Breaking Data Myths – Highlights from Tableau CEO’s Keynote at #Data17

Learn the four data myths, as outlined by Tableau’s CEO, at the year’s hottest data conference

The 2017 Tableau Conference kicked off in full steam on Tuesday, packing a stadium with over 10,000 data enthusiasts.

During the keynote speech, Adam Selipsky, Tableau’s CEO, shared the company’s vision for the future, which includes breaking through conventional data myths and focusing on Tableau’s mission to help people see and understand their data.

Data Myths
Adam Selipsky, Tableau’s CEO, delivers keynote at #Data17

Four Data Myths by Tableau CEO

So what are the four data myths?

Myth 1: AI will replace the analyst

There is a fear that Artificial Intelligence will replace Business Intelligence professionals, yet AI often contains biases based on what people encode and what machines learn over time.

Selipsky argues that rather than replacing the role of the human, the future of AI is to work collaboratively with people. AI will enable the analyst to focus on more strategic and creative work, while AI handles the heavy lifting of mundane data tasks.

Myth 2: Data is only for analysts

Data analysts are no longer the gatekeepers of information. By opening data to business users, beyond the traditional role of data analysts, organizations are empowered to make more informed decisions to drive value and efficiency like never before.

With the rise of self-service analytics tools, we are entering the age of data democratization – putting data into the hands of users across the business for fast insights.

Myth 3: Data governance means no

Data governance has a tendency to be viewed as barring people from what they can do, limiting accessibility and opportunities for the user.

However, true data governance should lead to enablement, unlocking the creativity and ingenuity of the users. While control is important, good governance must balance security and enablement.

Myth 4: There can be one perfect source of truth

The fact is that we live in a world of many truths, and having one perfect source of truth is often unattainable. People must be able to see and understand the current data and prepare for what’s coming next.

In order to do so, our tools must allow us to be flexible and adaptive, and offer choices – whether in data source, query, deployment, or platform selection.


Technology and innovation are changing faster than ever before, making it easy to get caught up in the hype.

Nevertheless, now more than ever, it is critical to be people-centric – to encourage people to be data literate, break through data myths, and become data storytellers.

If you missed this year’s Tableau Conference, here’s our breakdown of the hottest sessions or checkout the conference website for more details.

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About the Author

Angie Chen is a Data and Analytics Senior Consultant for Centric Consulting who is based in Cincinnati, specializing in data visualization and advanced analytics. Her focus areas include designing effective business dashboards, storytelling with data, and delivering actionable insights through analytics. In her spare time, Angie enjoys discovering new hiking trails with her dog, practicing yoga, and training in circus arts. Follow Angie on Twitter @databutterfly!

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