#datamustread: How to Master Your Data Journey

From ideas to dashboards: The essential books for mastering your Data Journey, featuring 'Info We Trust', 'Visual Analytics with Tableau', and 'The Big Book of Dashboards'.
From ideas to dashboards: The essential books for mastering your Data Journey, featuring ‚Info We Trust‘, ‚Visual Analytics with Tableau‘, and ‚The Big Book of Dashboards‘.

Today, data is at the core of everything we do, but the journey to mastering it can be overwhelming. Last year I started lecturing a Data Analytics course at university (as part of an MBA program). In the meanwhile, I was refining the list of books that I highly recommend to read. Three of these books form the Data Journey!

The Data Journey: A Human-Focused Approach to Data Storytelling

The Data Journey is not just about numbers; it’s about understanding the evolution of data, the power of visualization, and how it all connects to real-world business. Here are the books that will guide you on this path:

1. Info We Trust: How to Inspire the World with Data

Begin your Data Journey with a deep dive into data storytelling. Info We Trust explores data lifecycle across disciplines, with inspiring references and hand-drawn illustrations. It’s a must-read for anyone serious about data communication.

This book examines all parts of the data storytelling lifecycle across disciplines. The use of marginalia and hand-drawn illustrations give you both simple lessons to take away and insights into where to find out more. The book is full of magnificent references that inspire further reading.

2. Visual Analytics with Tableau

Ready for hands-on experience? My book, Visual Analytics with Tableau, provides a step-by-step guide to mastering Tableau, from basic chart creation to advanced statistical modeling. With Tableau available for free to students, there’s no reason not to dive in!

Visual Analytics with Tableau covers everything you need to get started with Tableau (students get Tableau for free!). The book guides you from the first steps of connecting to data, creating different types of charts, and adding calculation fields to more advanced features such as table calculations, forecasts, and clusters, as well as R, Python, and MATLAB integration for sophisticated statistical modeling.

3. The Big Book of Dashboards: Visualizing Your Data Using Real-World Business Scenarios

Back to business (as this course is designed for an MBA program). We close our Data Journey canon with The Big Book of Dashboards. This is a comprehensive reference book with real-world solutions for business dashboards and a detailed analysis of do’s and don’ts.

This comprehensive reference book offers real-world solutions for business dashboards. It’s a practical guide to understanding do’s and don’ts in data visualization, categorized by industry and functional business areas.

Need More Inspiration for Mastering Data Journey? #MakeoverMonday: Improving How We Visualize and Analyze Data, One Chart at a Time

Because vizzing alone is only half the fun, you should not miss the #MakeoverMonday book. Eva Murray and Andy Kriebel are icons in the data visualization community (read the interview!) and they have curated the thousands of visualizations from the #MakeoverMonday project into a practical guide that will take your design and data communication skills to the next level!

The #MakeoverMonday book by Eva Murray and Andy Kriebel is a treasure trove of data visualization insights. It’s a practical guide to enhancing your design and communication skills.

Join the Conversation: Your Recommendations for the #DataJourney

Interested in more insights on data visualization, analytics, and Tableau? Follow me on Twitter and LinkedIn, and let’s continue learning together. And don’t forget to check out my book Visual Analytics with Tableau to take your data journey to the next level!

What other books have inspired you on your data journey? Share your favorite data books in the blog post comments or reply to this tweet:

It’s My 10 Year Blogging Anniversary!

10-year blogging anniversary: 2007 Hampi, a temple town in South India recognised as UNESCO World Heritage Site
10-year blogging anniversary: 2007 Hampi, a temple town in South India recognized as UNESCO World Heritage Site (Flickr)

A Milestone Blogging Anniversary

It’s hard to believe, but I’m celebrating my 10-year blogging anniversary! I’m filled with gratitude for those who have read, encouraged, and inspired me throughout this adventure. Without you, blogging would be only half the fun. Now, let’s take a moment to reflect on this incredible decade…

The Early Years: SAP and India (2007-2009)

It all started in 2007 when I decided to explore an internship abroad in India. I was studying Computer Science and decided to go for an internship abroad. China and India were on my shortlist. I decided for India, applied for a scholarship, and asked some companies for interesting project work. Before starting the adventure, I published my very first blog post to keep family and friends in the loop.

For the next seven months, I lived in Bangalore and worked for SAP Labs India to develop prototypes for mobile BI apps. I spent plenty of weekends exploring India and surrounding countries. After returning from India, I continued to work for SAP at their headquarters while finishing my degree in Karlsruhe.

CERN: Data and Discovery (2009-2012)

Surrounded by snow-capped mountains and Lake Geneva, CERN grabbed my attention at the end of my studies. CERN has tons of data: some petabytes! Challenge accepted. CERN is known for its particle accelerator Large Hadron Collider (LHC). We applied machine learning to identify new correlations between variables (LHC data and external data) that were not previously connected. This chapter was all about embracing the challenges of big data.

Capgemini and MBA: Expanding Horizons (2012-2015)

Back in Germany, my focus shifted to bringing Big Data Analytics to companies. To one company? No, to many companies! So instead of getting hired as Head of BI for an SME, I started to work for Capgemini. I had fantastic projects, designed data-driven use cases for the financial sector, and gave advice for digital transformation initiatives.

