Four Tips For Data Visualization

A key focus of my blogging platform is technology. In today’s digital world, everything involves some form of data generation, analysis and processing. Regarding analysis, prepping the data so that it can be visualized by others is key in terms of communicating its meaning. The following contributed post is entitled, Four Tips For Data Visualization.

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Photo by Lukas from Pexels

Computing power has largely solved many of the problems relating to collecting and processing data. Computers have not, however, solved the problem of effectively communicating the results of data analysis. That still comes down to human skill and judgment. Here are four tips to help.

Start from the raw source data (if possible)

Starting from the raw data will eliminate the possibility of you repeating any errors which have been made by other people. It will also keep your data visualization from being skewed by any unconscious bias in existing visualizations of the same data.

As a rule of thumb, this is most important with older data. Studies that were considered cutting-edge in their day might be viewed as seriously flawed now. They might also have been interpreted in the light of outdated assumptions and perceptions. It does, however, still apply to data provided by modern analytical laboratory services.

Think about your audience

Data visualization is usually easiest when you have a clearly-defined audience of people with a similar level of knowledge. It doesn’t really matter if they know nothing about the topic or if they’re experts. What matters is that they all have approximately the same level of knowledge.

If you’re catering to an audience with a broad range of knowledge, then you probably want to create multiple data visualizations. Start with one which assumes no/the least knowledge and then work up from there. Signpost these clearly so people can see which one(s) are likely to be of most benefit to them.

Focus on clarity

One of the biggest errors in data visualization is to try to fill visualizations with too much information. This may be a legacy from the days when everything was on paper so printing costs were always a concern. These days, however, data visualizations will almost always be viewed on a screen so make the most of everything this offers.

Also, be aware of its limitations. With printing, you have complete control over the use of color. With digital visualizations, by contrast, you’re dependent on the screen to reproduce the color faithfully. High-end screens generally do this very well, but lower-end ones are unlikely to be so accurate.

This means that you should usually avoid relying on conveying fine details by subtle changes of color. Instead, you generally want to use as much contrast as possible. This also goes for the text and the background. Furthermore, all text should be in simple fonts. It’s fine to bold important words occasionally, but avoid italics and regular use of capital letters.

Look for ways to make visualizations interactive

This is only possible if a person is going to view a data visualization on their own device. This is, however, likely to be the case a lot of the time, so it’s always worth considering. Interactive data visualizations follow the same principle as having a person click on a link for more information. Instead of going to a new page, however, a part of the visualization expands.

What Should Your Business Do With All That Data?

Three focuses of my blog are Financial Literacy/Money, Business/Entrepreneurship and Technology. Most businesses today generate significant amounts of data. Data generation creates the need for data storage. The following contributed post is entitled, What Should Your Business Do With All That Data?

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Big data, no doubt you’ve heard of it. What is it? It’s everything, basically. Details of your customers, clients, employees and the inner workings of your business and more. Big data is the norm now and every business no matter how big or small has to get used to storing and handling large amounts of data. But depending on the type of business you run, you’ll need to use it in different ways. Here are the more common and scalable things you can do with big data.

Effective yo-yo pricing

It’s well documented that the best benefit big data brings is the ability to price effectively. According to your consumer profiles and the data they provide, you can increase or decrease your price within the range of the majority of your customers more effectively. This means that as your business grows and you add more products to your line, you will be able to net the largest number of customers at all times. Taking into account a consumer’s age, cookies (past searches and buying habits), their location, past visits, devices and seasonal buying patterns, you can build up a customer profile very accurately. However, you will need to continually track all of this so you can change your outlook and pricing in accordance. This affords you the ability of effective yo-yo pricing.

Studying consumer profiles

Marketing and sales professionals have always been tasked with learning more about the company’s customer base. With the aid of big data, consumer profiles can be made and studied. However, for this to occur you need scalable Cloud Solutions by Online Computers. This type of service offers you a cloud capacity you can increase or decrease on an as-needed basis. It’s inherently flexible, as you can access data and files on any device hooked to the internet. Cloud systems don’t require any overheads either, so you save money automatically. The service is also tailored to your business requirements so if you require upgrades and migrations, you need not worry about not having the capacity, safe passage or hardware to increase the speed of data flow.

