Data + Love

Data + Love - Will Strouse

December 31, 2019 Zach Bowders
Data + Love
Data + Love - Will Strouse
Chapters
Data + Love
Data + Love - Will Strouse
Dec 31, 2019
Zach Bowders

Happy New Year Datafam!

Boston TUG co-Organizer Will Strouse and I talk farms, criminal justice, dataviz

Check Will out on Twitter at @dataNOTdoctrine
His Tableau Portfolio can be viewed at: https://public.tableau.com/profile/william.strouse#!/


Vizzes Discussed:

Companion Planting Web
https://public.tableau.com/profile/william.strouse#!/vizhome/CompanionPlantingWeb/CompanionPlantingWheel

an American History of Executions
https://public.tableau.com/profile/william.strouse#!/vizhome/anAMERICANHISTORYofEXECUTIONS/AnAmericanHistoryofExecutions


Music is "We Are Legends" by Alex Stoner via TakeTones

Show Notes Transcript

Happy New Year Datafam!

Boston TUG co-Organizer Will Strouse and I talk farms, criminal justice, dataviz

Check Will out on Twitter at @dataNOTdoctrine
His Tableau Portfolio can be viewed at: https://public.tableau.com/profile/william.strouse#!/


Vizzes Discussed:

Companion Planting Web
https://public.tableau.com/profile/william.strouse#!/vizhome/CompanionPlantingWeb/CompanionPlantingWheel

an American History of Executions
https://public.tableau.com/profile/william.strouse#!/vizhome/anAMERICANHISTORYofEXECUTIONS/AnAmericanHistoryofExecutions


Music is "We Are Legends" by Alex Stoner via TakeTones

Zach:

This is Data+Love

Opening Music:

[inaudible]

Zach:

Hey everybody, welcome. I'm here today with wills Strouse. Will's a good friend of mine who I've known on Twitter for quite some time. Um, he has a beautiful Tableau portfolio and we got to spend a lot of time together this year at a, this past year's Tableau conference. How are you feeling tonight? Will,

Will:

I'm good. How are you?

Zach:

I'm doing pretty good. Uh, how was the weather treating you? I know you've had this nor'easter sweeping through. I know you've, you've got farm concerns. I know at one point you said you had a garage full of bunnies. What's up?

Will:

No, I do now. So unfortunately, um, last week I can't even remember the name of the storm. [inaudible] I think it was, was the noise, did it hit here? And where? I am in New Hampshire, uh, we're at about between 900 and a thousand feet elevation. So we've got around 30 inches of snow and it came in two waves at about the same time. I was trying to fly out to Buffalo to present at the Buffalo Tableau user group, um, and ended up just getting snowed in. The flights were canceled. If I would've tried to fly early, I would've been stuck in another airport. And that Sunday before, I couldn't leave early because we had, uh, 60 of our rabbits at Silver Fox farm, um, which is a farm that my wife runs and I help, uh, help work on. And, uh, we had to get them all inside ahead of the storm. So yeah, we had a long day of moving heavy hutches and, uh, getting everything set up in the garage and then getting it set up in a way that we can keep it clean. And then, uh, this weekend in the, you know, after we just got ourselves dug out from the snow, we were, uh, processing a bunch of rabbits and my wife actually cut under her hand and got five stitches today, the day after her birthday. So, uh, we've had quite a week at the farm.

Zach:

Okay. I have so many thoughts. I, I've, um, I've lived in the South since I was eight. I'm 38 now, so I've been here 30 years and 30 years here. We have not had 30 inches of snow, like motive.

Will:

Well we, if we get that amount, I mean we'll get it in burst. We had a lighter winter last year, but there was a heavy acorn crop this year. So we, we anticipated a little more participant participation and uh, in weather coming our way. And um, yeah, and we also, because we're in a kind of an exposed pasture area where in a hilly, rolling, hilly area, we have very consistent winds. So the snow drifts, can we, I co I completely uncovered about eight inches of snow off of both cars in the driveway. And then we had this, the rest of the 30 inches come after that. So it just makes double, triple the work all the time.

