While Qlik was waking up to data literacy, Tableau wants you to know it’s been there all the time.
Just look over at Tableau Public. That free platform has served more than 300,000 authors creating over 10,000 new visualization per week. Last year Tableau Public surpassed one million vizzes published, which were viewed more than one billion times. Tableau’s summary of its data literacy programs goes on to say that Tableau Public is the largest gallery of data visualizations on the world.
I’m impressed that so many trend lines going up or down, bar charts, and scatter plots in full bloom all coalesce in one place, and all free of charge. But is it data literacy?
For actual training, there’s Tableau Academic. It has provided free software licenses to, so far, more than a half million students and teachers. It helps develop curriculum and learning materials. Subjects include social media analytics, data journalism, and analytics fundamentals. Tableau also has partnerships with such online education outfits as Lynda.com, Udacity, and Pluralsight.
Still, I wonder how much of that training is to use Tableau and how much is about data literacy. Does the use of Tableau necessarily afford literacy? An elementary kind, I suppose.
The traditional, more common kind of literacy is about reading and writing. First graders, for example, might might grandly insist they can read and write. But ask a college freshmen cracking a literature course, and she may not tbe so certain of her literacy. A lifetime older, an aging scholar might admit he’s only now discovering the heights of literacy.
What kind of literacy are we talking about? Are Tableau and Qlik talking about the same thing?