Internal improvements

Big data isn’t just about customers, it’s also a great help to your business internally. Employees should be able to have their work styles logged by productivity software. This will show the number of clicks they make, for how long they stay on one task, where their cursor hovers the most frequently as well as how long it takes to respond to messages, etc. The data you collect will give you an incredibly powerful insight into how your employees work and where mistakes are being made.

Needle in a haystack

If you have a gremlin in your supply chain, you will find it much easier with the collection of big data. It will allow you to pinpoint where time is lost, where most errors keep being made and who could be responsible for them.

Big data is an incredibly complex yet useful concept. It doesn’t require large scale hardware as you can utilize a cloud system. It must become a part of your company culture if you are to remain competitive.

The Future Of Data Storage is Way Crazier Than You Think

A key focus of my blog is Technology. Our world is becoming more and more data driven than ever before. As such, more and more ways to store data are being created. The following contributed post is entitled, The Future Of Data Storage is Way Crazier Than You Think.

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Pixabay – CC0 License

The last ten years have seen something of a revolution in data storage technologies. Solid-state disks in server farms were a pipe dream a decade ago, but exponential improvements in the technology now mean that it is something that the majority of companies use. The price per gigabyte fell below $1 quite some time ago, and now storage costs are competitive with traditional HDD solutions.

The future of storage, however, looks like it is going to be way more exciting than the past. Not only will we get denser and cheaper storage options, but also technologies that keep data safe for longer.

For companies like Interbyte, these trends are important. They mean that the storage industry is going to move away from traditional NAND and disk-based technologies and into radically different realms. What the controllers will look like for the technologies we’re going to discuss below is anyone’s guess. But you can be darn sure that they will look like nothing we’ve seen so far.

DNA Drives

DNA is nature’s storage system. It’s a substance in practically every living thing, including plants and animals, and provides the instructions that allow cells to divide and make new proteins.

Researchers have found that DNA can last for an incredibly long time outside the protective envelope of the cell. Some scientists believe that they may be able to breed new woolly mammoths, even though the last populations died out some 10,000 years ago.

DNA drives are a futuristic technology, but not entirely impossible. The idea is to encode the chemical sequence in a way that a computer could read it and, thereby, derive information. What’s more, because DNA is such a stable molecule, the drive wouldn’t degrade in the same way that traditional storage devices do. You could potentially have a computer that lasted 1,000 years – maybe more.

Then there’s the fact that DNA operates on the molecular level – the smallest possible scales. DNA, after all, is just a chain of atoms held together by a bunch of phosphate groups. Nature probably settled on that design because it was the most efficient way to store information. It is unlikely that there is a way to improve on it. If there were, then evolution would have found it. As far as we know, it hasn’t.

Helium Drives

Unlike DNA drives, helium drives are something that is actually with us already. Boffins and Western Digital – a company that makes storage devices – have come up with a way to pump helium into their devices to improve their performance. These drives, the company claims, need less power to spin (because helium is lighter than air), while still providing the required internal pressurization by the components function correctly.

The cost of these drives is still really low. Another manufacturer, Seagate, currently offers an 8 TB helium drive, which costs less than six cents per gigabyte – that’s competitive.

Are you excited about the future of storage technology? How will it affect how you live your life?

Storage Options – Is There a Best Option?

Three focuses of my blog are Financial Literacy/Money, Business/Entrepreneurship and Technology. In today’s digital world, most businesses and organizations have an information technology (IT) component. As such, large amounts of critical data must be properly stored. Not doing so can have several negative consequences. The following contributed post is entitled, Storage Options – Is There a Best Option?

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When it comes to looking after your business, there is a lot of information passing through. Some you will need to keep, others you won’t, and there will be plenty of projects and other files that you will need to hold on to until the end of your contract. When it comes to storage, you’ll need to spend some time thinking about what you need, and then you will know your best option.

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

Storage Needs

Before you settle on the best storage for your needs, you will have to assess your business. Here are a few questions to get you started:

● How old is the data you want to store?
● Is it all related to your business?
● How much of it is doubled up?
● Where do you need to access the data from?
● Who needs access?
● How fast do you need access?

