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Thought Leadership

What We Expect from Tableau Conference 2024

Set to be held in San Diego starting on April 29, this year’s Tableau Conference promises a blend of insightful presentations, great networking opportunities, and hopefully, some useful and game-changing new product announcements and company direction.

On the latest episode of The Sensemakers, Keith Helfrich, Jonathan Drummey, and Robert Rouse talk about the Tableau conference experience and what they hope to take away from this year’s event.

Here are some additional useful notes on what attendees can expect from TC24, drawing from the experiences of these three conference veterans.

Keynote and Sessions: Anticipating the Future

The conference will officially kick off with a keynote on Tuesday, April 30, featuring presentations from Tableau’s leadership and developers. Attendees should expect to hear about the company’s latest developments and future direction, particularly how it integrates into Salesforce’s broader ecosystem. With over 200 sessions planned and more than 700 applications for about 80 speaker slots, the conference will be offering a diverse range of topics. These sessions are crafted to cater to both new users and seasoned pros alike.

Technical Innovations and AI Integration

A significant focus this year will be on the integration of AI within Tableau’s offerings. Notably, the introduction of Einstein Co-Pilot is expected to enhance the platform’s natural language processing capabilities. This feature aims to make data interaction more intuitive, allowing users to create calculations through simple language queries. Discussions around these innovations will likely explore their practical applications and real-world impact, offering attendees a glimpse into the future of data analytics.

Community Engagement and Networking

Despite the absence of “Brain Dates,” which previously facilitated targeted networking and small-group meet-ups, TC24 will still offer numerous opportunities for community engagement. The structure of the conference includes community-led classes and a vendor area, encouraging interaction and collaboration among participants. But, in lieu of Brain Dates, attendees will need to find new ways to connect and share knowledge, possibly through informal gatherings or organized meetups.

What the Actionauts are Looking for and Key Questions

Each member of our team has a list of things they’re hoping to see/hear at the Tableau Conference.

Keith is looking at leadership changes and new CEO + Chief Product Officer roles in the keynotes, and their key messages around product focus and product direction, particularly regarding AI and how announcements from last year’s conference have been delivered. And with respect to to AI: which are the tangible new developments on the announcements from last year, and to what extent are they just simply “inflating a balloon” around AI marketing hype.

Robert (who will be looking on on the conference from afar) is looking at recent press releases leading up to the conference and keen to learn what details will be revealed at the conference, such as their expected focus on Einstein Copilot. He’s also interested in evaluating Tableau’s continued investment and announcements regarding the data cloud, semantic layer, and backend data management capabilities.

In discussing Tableau’s acquisition by Salesforce, Keith is curious about the mix of focus on the enterprise, more features for analysts, or the data consumer. Robert wants to know to what degree Tableau will focus on the nuts & bolts data layer.

And with an analyst focus, Jonathan is looking for a signal around Tableau’s future balance of support for databases versus files, and he suggests that AI tools can significantly help improve file-based data management.

All three Actionauts also hope to hear user stories of how Tableau, and features rolled out last year, two years ago, how have they moved the needle or improved the work lives of Tableau users?

Key Question: Will there be an AI-based Excel Interpreter?

With the Salesforce acquisition, is Tableau becoming just another body part in the Frankenstein monster of enterprise software packages? To what extent will the AI features announced address the need for assisted data modeling “down in the engine room.” Robert sees vast potential for AI-assisted development of the underlying data management layer. Is this an opportunity that Tableau will begin to focus on?

Key Question: What’s going on in the engine room?

Preparing for TC24

For those planning to attend TC24, it’s advisable to set clear objectives for what you wish to achieve—-whether it’s gaining insights into specific tools, better understanding Tableau’s future under Salesforce, or expanding your professional network. Prepare questions and topics you are passionate about to make the most of the sessions and discussions available. Come up with a daily plan of attack and a method for measuring your degree of success. Consult it at the end of each day and after the event.

As Tableau Conference 2024 draws near, there will likely be a blend of anticipation for new features, nostalgia for past events, and strategies for maximizing success at this year’s event. Whether you are a first-timer or a seasoned attendee, TC24 promises to be a cornerstone event that will shape the landscape of data visualization and analytics over the coming year.

Hope to see you in San Diego! If you see one of the Actionauts, come up and introduce yourself.