Zach:

Okay. So I love Ezekiel as a name for a storm. It's like, I think, I think maybe biblical names might be best for things that feel semi-popular apocalyptic. So a Ezekiel feels like it's just right on.

Will:

Yeah. Oh, totally. It hits home, you know, what's the next one movie? Like if we had storm job coming or, Oh man. Yeah. You never know

Zach:

if storm job is coming, just leave. Like it's nothing when job hits, it's, I mean, nothing good came out of job. It's like if Samson comes like Samson's just a tragedy. Like, you know, there, there aren't that many biblical characters. You would like your tropical storm or your Northeaster or whatever to be named after. So yeah,

Will:

if it's monsoon Noah or Garga Mel is on its way. You just build the boat and hope for the best.

Zach:

Absolutely. So, um, okay. Silver Fox.

Will:

Yes. That has nothing to do with me. I don't have much gray hair yet. And uh, I'm not that good looking the breed of rabbit that, uh, so we, we went with, um, we're in our first full year year at the farm and we were really observing and we wanted it. We said that we have this great big pasture area. We have a great big pond. So we have some ducks and some chickens and we were trying to pick a herbivore that would be our main, uh, protein source. And we thought about sheep, but the initial cost and the fencing, and we didn't quite have a dog that was ready to take care of the sheep. So we went with Rapids. And so we found a really rare heritage breed rabbit. They're called silver Fox rabbits, or a dark jet black with kinda light silver tips to the for, uh, or some of them are blue, which just means like really like light gray, like a blue Pitbull. Um, and they're great rabbits. I mean, they're, uh, very Hardy in art. We're in zone five is our climate zone. So we wanted something that was going to be good in the cold and they're totally raised on pasture, obviously not in the winter. We bring some, some hand that we cut. So yeah, they're named after our, our rabbits are really our prize, a livestock right now. So it's so,

Zach:

so I mean, did you grow up farming? I know farming is a big passion of yours. I know that comes out in a lot of your visiting work. I know that, um, you talk about it and obviously you're living it, you've started a farm, you're interested in the agricultural aspects, are interested in sort of the animal husbandry aspects? Like how did this all,

Will:

um, it was kind of a slow fuse if I'm being honest. So I, I grew up in Western Massachusetts, which is much more rural than, than the Boston area. Like kinda, uh, even Worcester in a, I grew up in West and um, there's some, some farming communities around there in Western mass and more rural areas on people into hunting and hiking outdoors. And then, uh, my father was from central Pennsylvania and his brother, my uncle, uh, is a farmer in that area. And my grandfather was a farmer, but they were more conventional farmers. Like they were just truck drivers and that's what, what are we, what they did is they were either driving trucks on long hauls or they were riding combines and it wasn't a lot of interest in, um, whether it was organic or not. If it was soybean or corn, they didn't care.

Will:

They were just piling. So I had a little bit of that interest in, in farming early, but it wasn't, didn't really hit home with me. And then I went to, uh, I was able to go to a boarding school called Northfield Mount Hermon, which really had a big impact on my life and they had a farm program at the school. So you, I lived at the school, um, it was in a pretty isolated rural area in the Connecticut river Valley and you had to do some kind of job. So you were either in the kitchen cutting onions or you're vacuuming in the, in your dorm or you were working on this farm program. So I always opted in for the farm and we did things like maple sugaring apples. Uh, we had horses on the farm, pigs are, our mascot at the school was a hoggers, um, which was actually originally a derogatory term of that because we had a farm program, but they sort of embraced it and that had a big impact to me.