In order to keep in balance with all the project work, I dedicated many of my weekends to studies and got enrolled in Frankfurt School’s Executive MBA program. During my studies, I focused on Emerging Markets and visited a module at CEIBS in Shanghai.

Tableau and Futura: Innovation and Entrepreneurship (2015-201?)

I knew Tableau from my time as a consultant. It is an awesome company with a great product and a mission: help people see and understand their data. That’s me! Joining Tableau allowed me to assist organizations in transitioning from classic BI to modern self-service analytics by developing data strategies so that data can be treated as a corporate asset. This includes education, evangelism, and establishing a data-driven culture.

In the evenings I’m working for Futura Analytics, a fintech startup, which I co-founded in 2017. Futura Analytics offers real-time information discovery and transforms data from social media and other public sources into actionable signals.

What’s Next? A Glimpse into the Future

Currently, I’m excited to present my Data Strategy talk on TC17, accompanied by a TensorFlow demo scenario. I’m also learning Mandarin, the predominant language of business, politics, and media in China and Taiwan, for quite a while. Let’s see if that is going to influence my next steps… 🙂

Follow my ongoing journey in data analytics and more on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Joining Tableau: My First Impressions and Journey with a Seattle-Based Analytics Startup Company

Joining Tableau: my Tableau bootcamp buddies, ready to conquer the world of analytics together
Joining Tableau: my Tableau bootcamp buddies, ready to conquer the world of analytics together

Joining Tableau has been an exhilarating step in my career. As a data enthusiast and very early adopter of Tableau, I was excited to join Tableau, a Seattle-based startup company that is coming up with the next level of self-service data analytics software – compared to classic BI software.

A New Chapter: Tableau’s Frankfurt Office

After my transition from academia to Capgemini, I joined Tableau’s newly opened Frankfurt Office. My first weeks have been nothing short of amazing, with an incredible opportunity to contribute to company building and be one of the first employees in Tableau’s new Frankfurt Office that was just recently opened to ramp up Tableau’s Europe business.

Being part of a startup company is an incredible experience, and I am thrilled to have the opportunity to work on such an innovative and disruptive product. It is a privilege to be involved in building a company from the ground up, especially in such an exciting industry as data analytics.

Tableau’s new Frankfurt Office has brought exciting opportunities, especially for me, who just earned my MBA degree. I have been able to apply my newfound knowledge to contribute to the growth of the company. I am honored to be part of the team that is bringing this new product to market and to be able to learn from some of the best minds in the business.

Bootcamp Experience: Learning the Culture

Tableau’s bootcamp in Seattle is nothing short of awesome. The three-week program is intense, but the wealth of knowledge and experience that I have gained from it has been invaluable. I have learned a lot about the company’s culture, the product, and the industry as a whole. The bootcamp has given me a great foundation for my work at Tableau and has helped me hit the ground running in my role as one of the first employees in Frankfurt, Europe’s hub for finance and technology.

Tableau is known for its unique company culture that encourages creativity, innovation, and collaboration. From weekly hackathons to Tableau’s famous Data Night Out events, there’s always something exciting happening at the company. As someone who is passionate about data and thrives in a collaborative environment, I couldn’t be more thrilled to be a part of this culture.

Career Opportunities: Why You Should Consider Joining Tableau

Being involved in company building is a great thing when you’re in a startup, and I am honored to be part of this exciting journey. I look forward to continuing to contribute to the growth of the company and to be part of a team that is making such a huge impact in the world of data analytics. If you’re looking for a challenging and rewarding career in data analytics, Tableau is definitely the place to be.

Interested in a career in data analytics like mine? Follow me on Twitter and LinkedIn to stay connected.

And yes, we all get these awesome DATA hoodies:

Joining Tableau: Awesome DATA Hoodies

How to unleash Data Science with an MBA?

Servers record a copy of LHC data and distribute it around the world for Analytics

My Data Science journey starts at CERN where I finished my master thesis in 2009. CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, is the home of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) and has some questions to answer: like how the universe works and what is it made of. CERN collects nearly unbelievable amounts of data – 35 petabytes of data per year that needs analysis. After submitted my thesis, I continued my Data Science research at CERN.

I began to wonder: Which insights are to be discovered beyond Particle Physics? How can traditional companies benefit from Data Science? After almost four exciting years at CERN with plenty of Hadoop and Map/Reduce, I decided to join Capgemini to develop business in Big Data Analysics, and to boost their engagements in Business Intelligence. In order to leverage my data-driven background I enrolled for the Executive MBA program at Frankfurt School of Finance & Management including an Emerging Markets module at CEIBS in Shanghai.

Today companies have realized that Business Analytics needs to be an essential part of their competitive strategy. The demand on Data Scientists grows exponentially. To me, Data Science is more about the right questions being asked than the actual data. The MBA enabled me to understand that data does not provide insights unless appropriately questioned. Delivering excellent Big Data projects requires a full understanding of the business, developing the questions, distilling the adequate amount of data to answer those questions and communicating the proposed solution to the target audience.

„The task of leaders is to simplify. You should be able to explain where you have to go in two minutes.“ – Jeroen van der Veer, former CEO of Royal Dutch Shell