Dan Noble uses quarantime to learn Tableau

Naia Willemsen, Spotlight Editor

For some, no school can equal no learning. After all, until April 20th, actual schoolwork isn’t mandatory. That means time to catch up on Netflix and reorganize your room five times because there’s nothing better to do, right? 

Well, not for senior Dan Noble. He sees the coronavirus break as a time to learn a new skill that will be incredibly useful for him—how to use software known as Tableau. 

Tableau is one of the most powerful pieces of software out there for advanced data visualization. It takes Comma Separated Values (essentially lists of data), be they Excel sheets or Google Sheets or even raw text, and can parse and join them before running visualizations of any form,” Noble said.

Essentially, Tableau allows him to display data in a new, better way. Instead of having to manually make charts or graphics to display data (like pie charts or bar graphs,) Tableau does it for him. 

“There are checkboxes and filters for you to only show the pertinent data. Graphs, charts, and maps can be combined into stories that can visually represent data in interesting, informative ways,” Noble said.

While you might wonder why any high schooler might need to know how to use this type of software now, Noble says it’s useful for him in a variety of ways.

“Tableau has extensive applications within robotics. I can prepare graphs that represent our abilities versus our opponents, informing match strategy and objective prioritization,” Noble said. “For AP Stats, its visualization potential will serve incredibly useful for my end-of-year project that involves working with large amounts of data.”

However, knowledge of Tableau will help Noble beyond the high school classroom. He’s going to major at Northeastern in Computer Science and Engineering, but Tableau will be especially beneficial useful for his minor.

“I intend to minor in data science or informatics,” Noble said. “Tableau will be especially handy for that as well as in research.”