Once you understand your data, and what will make a difference to you, you will begin to see what kind of storage is your best option. In most cases, it will be a combination of solutions.


Once you have answered those questions, you can move on to researching or refreshing knowledge on different options.

External hard drives

This is one of the most cost-effective ways to store a large amount of data that you need to have on hand most of the time. They simply plug into your computer and are ideal for travel. But you have to remember that you can lose an HDD, and it can get damaged by being dropped, wet, and can be susceptible to corruption.

Thumb Drives

If you are on the go a lot, then a small thumb drive is going to be ideal. They are small enough to put in your pocket, or more preferably, on a keychain somewhere safe. They don’t hold much, so you will need to be very selective. You can only share the thumb with people you are physical with.


Online storage is what people should be looking at. Cloud computing is one of the best solutions for most businesses. It allows you to share huge files with clients all over the world. And, multiple people can work on a project at the same time, and the information will be available immediately. This also means that you won’t need to travel with your own computer, you can access what you need from any system with internet access. It is typically well encrypted, and you can’t lose it, drop it, or otherwise damage it.


Network-attached storage is super-fast, reliable, and gives you access to data in an IP networking environment. They are suitable for small businesses that need a large amount of cheap storage for multiple users – but only within their own network. They are easy to manage and an excellent option for centrally managed storage.

Before you implement any data storage, you should talk to an IT advisor or do a lot of research so you can get the best for your business. Don’t wait until you need mass storage to have things in place, plan ahead.

Taking Responsibility For Your Company Data

Three of the focuses of my blog are Financial Literacy/Money, Business/Entrepreneurship and Technology. A major part of running your business in the modern age is managing its data. The inability to properly manage your company’s data will cost you both time and money. The following contributed post is entitled, Taking Responsibility For Your Company Data.

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Image Credit Pixabat CC0
Whatever your line of business, when you put the time and effort in, it becomes of value to you. It is an investment into your companies goals and as such, should be treated with the same level of care that you would treat any other investment.

This is very true of your companies digital history. Everything that you make, every document or spreadsheet is there for a purpose. It was created in an attempt to drive your business forward and as such it holds an intrinsic value.

But, data is so transitory. You can send it, move it, delete it. You could find that accidentally end up overwriting important files quite easily. Your important customer data could get corrupted by a virus, and be unopenable. Your information may get stolen, or your hard drive could completely die and you will be left with nothing.

In this day and age, losing data is like losing all of your money. If you are holding onto customer information that could put them at risk, you may be liable and end up paying some hefty fines for not properly managing your data protection. If the information is completely gone, you may not have a customer database to work from or projects that have taken many hours of work could be lost.

Retrieving Lost Data

There are a number of ways forward when you hit this situation. The first thing to consider doing is to bring in a specialist who can deal with backup & disaster recovery. There are occasions where information can be restored. It may be helpful to utilize the services of a managed IT service provider to look after your data needs. That way, when the worst happens, you will always have their support on hand.

Implementing Better Systems

One of the best ways is to avoid this kind of situation altogether. By utilizing a system where your data cannot even be lost completely, you will be protecting your business from catastrophe. Cloud-based systems offer this exact thing. Your data is saved in realtime as you create it. It is not stored physically on any of your devices and can be accessed anywhere as long as you can log in. You can choose to share your documents with others, and you won’t need to email them copies. Any changes that you ever make will be visible at their end.

Using systems such as these not only protect your data, they make the handling and management of it far easier. You will have a much more streamlined and efficient office when it comes to using cloud-based systems.

Manage Your Permissions

Be sure and devote some time to getting your permissions and access levels set up correctly on all of your important files and folders. While you can share editing functions across an entire team, you may not want some of your staff to be able to do this. Having the correct settings in place will also protect your data from those within your organization.

How To Buy A Data Cabinet

Three of the focuses of my blog are Financial Literacy/Money, Business/Entrepreneurship and Technology. In our modern digital age, it’s highly likely a major component of your business is its information technology (IT). As such, you’re likely using or will need a Data Cabinet. The following contributed post is entitled, How To Buy A Data Cabinet.

