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Andy Cotgreave

Senior Product Consultant, Europe, Tableau Software

Andy Cotgreave is Tableau Software’s senior data analyst in the UK. With 16+ years experience battling with good and bad Business Intelligence (BI) tools, Andy has held positions in data analysis, business research and software development. Prior to Tableau, he was a senior data analyst at the University of Oxford. He has also served in positions at Fast Track, RCP Consultants and RM PLC, giving him a diverse range of technical and non-technical skills. He’s a frequent speaker and has spoken at conferences including Strata London, Oxford Internet Institute and News:Rewired. Andy is a graduate of the University of Edinburgh and holds an MA in Geography.

Andy downloaded a trial version of Tableau when frustrated with the BI tools available to him at his previous company. “In just four hours, I had gained more insights than our team would normally take weeks to discover. I was hooked instantly and realized that Tableau’s approach was refreshing, innovative and disruptive.”

New Ways to See Time

Instead of taking 5 minutes to build one chart and being stuck with one insight, you'd see all possible insights in a short amount of time. What time trends is your data hiding from you?
03/03/2015 10:49 GMT

Don't hide your data. Show it in all its glory!

10,000+ data points can be processed perfectly well by the human eye. In fact, this view is incredibly rich and easy to process and invites exploration. What's incredible is that our eyes are evolved to see and work with this level of detail. We can easily cast our eye around and explore.
28/01/2015 15:37 GMT

What Links Magic and Data Visualization?

This routine is the perfect mix of sleights, misdirection and patter. If you are interested in data visualization, you owe yourself 30 minutes to enjoy this display. It encapsulates everything you shouldn't do in your charts: misdirect, confuse and confound!
19/12/2014 16:33 GMT

How Do You Tell a Dataviz Expert From an Amateur?

You need to make a chart for your bosses. It needs to be just right: it has to communicate the message correctly in order to get your bosses to make the correct decision. But - wait - you're a data visualization novice. Oh no! How do you know you're going to make the right chart for the job?
22/10/2014 12:42 BST

Why a Chart Should Start, Not End, a Conversation

An effective chart can answer many questions, but it can never answer all questions. It might answer the exact question the chart designer wanted to answer, but even the most astute designer cannot control his or her audience. A curious audience will read a chart and, with luck, come up with new questions.
01/10/2014 15:27 BST

What Did the World Cup Do for Data Visualization?

Some stories are best told with visualisation... They aren't flashy; they are simple and designed to convey key information quickly... The amount of data being generated by the World Cup lets us explore anything.
17/07/2014 11:00 BST

Become the Ultimate Raconteur: Storytelling With Data

What's the best story you've ever been told? What's the best piece of fiction you've ever read? What is it about the memories of those that have made them stick in your mind? Defining what a story is and why they have impact is very difficult. At its heart a story has characters, a narrative, tension, and a resolution. What if you could take the key aspects of storytelling and apply them to data?
19/06/2014 11:12 BST

Braving the Data Deluge

Larger businesses have been reaping the benefits of data analysis to make better business decisions. The rise of data discovery tools within these organisations means that data itself has real currency, and plays a key role in helping decision-makers to get their jobs done. T
16/12/2013 15:05 GMT

Lies, Damned Lies and Data Visualisations?

We find it very hard to process large amounts of text information and at this point, data visualisation comes to our rescue and allows us to interpret many data points simultaneously. Having said that, a pretty picture alone is not what makes the visualisation a valuable asset.
31/10/2013 14:02 GMT

What Can Your Data Analytics Team Learn From Star Trek?

As anyone who's ever been part of a data analytics team will tell you, the search for insight into data can sometimes seem like a Star Trek-like voyage into the unknown realms of deep space. So what can Star Trek teach us about the way we interact with and explore our data?
26/09/2013 13:56 BST

Are You Making Hard Work of Data Exploration?

How much data do you see every day? Whether it's wading through lines of numbers on spreadsheets at your office or sitting at home comparing the batting averages of England's cricket team, data has become a staple part of our daily lives. Despite this, very few of us have the tools that permit quick, effective data analysis.
09/08/2013 13:16 BST

How Business Intelligence Tools Can Help Us to Mind the Skills Gap

There is increasing pressure placed on governments and businesses to provide more accountability. To meet these demands they need to disclose the data behind the decision-making process. This will increasingly become an everyday part of our future leaders' lives and careers.
02/08/2013 13:32 BST

BI and the Bottom Line

One of the many pieces of feedback you often hear from business intelligence (BI) users is that prior to using BI, they felt they were doing fine. The perception was that BI tools were an unnecessary luxury, too complicated to implement and use without hiring specialist staff. New staff hires, which just couldn't be justified based on the minimal perceived benefits BI would bring.
18/07/2013 15:31 BST

Your Data Analysis Takes How Long?

Let me dispel a myth. Contrary to popular opinion, if you are using spreadsheets or traditional BI tools, it is quite possible to build beautiful charts. Unfortunately, each view of your data takes considerable time to build, Do you have that time to spare in your working life?
05/07/2013 12:07 BST

What Can 'Where's Wally' Teach Us About Data Visualisation?

There's a reason why 'Where's Wally' is so effective and enduringly popular. The human brain is evolved to use colour, shapes and patterns as catalysts for cognitive recognition. These originally enabled us to spot threats in the environment; now they enable us to spot trends and sequences in charts more easily.
16/05/2013 14:33 BST

Why Wait in Line to Get Insight Into Your Data?

The benefits of opening up access to data are clear. A recent Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) study, sponsored by Tableau, found that organisations which increase the access to data see an improvement in financial performance.
10/04/2013 13:10 BST

Using Your Data for You

As we all know, a lot of today's businesses have extensive data on us as consumers. Be it our favourite social network, the local supermarket or the bank. But not a lot of that insight is ever used to its full potential, either for the business, or the consumer.
08/03/2013 12:47 GMT

Why You Should Animate Your Data to Liberate It

One of the most common misconceptions in industry today is that data - and in particular, big data - on its own, is capable of driving business value. Look across any sector you care to mention, in any corner of the globe, and you'll find countless 'experts' telling you that their data is the secret ingredient.
05/02/2013 15:28 GMT

The Power of the Hidden Data Gem

If there's one thing that working with data teaches you, it's to expect the unexpected. After all, it's easy to look at data sets and extrapolate the obvious conclusions that stand out from the most glaring statistics. But what if the real value of the data was to be found elsewhere?
17/01/2013 14:12 GMT