Will:

And then I was really pursuing something totally different in criminology through college. But I kind of had that bug in me that I, I love trees. I love the, I love the meat and was very passionate about the idea that if you're going to eat, eat, you should be able to raise and butcher an animal and understand. You're like not have that gap between meat on your plate in the living animal. And, uh, I was lucky enough to meet my now wife was my girlfriend in college who was really in that same mindset and we were looking for properties the last couple of years and we were more looking for like the perfect property versus that just happened to have a house on it versus finding our first house. And we just got lucky. We found a really great freight, uh, place we were able to afford it. And we're in that first year of, you know, we're going to be soil farmers for about four or five years. And um, then it'll develop from there kind of picking the produce, but for now rabbits, rabbits kind of pay the bills, a very profitable and uh, and we like eating them so it helps the grocery budget.

Zach:

That's really fascinating. I mean, I don't know much about, um, any of this really. I mean, I grew up, uh, when I was a kid in Pennsylvania, but it was close to Philadelphia in the suburbs of Westchester. Um, before that I'd lived in a tiny little town called wagons town in like a hundred year old house. And then I pretty much moved to the suburbs of Tennessee. So while I am never far from agriculture, I mean there were farms 20 minutes from my house. It's really something I've been so disconnected from. I've never been a Hunter. I've never been a farmer. But I, I totally get where you're coming from and I totally have a respect for that sort of, uh, that rational. That's not rationale, that philosophy surrounding meat because I just feel like it's a much more honest way to approach, um, being, you know, a carnivore pretty much like a, I'm very disconnected from my food sources, so I don't really have any skin in the game when it comes to, you know, if I'm eating chicken, I go to the store and I buy something that's pre-packaged and I didn't have to, you know, experience any of the difficulties.

Will:

Yeah, I think, you know, it was war. Our gain was a holistic view of

Will:

we see, you know, you see a lot of the challenges that the suburban lifestyle borings in terms of consumerism versus sustainability. And we were, we were looking for a sustainable way to live that was still reasonable. Like we like living in new England and we didn't quite want to move out into the middle of nowhere. And we also have a two and four year olds who were infants at the time that we were looking for houses. So it was just a really tough transition to go way off grid. But um, yeah, that was a big part of it. And that was a lot inspired by my wife too because she, she had moved as she matured from like high school and college and in their twenties and into her thirties. She had moved between vegetarianism and being a vegan and, and kind of, and it was always had to do with the treatment of the animals versus the actual consumption of meat.

Will:

And um, it is kind of, it's, it's amazing your development now, their vision for the farm coming, coming to fruition, the same person who was vegan is now like butchers 20 rabbits in a weekend. So, um, and still feels, you know, feels great about it. So it's, um, it's been a great journey. You know, we're, I'm itching to move forward to planting trees and gardening, which is kind of my, the plants and the trees is my expertise. She's more than animals. So I'm looking for the next couple step, but I'm, I'm being patient cause we have to really develop the, the soil quality and uh, establish some, some trees before we really move to a true permaculture setup, which is obviously our final goal.

Zach:

I mean, I think that's really exciting and I think you hear that from some other people in the tablet community. Like Josh Smith for example. He's very deeply into agriculture. And if you look at your public portfolio, I think it's not that hard to pick out some stuff that obviously are very present in your mind. Among those are agriculture and music and you know, basically a treatment of crime.

Will:

Yeah. So my, my college days, I, I went to school for criminal justice. My sister was an intern at the FBI and I started getting really fascinated with um, when your criminal filing and this was sort of pre, uh, like cops on TV at the time. I was getting interested in this, where still it was like law or an order. It wasn't a criminal minds or like serial killer stuff yet, but I had this kind of early fascination with organized crime and white collar crime and serial killer and sort of pattern crimes and got really interested in that, uh, towards the end of high school into college. And I went to a school called Saint Anselm college in Manchester, New Hampshire that had a great criminal justice program and allowed me to really look into, you know, the, the legislative, the sort of the legal side of the criminal justice program, the, uh, executive side where we are, you know, we went to go visit state traverse and, uh, my sister was actually in a local cop time.

