Earlier this year Tableau Zen Master and Head Coach at The Data School Carl Allchin wrote Tableau Prep Up & Running Self Service Data Preparation for Better Analysis. The book is a fabulous resource for a wide range of people in data roles (or those who want to get into a data role). While it is focused on Tableau’s Prep Builder tool, the data concepts are transferable to other data prep solutions. The book is a perfect mix of theory and “how tos”.
The book covers the data prep concepts with detailed examples and theories. These concepts include
- understanding your data – I’m stealing KYD (know your data)
- planning your preparation – a must read section
- data types and how to work with them
- profiling data
- shaping data
- joining (Carl does an amazing job covering the different join types in an easy to follow manner)
Chapter 35, Breaking Down Complex Data Preparation Challenges is probably my favorite section. You are going to encounter a lot of complex situations in the data prep world, knowing how to deal with this is a big key to success. Carl walks through the most complex #PreppinData challenge and his explanations of how to break down this challenge and you’ll gain insights into how to logically break down a problem into smaller portions.