• Bernard

5 ways to Quickly Apply Your Tableau Knowledge

Updated: Aug 8

Probably you might have come across this famous proverb, or used it yourself,

Knowledge is Power” – often attributed to Francis Bacon, and used to imply that a person with knowledge can outwit physical strength of any other person. This proverb is a little outdated and not relevant with the current society where information is accessible at the touch of button through different content platforms such as Google and social media.

I think the correct phrase should be;

Application of knowledge is power “ - This is because in the current society where somebody can Google through a project – only your experience (courage gained in applying a certain skill over and over) will set your at par with the rest – making you competitive and a key person of interest in your area of specialization (niche).

Therefore in this article, I want to explore five ways you can quickly apply your Tableau skills hence gaining competitive edge in the field of data analysis and visualization.

Use Tableau everyday (Learn everyday)

If you need to solidify and strengthen your Tableau skills learn to use it every day – this doesn’t imply you spend hours and hours on the tool, but it can be as simple as learning a single trick every day or solving a certain challenge. Learn to work with other data sets of different shapes and structures – this will help you strengthen your skill when it comes to setting a Tableau data source which is key when answering business questions or measuring business KPIs.

If necessary create a to-do list with specific actions to be taken on daily basis – this will help you save lots of time wasted in daily planning. And create the right mindset for the day other than whirling around in search of the perfect topic to learn or challenge to solve.

Participate in weekly data analysis challenges

Reading alone will not propel you to greater heights, that is why you need to participate in data analysis challenges and apply your knowledge in real life problem solving. The challenges can be yours or you can participate in challenges created by other experts.

A good example is the Makeover Monday #MakeoverMonday a social data project started by Andy Kriebel as a way of practicing Tableau.

This project is very active on twitter and shares fresh data set to visualize every week.

To participate in the challenge, visit MakeoverMonday site;

  • Access the subject data and details about it

  • Analyze and visualize the data

  • Publish your visualization

  • Submit your work on the site or on twitter using the tag #MakeoverMonday

Create own challenges

If participating in challenges created by others is not in your thing, then you can create your own challenges and solve. These challenges do not need to be global but can be anything that affects you locally. It could be as simple as creating a visualization to inform the general public about certain aspects of their lives e.g. energy, weather, transport, rainfall - something which affects their daily lives. Doing so you give back to society as well as learn how to properly present your work from the feedback you receive from the community. I can attribute a lot of my learning’s to this technique, in which have created hundreds of dashboards for public good.

To create your own challenge, all you need is an objective and data to answer that objective. The good thing is there are a lot of open data site which curate data – these sites can provide ideas on different subjects you can work on based on metrics such as most downloaded data, most recent data, most trending data etc.

Useful: Top 10 best open data sources anyone can use

Solve Tableau Quizzes

Another way to apply your Tableau knowledge is by solving some of the available questions on Tableau; this can either be knowledge based or hands-on based questions. You can get samples of questions on the Tableau certification page, under exam details you can access exam prep guide which has sample questions you can solve.

Tableau Certification

You can also review some of previous exams done before.

After building enough courage and skill, you can get tested and certified upon passing your Tableau exam and tell the whole world your expertise.

Learn by recreating work of other experts (steal like an artist)

We succeed by standing on the shoulders of giants. And that’s why I believe this might be one of the best way to push your skill to the next level. By reviewing workbooks done by other experts and recreating them on your own copy of Tableau – this gives you a clear path to apply some of ideas learned as well as learn new things.

You can access some of these workbooks on the Tableau gallery (which hosts stunning visualization examples from the web created with Tableau public). Where possible download the workbook and see how it was created – depending with your skill, see if you can recreate it or you can improve it.


Studying carefully at the five points above, they all revolve around one thing.


That’s the only thing that will set you a part from the rest of people and make you an influencer in your niche.