Thankful Thursday – Andy Cotgreave

My first introduction to Andy Cotgreave was watching a session he did on the TC15 livestream. It’s been long enough I don’t recall what his session was about, though I do remember thinking it was super insightful (and that his kids were watching him and sent him a picture as he was getting started and it threw him off his groove a little bit ;).

So when I went to TC16 in Austin, I made sure I attended Andy’s session, even though it was in the furthest hotel from the convention center. He spoke about New Ways to Visualize Time and it was a great exercise in looking at things differently than the usual line chart, with a look at the history of visualizing time.

Andy’s was another blog I followed from early on in my Tableau journey. One of the images that I’ve remembered most from Andy’s work is this one:

Andy’s post about this (and the many times he’s discussed in his various talks) makes a great point about how there is a sense of bias in everything we do, and it’s something to keep in mind as we build visualizations.

As I reviewed the scheduled for TC19, I was sad to see no session from Andy (since he was hosting Iron Viz and moderated a panel with the Iron Viz contestants at Fanalytics, and that was plenty of work and preparation without trying to do another session).  His sessions have always been very thought provoking in understanding how we’re presenting data, he shares some great insights into how to make it work in the business setting, and very entertaining. His presentation at TC18 was a perfect example of this.

Another example of Andy’s providing insights into dashboard and visualization best practices is his co-authorship of The Big Book of Dashboards with Jeffrey Shaffer and Steve Wexler. I love having this book as a reference to identify what works in dashboards and why, and be able to implement those principles in a work setting.

Andy has truly lived up to his role as Tableau Evangelist, helping so many people identify and make better decisions when visualizing their data. So thanks, Andy, for all the work you do.

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