Updated: Oct 3, 2022
Chart Champ returned to Fenway Park this September for it's first in-person event since 2019. As is tradition, the centerpiece of the day is the data visualizations competition, where five finalists demo their Tableau dashboards to the judges and audience. We also took a deep dive into all things data, with presentations about data governance, dashboard design, data transformation, cloud analytics, and much more.
Before we dive in - a sincere thank you to all who attended. It was a soggy day at Fenway, and several hundred still braved the elements for our day-long celebration of all things data.
The Chart Champ Data Visualization Finals
Over 50 people entered this year's competition, but only five finalists have a chance to demo their dashboard live. This year's finalists were Preethi Lodha, Josh Marsh, William Brown, Yujie Zong, and Kyle Mueller.
The Judges Deliberate!
Our esteemed judges included Tableau Visionary Brian Moore, City of Boston's Chief Data Officer Stefanie Costa Leabo, Tableau's Director of Solution Engineering Alexis Guinebertiere, Snowflake's Sales Engineering Manager Rodney Shetler, and dbt Lab's Partner Engineer Hope Watson.
And the Winner is...
Josh Marsh wowed the judges with his dashboard investigating some of the disparities between marginalized groups when it comes to generational wealth. His presentation gave a history of redlining in Boston, perspective on how property is a major contributor to generation wealth, and shared some of his own experience as a recent homebuyer in Massachusetts.
Josh takes home the grand prize of $1,000, a Chart Champ jersey, and of course eternal glory. Congratulations Josh! You are an incredible analyst and presenter - we sincerely appreciate your participation in this year's event!
Preethi Lodha took home second place for her Blue Bikes dashboard. Congratulations Preethi!
Will Brown's Blazing Boston dashboard won third place. While Will was unexpectedly unable to join us, he was able to record a presentation for us to enjoy. Congratulations, Will, and we hope we're able to meet up in person at next year's event!
Building an Optimal Analytic Environment
With the competition behind us, it was time to jump into an afternoon of technology presentations and demos. First up we had Darren McGurran, Principal Solutions Engineer, Tableau Software, who presented on data governance and building and optimal analytic environment. To create an Optimal Analytics Environment it is more and more important to consider your data strategy, availability and governance. Successful governance means ensuring frictionless access to the data as opposed to control of data. Trusted Data is the cornerstone of a successful analytic environment. With this perspective, it is critical that governance is a shared responsibility of all in the organization and that collaboration, communication and commitment are the key pillars of creating trust.
Data Viz Lessons I learned in Art School
Next up was Cleartelligence's own Jacqui Moore. Jacqui is a Senior Data Visualization & Analytics Consultant, Tableau Social Ambassador, and Co-Lead of the Boston Tableau User Group. Jacqui discussed how studying illustration in college informed her perspective as an analytics and data visualization consultant. Jacqui reminded the audience that restraints are a good thing, not a hindrance to the creative process. She also stressed progress often comes by making mistakes, getting your hands dirty, and learning by doing.
Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist - Pablo Picasso
Setting a Foundation for Trusted Dashboards
Ryan McGibony and Hope Watsons of dbt Labs presented about using dbt as a data transformation framework to assist in taking dashboards from prototype to production. They demonstrated dbt Cloud as a tool for quickly identifying a problem with a data pipeline, efficiently correcting it, and applying safeguards to catch issues as early as possible. They emphasized that data analysts can participate directly in this process to avoid being delayed by organizational bottlenecks.
Accelerating Towards a Data-Driven Culture
Jared Dunn, Ryan Shorter, and Cody Gumz discussed how "data is the new oil." Much like oil, when data is trapped in the company, it's not valuable until its Extracted, Loaded, and Transformed (ETL) into the fuel the business needs to grow. Fivetran is like an easy button for accessing data from SAAS Applications or Databases - The way to access the Oil or data in the organization.
Analytics & BI in Snowflake's Data Cloud
Rodney Shetler and Jack Daoud from Snowflake were our last presenters of the day. Rodney discussed how the Snowflake Data Cloud helps streamline business intelligence by improving speed and accessibility of data. He also talked about code extensibility with Snowpark. Jack showed this in action with a live demo of a real-time twitter stream piped into Snowflake and visualized in Tableau. The visualizations triggered queries that ran NLP functions written in Python that are stored and accessible in Snowflake, demonstrating the efficient performance of BI & analytics in the data cloud.
And so ended another successful Chart Champ! We ended things with a networking reception, food and drinks, and a visit from the Red Sox's own Wally the Green Monster. A very sincere thanks to the Red Sox organization, the City of Boston's Analytics Team (Analyze Boston), the Boston Tableau User Group, to our event Sponsors (Tableau, dbt Labs, Fivetran, and Snowflake) for creating engaging presentations for our audience, to our five finalists and everyone who submitted a viz, and of course, to everyone who joined us at Fenway. We really appreciate you coming out, and we hope you had as much fun as we did!
We'll see you next year!