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A data cabinet or a server rack is something which is used to store IT equipment. It is vitally important that any individual or business that has such equipment stores it properly in order to avoid any damage.

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There are a whole host of different server racks and data cabinets available in stores all over the US and on the internet, which companies like Midwest Data Center make the most of. This is great because it means that there is a lot to choose from when it comes to selecting the right one for your business equipment. Nevertheless, this can also make it more difficult to actually know which one is the best option. In order to help those searching for data cabinets narrow down their search this article will help by providing some points people should be considering when looking for such goods.

The first aspect which needs to be thought about is the height of the data cabinet. Most data racks are measured in the ‘U’ measurement. For those that do not know, ‘U’ is the measurement which is usually used for all rack mount equipment and it translates to 44.45mm. This may seem like a random measurement to many. However, one U is used to display how many units the server cabinet in question can hold.

There are a vast range of different size data cabinets available today; typically shops tend to stock anything from 12U cabinets to 47U cabinets. Obviously the height of the server rack required depends on how much equipment a business is intending to store. The individual in question should sit down and come to a number of how many equipment pieces are going to be placed into the cabinets, this will give the person an idea of what they should be going for. However, it is always advisable to buy a rack with a few more added spaces, as you never know what else you may need to accommodate for and it is always better to be prepared for more.

Obviously the size of the cabinet does not just depend on the height; there is the width and depth to take into consideration as well. The size a person opts to go for obviously also depends on the equipment which needs to be stored. In general the two main options with regards to width is 800mm and 600mm and when it comes to depth the three main options are as follows; 800mm, 1000mm and 1200mm.

Remember it is also important to keep in mind the weight of the data cabinet because it needs to substantial enough to carry the equipment which is going to be stored inside of it otherwise it may cave in and thus a new cabinet will be needed altogether.

In addition to this, the price of the cabinets and racks will need to be considered by businesses as well. At the end of the day, each business is different and each business will have their own budget with regards to what they can afford. It is vital to devise a strict plan and stick to it as it can be very easy to get carried away and spend a lot more then was initially intended.

Finally, it is also extremely important to make sure that any data cabinet accessories are considered. These can include things such as; fixings and fans.

More And More People Are Turning To Private Detectives

A key focus of my blog is Technology. As our world is becoming more digital and sophisticated, so is crime. As a result, detectives must become savvy in the use of digital methods and tools in order to combat criminals. If you’re going to hire private detectives, you’ll want to know several things about them, but you’ll especially want to that they’re empowered with the right tools. The following contributed post is entitled, More And More People Are Turning To Private Detectives.

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Private detectives are in high demand at the moment. From business investigations to stolen artwork, the reasons vary. Needless to say, the data breach threat is one of the main reasons. With that in mind, read on to find out more.

Nowadays, the threat of a data breach is huge, as cyber criminals are employing increasing sophisticated methods to hack into business’s systems. If your business has experienced a security breach, you should consider hiring a private investigator.

Unfortunately, data breaches seem to be occurring all of the time, and most businesses turn towards a private detective. This is what Sony did when their system was hacked several years ago, with more than 100 million gamers falling victim to the back, with their names, birth dates, emails, addresses, phone numbers and other information being stolen.

A data breach can be extremely damaging. Not only will you be hit with fraud losses, but there are also potential non-compliance fines to deal with while the damage to your reputation can be difficult to come back from too. In fact, a lot of businesses have been forced to close altogether because of cyber security breaches. This is why you require the services of high quality private investigators – someone who can find out who is to blame while also ensuring your business responds quickly to the incident to minimise all potential consequences. Advanced security measures, such as managed security monitoring, intrusion detection and firewalls, should be put into place as well to ensure the same scenario does not occur again in the future.

Are you thinking about hiring a private detective agency? Irrespective of whether you want background checks performed on a potential business partner, or you have fallen victim to a data breach, you will need to hire a quality company. Read on to discover some of the mistakes that have been made by others.