Will:

I was in college in the same town, which I don't recommend. So my sister was my roommate and a cop in the town where I went to college. So I didn't get into too much trouble that anybody found out about. Um, and, uh, I was kind of pursuing that as my, my career. And then I graduated in 2008 at the depth of the recession. So they weren't really another sort of a government hiring freeze unless you wanted to go in like DEA or border patrol or something like that. And I ended up in a corporate loss prevention world where I was able to bring over this sort of fraud crime pattern analysis, um, sociological or a criminology background into a data set that was really rich with financial activity and, um, you know, made my early career at, at being a loss prevention like a retail loss prevention fraud analyst.

Zach:

I mean, that's a, an interesting journey you've been on really. I mean, I know for me, I graduated, um, gosh, I guess 2004, uh, with my undergrad degrees, I had a, uh, bachelor's in marketing and a bachelor's in management information systems. Um, when I first entered college I was really into it. And at the time there were people getting hired on as juniors, like $40,000 signing bonuses to go be a coder for whatever, you know, but, uh, in the middle of all that, the.com burst happened. So my degrees very quickly diminished in value before I even had them. And, uh, I was looking at my options as I was preparing to graduate. And grad school was looking really good. So I managed to get no graduate program. I didn't even end up paying for grad school. I got an assistantship. So basically I worked a day job at a swimming pool supply store on afternoon job as a graduate assistant, uh, advising undergrads in their classes in the evenings, going to classes for grad school.

Zach:

And then from about 1130 at night on trying to do some homework, uh, before getting up to do it again the next day. And it's like the, the trashiest of all trash TV was on when I get home. So I'd be like, it'd be watching the reruns of like the absolute worst sitcoms on Fox. Well, trying to do homework. I had like half a day off a week. It was, it was the most miserable year and a half of my life because, I mean, you know, it's, it's where your, uh, your, your peak value as a human being in the marketplace is at its lowest. You know, it's like, Oh great, you're, you're educated. You have no experience though, so we don't want to pay you. But at the same time, um, you know, you need the money more than ever because you can't go back to the swimming pool store cause they know you're too educated to stay. But you're also, uh, too unskilled to be hired into something that fits with your degrees.

Will:

That, and you know what, and that was the gap. Um, it's interesting the way you frame that story because that was the gap where we were when we decided that we really wanted to pursue a more greater lifestyle was that we are so dependent on our food and water that we couldn't, if we lived in the city and all of a sudden those doubled or tripled or quadrupled in costs or just weren't available, we would have no option. Like we wouldn't know what to do. Um, so we, we really made that move where it was like we, we know, we, we realized how little we knew when we started that process and it was even things like, Oh, when are we, where's in season? Where do you plant? Like, why is it good to plant tomato with Bazell together as such? Just because people like Capri Z, like we were so clueless. Um, and realize that this was something really, really important that we knew nothing about. Um, and we were at this awkward value where like, I had a good job, we were making good money. We were at this point where we're supposed to make him miss big decisions, but we were adults who didn't know how to get food, like where their food came from. Um, so that was kinda caused a big life change for us.

Zach:

I can imagine that. I mean, I know for me during that phase of my life, um, the week I was about to graduate from grad school is when my parents moved back to Pennsylvania. So my entire sort of familiar support structure, uh, disappeared. And, uh, I had a girlfriend who's now my wife and, uh, that was about the best thing I had going on for me. Um, but besides that, uh, I graduated with my MBA at like age, I guess 20, I don't know, 22, 23. And I could not find employment. I couldn't even go back to the swimming pool store. I had just come from. Um, so I, uh, out of six months being unemployed, I burned through all my savings. I actually, um, yeah, it's like I literally, uh, burned through everything and no one would hire me because, you know, when you apply for a job, you put down your credentials, my credentials or my education, my education biases. People against hiring you at like even a fast food restaurant. Cause they're like, well, you're gonna leave in a month. But at the same time, you know, a more corporate job won't hire you because you don't have the experience. So let me tell you internships guys, like that's the best thing I can pitch if you're,

