It was a privilege to present to the Melbourne Tableau User Group on aspects of data literacy at our recent online meetup on September the 30th.  Tableau User Groups are a great way to connect with other members of the data community, particularly those who are interested in all things Tableau.  The group caters for members from the experienced data visualiser to those who are taking their first steps into the data visualisation realm.

Each meeting there are 3 or more presentations keeping us all abreast of what is happening with Tableau software, including lots of use cases to spark the imagination.

Data Literacy continues to be a key focus of Perceptive Data, especially since the the ultimate purpose of a data visualisation is to quickly and easily communicate  data findings in an understandable way.  Data visualisation is a blended combination of technical know how, artistic flair and communication, which is why the field is so appealing to many.

For this presentation I focussed on the Bees with Backpacks project Perceptive Data worked on with the Ballarat Tech School.  Who knew you could attach RFID chips to bees to collect data?!  While this project’s aims were on developing the data literacy skills of secondary students, there are many parallels that can be drawn from designing a data literacy program for teenagers applying to data literacy in the workforce.

In particular, most Tableau based workforce training programs will start with attendees opening Tableau Desktop and connecting to a workplace data source.  In Bees with Backpacks, we start with examining how data is collected and cast students into a role play to replicate the collection.  This promotes understanding of the ‘transactional’ nature of this data source and also provides students with a greater feel of ownership of the data source, attributes that are also important in workforce training programs.

Here’s a video of the session, with note that all speakers were presenting online due to gathering restrictions.  It’s certainly challenging presenting without an active audience!