The organisers of the Paris Tableau User Group spoke to us a couple of months ago and invited us to host a #MakeoverMonday live event at one of their meetups. A trip to Paris in late spring to talk to fellow Tableau enthusiasts about data and Makeover Monday? Sounds like a good idea to me, so it didn’t take much convincing for me to say yes.

The event was really fun and only about 2 of the almost 30 people there had previously participated in Makeover Monday, so it was a good opportunity to get more Tableau users interested in joining the community to practice and grow their skills with regular dataviz challenges.

While Andy and I both learned French in school, it wasn’t quite at the level required to talk intelligibly about data visualization, so we ran the event in English (in all honesty, our efforts to speak French were abysmal – we’ve gotta try harder next time!).

After being welcomed to the local Tableau office and introduced by Geoffrey Felix we started by giving the audience an overview of the project, how it works, what we do and how each participant can get involved.

Then it was time for everyone to get started on this week’s Makeover Monday challenge. As we were in Paris and there is a ‘special’ relationship between the French and the British, Andy had picked a dataset this week that looked at the alcohol consumption of Britons to help our live audience get a bit more engaged with the data and we weren’t diasppointed.

Everyone got into it with some people working by themselves, while others paired up to create their viz and data story together.

At these Makeover Monday live events we stick to the 60 minute limit that we recommend for those who want to just do a ‘quick makeover’, and once the time is up, people get to present their work.

Just like the online Makeover Monday community with their submissions, the audience at #ParisTUG all used the same dataset but everyone created a different viz – something that never ceases to amaze me. In the end we had a number of people showing us what they built, with about half being presented in English, the other half in French.

But it wouldn’t be a TUG meetup if it was all work without time to socialise, so after the session we made our way to a local pub for drinks and (a very late) dinner, which made for a very nice way to end the day, sitting outside on a balmy late spring evening and talking with people about data, Tableau, travel and the particularities of different cultures…

So thanks to the Paris Tableau community for not just welcoming us to your beautiful city but for also being a great audience, keen participants and hopefully new Makeover Monday community members.

We sure hope to be back sometime. Until then: Merci beaucoup et à bientôt!