Will:

yeah, I totally agree with that. The internships are a great way in. And, and I've known some people who are, um, fantastic professionals that were internships at the first big company that I worked at. And it was, it was great to see them develop. Uh, I was really just lucky. I got some great opportunities. Um, I had supervisors at a retail company that I worked at that really invested in me and my training, knowing that there was the potential I would move on. Um, but I just had so many good breaks, you know, like, and met the right girl, um, who helped, uh, kind of add a lot of directions for my life. And then, uh, I just had been, uh, I've been really lucky. I've, I've had a great string of mentors and, and supportive people around me, the Tableau community of course. And um, yeah, I think we all, I think everybody who's at this point in your career, uh, in the, in the tablet community or who does this for a living has a different way that they kind of meandered to this. But, um, I'm sure we all got some great.

Zach:

Honestly, in retrospect, that whole period was kind of a blessing because I mean, I was always a good kid. I always had jobs, I always worked, but I'm sort of experiencing the lack of all that and realizing, Hey, this could, it happens, it can happen to anyone. Like, seriously, anyone can fall in a circumstance where you know, they're struggling. So it's really great to have that sort of social safety net if you have family that's there to help you, you know, if you have loved ones around you to lift you up. But I mean, yeah, it was really great for me to just sort of broaden my perspective, um, and uh, be more compassionate frankly.

Zach:

But I'm talking about, uh, your caprese salad. Going back to that, um, transition span. So, um, you have of is it's your top visits, your featured vis, it's your, my favorite visit yours, it's your companion planting web. Um, which for those of you that know it's a, you won't forget it, but it's a spectacular chord chart. Um, sort of built around a farmer's Almanac design. It's super beautiful and it's a super creative. It's a, you basically have a run, an element of a plant or vegetable that, um, you're interested in and it tells you not only what plants are good to plant around it, but which plants you should not plant around it. And I just want to hear kind of your thoughts around this, where you came up with this data, like what uh, what was the idea will,

Will:

so, and thank you by the way. I appreciate it. It was, um, I've been really happy with how many people who are not in my data fam who are not in the Tableau community that I've seen this and, and it clicked for them, which I guess is the reason why it has so many views. Um, more than certainly, uh, anything else that I've built from at least favorites. But you know, it's been in my head for about three years. So we were, as we were going through this transition and trying to find the right property, you know, we were looking for a place that has seasoned pasture and a fresh water source and high amount of diversity and things that are retail real estate agent doesn't quite have on their MOS check box. Um, you know, we were looking for these properties. So I was reading through gardening books and planting books like crazy and, and planning these different, um, plant ecosystems that I was going to build.

Will:

And I kept seeing these companion planting charts and they're usually in tabular format and it would have a list of plants and then the their companions or there would be different sections of an Excel style chart in one would be combatant. And there were, they were trying to express, all of them were trying to express these really interesting relationships between different plant species in a garden. And they were doing it in a, in a tabular sort of checkerboard format, which never really worked for me. And I always imagine it as a network. And, uh, I had seen, you know, really cool, um, you know, as a database professional, I'd seen some great network diagrams by Joe Mako and, uh, uh, Noah Salva, Tara, uh, Ken Flerlage and thought more in that sense. And I, I kinda thought of this idea of a core diagram where you could express these interesting relationships.

Will:

Now I'd like to add in some more layers. Like, you know, you find out the reason that Basil is really good to plant next to tomatoes is because the fragrance that comes off from the Basil repels, uh, different kinds of flies and mosquitoes and pest that would bother the tomatoes. And the reason that, um, different like different flowers also mint as a great example. Like mint is something, I don't even know if I had it on there, but mint repels mice and you know, it was just these little sort of old farmer's Almanac type words of wisdom. And when you put these together in a network, you can start to build systems that compliment each other. And it was, it was really towards our goal of we don't, you know, industrial farming is this idea of utill a section of soil totally destroying the, the networks and all of the value that's been built up in the soil over time.

