documenting) this process that I’m going to do better. Here we go then…