I admit freely that I’m still learning every day when it comes to how best to visualize data and that means that I look at other visualization much more in detail than I would have done in the past. There are many best practices around how to visualize data and when a data visualization doesn’t keep to them I can’t help but go into analyzer mode (yes, even my own and I’m in no way perfect!).
One of those that caught my attention this week was the following.
Two weeks ago I was at SocialNow conference in Lisbon and was honored to have a short session on ‘social analytics’. The conference has quite a unique setup in that it is completely based around a fictitious company called Cablinc which is thinking of implementing an Enterprise Social Network. All speakers address the conference as if they are presenting to the company trying to either instill knowledge as a ‘consultant’ or get them to buy their product as ‘vendor’. Several speakers and vendors are invited around various topics and they are provided with information about the Cablink company as well as specific use cases they could use in their presentation.
As this is quite a different approach to what I would normally do I decided to really go ‘analytics’ on this challenge of talking social analytics as one of the ‘Consultants’ and build Cablinc a dashboard around the theme “What does Cablincs current usage of mail & file storage facilities say about the need for implementation of an ESN?“…
Every year IBM recognizes people for their outstanding work to aid and support the technical IBM community. It’s a prestigious honor and a way for us all to thank those in our community that tirelessly help others. After all, it’s often forgotten how much people do for each other above and beyond their normal day-to-day job. That total stranger that answered your question on twitter which helped you solve a problem, the blog post from someone across the globe that set you on the track of success, the volunteers organizing the user event where you met your peers and the speakers at those events that helped you expand your knowledge. All of that is often done by people who do not necessarily get payed for those things but do it simply to help others. It’s because of the people who do all that that this community is strong and living and it is something we need to cherish. So if you feel someone directly or indirectly helped you, or the community this year, in a way that goes beyond and above their normal job then think about nominating them to be an IBM Champion. https://www.ibm.com/developerworks/champion/nominate.html
For the last few months I’ve been steadily training myself into a new skill: data visualization. As data analytics is an ever increasing part of my job and something I’m highly interested in, it makes sense to do so and after working with Watson analytics it seemed logical to also explore Tableau. I have to admit I love it as it lets me be creative as well as forces me to deep dive into data, patterns and processes to fully understand the data you are working with. But learning a new skill and new software can be hard and apart from using some online materials I found, the thing that really helped me learn this new skill was to be challenged and use it hands-on.
Hello chicken and egg story: As you can’t get hands-on experience without doing it and you can’t get jobs to do it if you don’t have the experience….