Will:

And then you just add inputs to control different parts of it. So you add chemical fertilizers, you add minerals, you add pesticides to control different pests. And really there's relationships between plants, insects and animals, like birds and small mammals. Uh, in larger mammals that can make healthier systems that control that. And that's what we were going for. Like we're never going to have the money to continually buy chemical fertilizers and pesticides. So we wanted to find a way to plant different species together that would increase our overall biodiversity, make a healthier atmosphere. And then that's such a complex thing where I was like, yeah, I need a chart. I need to fill the chart for that cause I'm not gonna remember all of these things. And every body who's been into agriculture knows the farmer's Almanac and the very ornate design, a classic design of the cover, which was my inspiration. So, so that was it. I was trying to express, express these really complex relationships between individual plants, species and um, you know, their, their health, the health of an overall system. So I still have to add an insects and birds and some other things. Um, so there'll probably be an expanded of that this spring. Uh, but that was the inspiration.

Zach:

I mean, I'm excited for it because I love it. Like, as I said, I'm not really like a super nature guy, which is probably erotic because I'm an Eagle scout. Um, but uh, it's, it, the design is beautiful. It draws you in. I mean I have had a lot of uh, luck at work recently. Sort of socializing database is not necessarily with people in business positions but with people in more creative positions. Um, because we have people that design our work from stuff for us and by showing them that data visualization goes beyond, uh, lines and bar charts, it's really gotten them excited and fired up. And I'm actually interacting a lot more with this team that I previously had no relationship with. And honestly, this vision of yours was one of the first ones I showed them to sort of socialize them. Like, Hey, look, it's a much more broad topic than you could ever realize because if someone were talking about data, their first thought goes to Excel spreadsheets and then their mind goes to sleep. But when I see the companion planting web, I get curious. I start hovering and clicking and reading and each piece of information that it feeds me, makes me want to know another piece in it just keeps going.

Will:

Yeah. For me, for me that was, um, that was Dustin Kabral. So, uh, when I, uh, I was, you know, moves this retail company and it was starting some great work and I didn't know sequel, I didn't know data at the time and I think I was just Googling what tool can make pictures and charts from big data. And I came up with Tableau and it turns out that our company had this license and this guy came over and said, Hey, I heard this found out. You just download the Tableau. That's really cool. What are you trying to do? And I talked about my use case at least as much as I could with them. And this guy turned out to be one of the best Tableau dashboard designers and you know, knowing industrial Kabral. So he was our lead at the time. He introduced me to Tableau, not just through my work, uh, material, but he showed me his tablet public profile.

Will:

He had so much great stuff. Like he has a great visualization called chasing the sun. He does a lot of stuff on his kids. Like he has a quantified kids dashboard, uh, presidential popularity. I think his, uh, mr popular is a, I think his highest hit dashboard. That's a really great one. So he, he showed me this tool from that, like that Pablo public Tambo public angle and it put the whole thing together for me where I said, yeah, I have these complex ideas, these stories that I'm trying to tell through the different pieces of evidence or data that I have available and I can do it in a dynamic and engaging way. And he was really inspiration for that and it's really cool because it's come full swing where, you know, he was the first one that showed me Tambo and gave me my first training. I do a lot by myself because I was doing fraud investigations and those are usually private. But now we are co organization, uh, co organizers of the Boston's how we use a group and we're colleagues at the same consulting firms. So, um, yeah, I completely empathize with that. Where when you can in a professional setting, when you can show the tablet, public space and all these creative applications of data visualization and the different stories that it can tell it, it makes all those other cylinders fight fire off when you're, when you're approaching your work.