One of the biggest mistakes people make is going for the cheapest detective agency they can find. Of course, you will want to make sure you can afford the service. However, security issues can end up costing you a lot more in the long run. Just imagine how damaging going into business with an untrustworthy and corrupt partner could be. Going for an experienced and reputable intelligence agency will save you a lot more money when all is said and done.

Aside from this, a lot of people make the error of going for a private detective company without doing the necessary research. You need to know what skills the agency boasts, their level of experience, and their background. What tactics can they draw upon to provide you with the service you need? Do they boast any law enforcement or military training? What technology do they have at their disposal? You want a company that has all of the skills, tools, and experience to deliver on any project, as all clients’ requirements are going to be different.

Last but not least, don’t make the mistake of overlooking customer reviews. It is also advisable to see what past clients have had to say about the service they experienced, as this can be extremely telling.

Man or Machine: Which Protects Your Data?

Three of the focuses of my blog are Financial Literacy/Money, Business/Entrepreneurship and Technology. In today’s digital world, businesses of all kinds are operated online which involve the mass generation of data and transfer of that data. As such, there’s a need to protect your data. The following contributed post thus entitled, Man or Machine: Which Protects Your Data?

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(Image Source)

There has been a heavy emphasis on data security across mainstream media platforms for many years. With huge amounts of data being stolen from companies, personal information being more important than ever before, and criminals becoming more sophisticated, it makes sense that people want to keep themselves safe. Of course, though, as a business, it can be hard to know who or what you can rely on to make this happen. To help you out, this post will be exploring the roles of both people and machines in relation to your data security, giving you an idea of where you trust should lie.


Most people would assume that you can trust computers with anything. They don’t tend to operate without instructions, instead performing the tasks which you’ve told them to. Of course, though, it isn’t impossible for people on the outside to take control. To solve this issue, tools like encryption and firewalls are used, blocking access to data which should only be seen by those within your business. These tools don’t always do their job, opening the doors to data being leaked into the world. Of course, though, this isn’t something which you have to worry about if you have the right people looking after you systems.


Data leaks and information dumps are often the result of human error, with people clicking the wrong buttons or ignoring prompts which they should be taking action to solve. Updates, for example, are often handled automatically by operating systems like Windows, but will require a restart before they are in place. If a security update rolls out, but your teams don’t reset their machines, they will be vulnerable to attacks. This sort of issue has plagued some businesses, leaving them to rely on increasingly automated systems to handle their data protection, but this doesn’t always solve the issue.

What To Trust?

In reality, you should never trust either of these areas unless you’ve done the work to secure them. Your computers should be managed and maintained by a professional company, ensuring that you are compliant with local laws, while also keep everything updated to deal with new threats. Along with this, using special data storage recruitment companies to find your employees can be a great idea. By following this route, you will be able to fill your business with people who have already proven their ability to look after data. It’s never worth putting your trust in something which isn’t proven, especially when it comes to protecting data.

With all of this in mind, you should be feeling ready to take on the challenge of protecting the data within your business. Most companies struggle with this area, eventually feeling the impact which can come when you lose other people’s data. Of course, though, as time goes on, you will only have to put more effort into it. Criminals haven’t stopped developing their systems, and this means that companies have to remain on their toes, with new threats popping up all the time.

Exploring The Key Issues With “The Cloud”

Two key focuses of my blog is Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), and Business and Entrepreneurship. Many businesses and organizations are moving towards cloud-based storage systems for increased efficiency of operations, but what are the issues with this new technology? The following contributed post is thus entitled; Exploring The Key Issues With “The Cloud”.

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Over the last few years, a lot of companies have been touting their cloud data services. Offering the chance to have all of your work, emails, and other important information stored on servers across the world, these businesses promise to be able to make it much easier to access and use these important parts of your work. Of course, though, like any new technology, the cloud isn’t all fun and games, and there are some serious issues with some of the services which can be found out there. To help you to see these problems, this post will be exploring some of the most prominent.

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Getting There: Data migrations are a notoriously challenging part of enterprise computing. Moving all of your on-premises information to servers isn’t an easy process, and most people will need the help of a cloud migration solutions company to help them. While this makes it much easier to get information where it needs to go, it will also cost some money, and this is rarely factored into the quotes which will be given out when you are approached by a cloud service.

