Why Vizioneer?

My photo
Atlanta, Georgia, United States
The "Vizioneer" comes from mashing two words that have shaped my world for most of my adult life - Engineer and [data] Visualizations (or Vizes to those who know what's up). Graduating from first from Oglethorpe University in Atlanta, followed by Georgia Tech with my Bachelors and Masters in Civil Engineering, all of which taught me to think through anything and everything - problem solving, "engineering" solutions, teaching to the "ah ha" moments - is what I love to do. In 2010 that investigative, engineering mindset intersected a job change and a plunge into the world of Data Analysis. In the search for the next great thing I stumbled on to a data visualization and dashboarding product called Tableau software and things just took off. So now I guess you could call me that engineer with the sweet data visualizations - or just "The Vizioneer" :)

In 2013, I joined the incredible team at Slalom, focusing on Tableau and it's been an amazing experience. Recently in 2014, I was honored and humbled to receive Tableau's highest recognition of being named a Tableau Zen Master. Follow along to see what happens next :)

Monday, September 22, 2014

DATA14 - It's all about people

What an amazing week at DATA14.


For me the conference this year was all about the people.  So many of you went out of your way to chat me up and share congrats.  I had one person do one of those “You’re Nelson Davis – like THE Nelson Davis!”  I laughed because I did the same thing when I meet Jonathan Drummey, Joe Mako, Anya A'Hearn, Ramon Martinez, Alan Walker (who’s Scottish btw – there’s an accent that will blow your mind when you’re not expecting it!), Peter Gilks (we’d actually never met in person though we’ve talked dozens of times), John Mathis (same story), Ben Jones, Jewel Loree, Matty Francis :), Emily, Paul B., Chappie, Francois, Andy Cotgreave, Craig Bloodworth, and (the cheery on top) Chris Stolte to name a few.  The talent and creativity on display was amazing.  These vizzes don’t make themselves.  The conference reminds us all that there’s incredible, genuine people behind this stuff.  And if I’ve created anything that people found useful, it’s only because I’ve received the same at 100 to 1.  Being named a Zen Master is an incredible honor, and very humbling.  Some of us newbies have had some soul searching moments to wonder if we really deserve to stand on the same stage with the legends.  The conference made me realize that while I’ll never get table calcs like Jonathan and Joe or design as beautifully as Anya and Kelly, I still have a place and something special to offer.  I had to remind myself that I bring passion and I live to teach to the ‘light bulb’ moment.  I’ve never met a microphone I didn’t want to talk with.  I’ve found methods to explain complicated things in ways that those just beginning their journey can easily grasp. I love to serve this community and give what I can to push the limits of what’s possible by however much.  I think the beautiful explanation of data can change the world, and I’m out to preach that gospel till the cows come home. And so are you.  So are we.

Data14 reminds us of why we are so passionate about what we do. 

I’ve sometimes called it the ‘Christopher Columbus’ moment – when we take data that’s never been brought together, breathe life into it and see things no one’s ever seen; understand that which was previously impossible. And we are those pioneers. We are the ones with vizion (see what I did there?).  It gives me goosebumps to think about it.

Tableau’s a game changer.  It’s one of the most flexible and amazing things I’ve ever seen.  And yet, like I said before, these vizzes don’t make themselves – you amazing people are everywhere, doing amazing things.  I can’t wait to see what happens by Data15.  Viz on my friends, viz on.


  1. Awesome. Great to meet you as well Nelson. Looking forward to more Tableau fun this year.


    1. Thanks Paul - a great pleasure for me as well. You guys are top shelf in every sense.

  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.