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Thanksgiving is around the corner, and being in the holiday spirit, I wanted to take a moment to thank a few people that have knowingly or unknowingly helped me on my Tableau journey. There are many people I could mention, but these are some of the key Tableau Zen Masters that helped pave my path in the Tableau world. Stay tuned for one additional post: community members.

If you are also someone whose life has been altered for the better by Tableau, take a minute to think of the people that helped make that happen.

Mark Jackson

I have a great job at a great company, and I have Mark to thank for that.

When my current company wanted to start offering Tableau, we reached out to Mark to help us fill the position. My position is one that many Tableau people would aspire to have: lead developer, server admin, evangelist, and pretty much the go to person for all things Tableau. I had a technical interview with Mark that is to-date my toughest interview. If you ever get a chance to interview with Mark, be prepared to do the Tableau Desktop Certified Professional exam on the fly… oh and be prepared to talk about what you are doing while you are doing it!

I’m ever thankful to Mark for seeing potential in me to propel Health Catalyst into the Tableau world, and appreciate the continued opportunity to work with him on improvement projects at Piedmont.


Much like Jewel, no last name needed. This time last year I would have said, “Pooja who?” Fast forward to today and Pooja is one of my best data friends, and is someone who is well known across the Tableauverse.

I think one of the first times I connected with Pooja was during the first Iron Viz feeder of 2016. Personally, I was shocked that someone was reaching out to me for feedback on a viz, but I was happy to help Pooja make the most out of her entry. From then on, Pooja and I have regularly talked Tableau, and helped each other out during each of the Iron Viz feeders. I’ll personally give her a lot of credit for my win at the conference because she was the one who pushed me to make the most out of the mobile viz contest.

Through her efforts on the forums, or her presence in the Twitter community, Pooja is always looking to help others with Tableau. She definitely embodies the description of a Tableau Zen Master and I am thankful for her friendship!

Matt Chambers

As member of the post #data14 blogging class, Matt and I share a similar experience in the Tableau community.

Another person that I’ll share my Iron Viz win with is Matt Chambers. Having participated in the contest in 2015, Matt had a unique perspective to share that only 15 other people could possibly have. With the competition drawing closer, I kept finding myself thinking of ways to just go nuts on stage, build a YOLO (excuse me for using YOLO) viz in just 20 minutes. Matt kept me grounded and on the right path. He knew what it would take to win, and provided me with the exact advice I needed to hear to keep my head on straight.

Thank you Matt for being so helpful to me and the greater community. You’re consistently producing valuable, easy to use, creative content, which has surely been to the benefit of Tableau authors around the globe.

Brit Cava


Brit is doing noble work to make the professional world a better place for my daughter, and I am ever thankful for her efforts.

A good part of my Brit story mirrors that of the Pooja story above… I’ll spare you the repetition. One of the amazing things that Zen Masters do is use Tableau for the greater good. Brit is using Tableau to close the gender gap and make the professional world a better place for generations to come. Whether it be through data + women meetups, through viz, or just through regular conversation, Brit is always on the lookout to even the playing field. I respect her greatly for this, and hope that her efforts make my girl’s adult life a much more equivalent one.

Robert Rouse


One of the more humble people you’ll meet, Robert is the perfect candidate for Zen Master.

I met Robert in person for the first time in the days leading up to Iron Viz. Honestly, it was a nerve wracking experience as I consistently steal things from Robert’s blog for work, and am always amazed at the simplicity and elegance of his solutions. My expectations were exceeded in person, as Robert came off as extremely humble about the whole experience. Being a field expert and also being humble is a trait that is hard to come by, and I’m truly thankful for getting to work with Robert throughout this years conference.

All the Zens

I probably could have written a blurb about every Zen Master if I had the time. You are all in your spot for good reason, and the rest of us look up to you as leaders in your field. Thank you all for your continued effort to make the Tableau community a welcome place for all.

Comments ( 3 )

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