Downtime: While a lot of work has been done to make sure that the servers hosting your data are able to run all the time, with plenty of redundant power and storage space, along with multiple networks in case one fails, a cloud company can’t control your internet connection. If you find yourself without this for a day or two, you could be left completely unable to do your work. These issues often come by surprise, making it impossible to save the data you’ll need as a precaution.

Security: Along with keeping servers running all the time, most cloud companies invest a small fortune into their cyber security. You will probably be accessing your data wirelessly at some stage, though, and this puts everything at risk. Of course, data breaches have become commonplace in the modern world, too. If this were your business’s information, you could be left to deal with some very unhappy clients or customers as a result.

Training: Finally, as the last area to consider, not a lot of people feel confident to use systems like this. When you have everything online, the process of accessing data can be a lot more complicated than what users are experienced with. This means having to train any employees you have to make sure that they can use the cloud securely and without wasting any time. There are loads of companies out there which can provide this to you, but it is something a lot of businesses would rather not have to pay for.

With all of this in mind, you should have the chance to think a little more deeply about the choice you have to make when it comes from moving from your own servers to the cloud. Of course, it isn’t all bad, the benefits it can provide can be huge, but it might not quite be the right time to make the switch if you’re worried about it.

Tableau hosts discussion on educating in a data driven world revisited

Shortly before the Examiner closed its operations in 2016, I was invited to write a story on a symposium hosted by the company Tableau regarding the increasing role of data and analytics in education. During my doctoral and postdoctoral research in Pharmacology and Toxicology, I experienced firsthand the importance generating quality data and statistical analyses, though I didn’t realize that data and analytics was literally its own field. It turned out that there was a whole data and analytics community/world, with companies like Tableau creating software for quality data analyses and interpretation. Likewise there are whole careers in data and analytics, and these professionals are critical components of Academia, and the Public and Private Sectors.

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On June 9, 2016 Tableau hosted a symposium in Washington DC titled; “Educating in a Data Driven World”. The symposium took place at Washington DC’s St. Regis Hotel and featured a panel of experts from the United States’ leading institutions of higher education. Among them were:

• Mike Galbreth, Associate Professor of Management Science, University of South Carolina
• Danial Lopresti, Professor and Chair of Departmen3t of Computer Science and Engineering, Director of Data X Initiative, Lehigh University
• Cheryl Phillips, Hearst Professional in Residence, Stanford University
• Vijay Khatri, Associate Professor of Information systems, Arthur M. Weimer Faculty Fellow, Co-Director, Kelley Institute for Business Analytics, Indiana University
• Jana Schaich Borg, Postdoctoral Associate, Duke University
• Jon Schwabish, Adjunct Professor in the McCourt School of Public Policy and the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University, Lecturer at the Maryland Institute of College of Art

The Moderator of the panel discussion was Ben Jones, Director of Tableau Public. The panel discussion revolved around the state of analytics education and how higher education is responding to the increased demand for analytics skills in the workplace; a topic all in itself which impacts pretty much every sector and discipline; Politics, Humanities, Business and lastly Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields. Specific topics discussed were: Issues pertaining to data literacy, how students can be better educated to increase their data literacy, the importance of communication and soft skills for data professionals, and the common traits of individuals interested in analytics.

“Just like there are a lot of programs to help young girls get into STEM fields, we think that it’s important that we help educate our students to be successful in an increasingly data driven world. We have academic curricula for teachers to help them get started with Tableau in the classroom. We do whatever we can to help close the skills gap,” said Tableau for Teaching Manager Emma Trifari. Tableau’s motivation for hosting the panel was the understanding that there is a huge skills gap in the data world, and in order to fill that gap, data literacy needs to start from the beginning.

Tableau’s software is used to simplify data analysis. Currently enrolled students around the world are eligible to receive free one-year licenses of Tableau Desktop through Tableau for Students. Instructors and their students are also eligible to receive free licenses of Tableau Desktop through the Tableau for Teaching program.

For more information on Tableau’s Academic programs, go to:

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