Zach:

And um, this is a Sunday, I was speaking at the fringe festival on a panel on Friday and the panel was about adoption and, uh, it's a big ongoing thing in the community right now, trying to sort of figure out how do we get people excited and engaged because we have great tools out there. Tableau I would say is probably the best one. Um, but that's, I'm biased. Um, but beyond that, okay, so you have a great tool you've put in people's hands, people are becoming skilled practitioners in it. Um, but just because you figured out the tool doesn't mean you're actually going to create stuff that's necessarily the companion planting is, or some of Dustin's stuff or you know, iron vis quality or even make over Monday quality. Um, and it got me thinking, I had a Sunday school teacher back in the day. He was a secret service agent and a lot of people don't realize the secret service beyond just being responsible for presidential security also is responsible for a lot of stuff's running money.

Zach:

And he talked about how as a secret service agent, I mean it's really cool you ask secret service agents all sorts of questions and who knows what they're actually allowed to tell you or not. But um, one of the trainings they receive regarding money is rather than showing them lots of counterfeit bills to get them familiar with all the different counterfeiting techniques, the first thing they do is expose them a whole lot to just real bills because the more exposure they have to real money, when they ultimately begin to encounter the counterfeit money as part of their training, the counterfeit stands out. Um, they might not necessarily know why at first, but they just know this doesn't quite feel right. And I think one of the great things that we can sort of do for people as we try to socialize data visualization and get people excited about data and get people playing with data and experimenting with it is by getting the good stuff in front of them, exposing people to as much quality work as possible, even if it has nothing to do with their job, even if it's not from inside your own organization, but like showing the companion planting web.

Zach:

I don't see a use case at my job for a chord chart, but, uh, it is a spectacular way for detailing networked, um, network data and, uh, by showing people all these different great use cases, all these great examples, it'll get them excited and that, that way next time when you're showing them something regarding like Hugh for sales, for widgets, um, maybe they're going to be a little more bit more tuned in and engaged.

Will:

I totally agree. I mean, you know, the, the challenge is always you want to express. That's why I think one of the early pieces of advice that I got when trying to fill out my tablet public profiles, like, Oh, I need to build some stuff. Like I want to build this up. Um, I want to practice my skills and I don't quite always have the consistent time and discipline to do, you know, every single make-over or Monday or to workout Wednesdays are things on the schedule, like social projects. Um, because I'm trying to do the stuff that I'm paying for and then everything else I have to do. But one of the best pieces of advice I got was to just visit what you're passionate about, find something you're interested in and find some data set and, and you'll get creative about it. And it creates more of an environment where we're the community, you know, uh, towel, user groups that Tableau public, especially the Twitter space where people share stuff.

Will:

If you can just express that this stuff is so cool that we have the responsibility to tell everyone we can about it, then you're doing it right. And that's, that's as far as I've ever thought it. Um, I think if I, if I try to micro analyze it or you know, detail it much more than that, I'm, I'm not equipped to, to talk about the detail of design and what makes a perfect visit as much as somebody like, you know, an Andy Kriebel, a Jonathan Drummy, a lot of that comedian like this is an arrows. Uh, Kevin, 10 floor ledge. I, I can't speak from, from that level of expertise, Chantilly Jagger enough, but I can, um, you know, you just know when you like something and you can get excited about it and share it. And I've always found those presentations more interesting than all of the functionally crazy and cool things that people can do with Tableau to make it feel more like an application versus, uh, here's a topic and idea and here's how I was able to design these data visualizations into a thematic story that's still unbiased.

