We’re already at Day 2 of the TC17, and we must say: Day 1 was a resounding success. Data people showed up by the thousands and we could see the excitement on their faces. There was a line in front of every booth, people showed a lot of interest in products and services data analytics companies presented.

A DJ kept everyone awake, while we had food for the ages and enjoyed ourselves talking to people for three hours. We were extremely happy to see the interest analysts and engineers showed in our free tools, the Tableau Cloud Connector and the soon-to-be-launched Data Streams.

As for the speaker sessions, Day 1 was almost entirely dedicated to training sessions. Data lovers, experts and beginners alike, registered for special Tableau tutorials and did power walk through the mysteries of Tableau software.

Talithia Williams – Associate Professor of Mathematics at Harvey Mudd College, opened the featured speakers series with a talk about how you can use mathematics and big data in real life. One of the most important points she tackled in her presentation was the importance of being an inspiration for the people around, to promote data and mathematics as means for people to succeed in life.

She opened up and told us her life story, spoke about how she first got into statistics and mathematics, being encouraged by one of her professors from a young age.

She became the thought leader she is today by having right role models in her life and getting inspired even by people seemingly unrelated to her, but who made a huge difference in all stages of her life.  

“It’s hard to change the culture of society when it’s so prevalent. It’s important to think about how we can touch the future and inspire those who will come after us.” – Talithia Williams.

One of the things she said stuck in my mind: It’s exciting to collect data, but sometimes it tells you what you don’t want to know. But at least we know there are things we could do if we wanted to.  

She spoke about data ethics, about the primary challenges data scientists face when it comes to data ethics. “In my courses, I’m constantly talking to my students about ethics and about doing data with integrity. I don’t have a magic bullet, there are so many unethical ways we can do it and draw information from data to do it how we want. I don’t really have a solution, I’m just trying to make my students understand the importance of their work, cause they’re gonna impact the society.”

She also spoke about the importance of knowing what you’re doing at your job. She insisted that nobody has to be an expert, but you HAVE to recognize when there might be a hole in your knowledge and invite experts to help you get the best out of your work.

Another interesting talk was Data + Women, where inspiring women shared success paths, gave tips about how they made it in the industry and spoke about the challenges they faced and how they overcame them.

About the author

Sebastian Stan

Sebastian is a journalist and digital strategist with years of experience in the news industry, social media, content creation and management, and digital analytics.

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