3 Key Takeaways from Tableau Conference 2016

November 21, 2016 Jamie Lu

2016 tableau conference

This November, we attended Tableau’s Annual Conference in Austin, TX. With over 13,000 attendees and over 300 sessions, data lovers all around the world united to inspire each other and learn the newest techniques in data analysis and exchange ideas.

It was such a valuable event for connecting with others like Impact Analytix who are as passionate about data storytelling as we are and witnessing groundbreaking innovation across the industry.

Tableau also gave us a glimpse into its revolutionary roadmap. The roadmap truly highlighted the speed at which modern self-service BI is evolving -- with even an expanded product portfolio that includes data prep, visual features (visualizations on top of visualizations!), advanced analytics, and a common theme of natural language.

The end goal? To help people see and understand their data.

The Power of NLG in BI and Analytics Platforms

Our mission at the conference was to spread our love for natural language generation (NLG) and show how NLG helps people understand their data by automatically transforming visualizations into insightful, consumable narratives. The response to the value of our product integration was overwhelmingly positive.

1) “Show me the magic trick again!”

At the conference, we demonstrated how NLG automatically generates written text from visualizations -- the so-called “magic trick.” Our greatest fans would lead people over to our booth, with their hands waving in the air, excited to showcase the power of NLG.

The automated nature of these intelligent narratives, which updated in real-time as people interacted with the graphs and charts, brought the stories hidden in data to life. Armed with a cohesive story, people and organizations alike are enabled to act upon the data to solve problems.

2) “A true timesaver”

We heard this phrase over and over again from enthusiastic users who saw NLG in action. Those who build visualizations oftentimes reference the hours they spend writing high-level explanations about visualizations with others on a regular basis.

With automated narratives, this multi-hour task can be reduced to mere minutes in a scalable way, allowing employees to spend more time on higher-value added tasks. It’s a win-win for everyone.

3) “This is exactly what we need to make data accessible”

Narratives are 508 compliant -- the regulation that all users, regardless of disability status, can access technology. Because narratives can be hooked to a screen reader and read aloud, they empower everyone to utilize BI & Analytics platforms. Now federal agencies and institutions supported by federal funding can leverage integrated narratives.

Hearing feedback in real-time illuminated the transformational impact that narratives are having in the BI space, and we look forward to next year’s event!

Learn more about how data storytelling enhances data analytic tools in our white paper co-authored with Tableau: "The Evolution of Data Storytelling":

Download "The Evolution of Data Storytelling" here >>

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