Will:

Like it's, it's dramatic. It's drawing, it pulls you in with the colors and the imagery, but it's still right down the middle. It's just telling this data story. Um, and that's how I've, I've found it easier to, the things I've been most successful with have come from that place versus, you know, Oh, I need to copy and paste this presentation from Tableau or from PowerPoint into Tableau or okay, it's Meg over Monday. What do I want to do this week? I want to do again, chart doesn't really apply here. I don't care. I want to do a Gantt chart this week, so I'm going to figure out a way for it to work. Um, and I've, I've just never had the, uh, the time or discipline to, to really push through that stuff and, and tried to come from that other,

Zach:

well, I mean, you're in the right place if we're talking about this because, um, yeah, entire idea behind this podcast is I wanted to talk to people about what got them fired up and I can tell by your public portfolio that you're chasing the stuff that you want to do. I mean, we've all done, um, exercises sometimes or even, uh, just, uh, advances where we found a dataset that we weren't super into. And it almost always shows in the work. Um, when we're at work that's a different thing. You know, you're doing work, data visualization. Even then I'm passionate about getting the best product to my customer. But with your public work, uh, you can tell if I was doing, you know, something I was really into or something I was really not into because I put in that extra personal touch. I put in that extra effort and it's just, it's tangible. It really is.

Will:

And I'm not discrediting the other side. Like there are people, you know, people like, uh, boom McCready comes to mind where he just, he puts out so much stuff and it's such high quality and it's always impactful. Chantilly is another one where every single one of her visual visualizations should be just on a poster on somewhere in a gallery. They're so bold and, and she tries so many different chart types and then the people who are just playing with the tool like there, there is a value there. I'm not discrediting that. All I'm saying is like I'm not equipped to attack the problem from that angle. I'm not, you know, the flourless twins were cloned with a bald guy and a graphing calculator. And I like, I love them to death, but they do things I can't even imagine. So I don't, I don't try to attack those problems where you're making the tool do new things. I'm more like, Oh, that's pretty, and that's fun and I feel okay with that. I'm just, you just want to write pretty visits. Yeah, I just want to read. I just want to write pretty Sasquatch visits.

Zach:

Well, on that note, we'll, let's wrap things up. Is there anything you would like to promote, anyone you'd like to promote and if you'd like to talk about a shout out to mom? No,

Will:

my mom was fine. It's actually where the other day, she's good. They're down. They snowbird from South Carolina, like a lot of people from new England. I, I think I would say, um, you know, the, the Tableau community is, is really an important thing to me. And, um, Anthony Shamira S and Zach Lieber had established such a great Boston tablet community and always got great, uh, guest speakers like Jonathan drummie. And Steve Wexler and Ryan sleever, they let me present things like a visualization and a hour presentation on the history of the death penalty in America. Not a lot of people let you do that in public. Um, so I really appreciate them for giving me the opportunity that, and then the are greater. You know, I've, I've taken over as one of the organizers of the Boston tablet user group along with Dustin and um, I would say the rest of my, my boss and tablet community, I, I don't want to start naming names because I'll feel terrible if I leave someone out.

Will:

But our, our greater community in the dozens of, of leaders within it, you know, make, uh, our little corner of, of this, um, this community really strong in active in, they make my job as an organizer really easily easy and I just get to show up and be passionate and they all share that passion. So I would just give a big shout out to the Boston tablet community to my employer, clear cause they let me really participate heavily. Um, I'm sure they, I'm sure they're losing out on some billable hours with, with all the stuff that I do, uh, in Tableau public and uh, being a farmer, but they've been a great family first shop and um, you know, they really kind of set the standard for, um, data consultants and visualization analytics and new England. So, uh, it gives them a shout out to and uh, and you thank you for hosting me and letting me ramble a little bit. Um, I've had a lot of fun. It's nice to see you after the conference or at least talk to you. Uh, we had a good time there. I, I am disappointed that it's going to be in Vegas next year at [inaudible]. I'm going a big desert or, um, Vegas guy, but um, it'll be fun to see everybody again next year.

Zach:

We'll look forward to Sydney then buddy and hopefully it, let's do this again soon. Let's not let, wow, let's not let it be so long before we talk again.

Will:

I bought well, anyway, thank you so much for, for talking to me tonight. It's been a lot of fun.

Zach:

Alright,

Speaker 2:

thanks. Will

Zach:

Data+Love is recorded and produced by Zach Bowders. Our music track is we are in legends by Alex Stoner.