This past week I've been off on vacation with the hope of getting a lot of stuff done: lots of art, revamping my website, revamping LinkedIn, educational stuff, and learning some stuff on data and visualization. Of course, I always plan for more than I can actually do. I have not done nearly as much artwork as I had hoped and I have started doing a revamp of my About Me (Narcissitic) page but there is still a lot to do. I can see that it's going to take me forever to finish. I did get to review how Power Query works, but I still haven't started reading the book on it. I did finish reading Good Charts which propelled me into taking at look at Tableau Software. I had seen articles and other references to Tableau Software but never really got around to taking a look at it. My past work as project controller generally didn't really yield to data visualization as a daily activity and in this current job I have been doing more programming and automation. But my current project has possibilities.
After reading Good Charts, I finally went to the Tableau website yesterday to read up on it. It looks really cool. I did download a trial software (good for 14 days) to see if I would be able to make use of it with the kinds of data I have access to today. I played around a little yesterday and I see that I have a little bit of learning curve. The other concern I have is that in the current industry I'm in, the data available are not clean: they don't fall into nice columns. Which is where I'm hoping Power Query will come in. But I think I will still have to have some form of macro to prep the data before using Power Query to wrestle the data into a format usable by Tableau. Kind of convoluted, huh?
The software looks like it could really help with the analysis of data by speeding up the visualization. Also, the pictures will be really exciting to look at, although that is not the point. The really, really exciting part of the software is you can create dashboards and story boards. The story boards really excites me because this is where your analysis comes in - you tell a story of what you see in the data and hopefully drive to some kind of action. That's something I want to eventually do in my current project - I have an idea called "Snapshots of the Hot Spots". These story boards look like they would be easier to create.
So I might still get the software for myself, only as a learning tool, but the price is kind of steep: annual subscription of $1000 (more specifically $999). The problem is: I also want to get iPad Pro which is probably going to be over $1000 and get a subscription to Adobe set of tools which is probably around $500 annually. Okay, I want a lot of stuff.
Actually, after successfully completing the ACA project, I was going to treat myself to the iPad Pro but I'm still hesitating. With the money I make and the fact I'm in a new industry with little chance of really increasing my income (I work for a really great company but there are limits to pay), I wonder if it's wise to spend such money that may not lead to better opportunities in the future. And so I keep hesitating.
So 3 things I want: iPad Pro, Adobe Software and Tableau Software.