Achieving Role Badges in a logical order

Following my recent blog with tips on passing the Tableau Desktop Specialist certification exam I continued my learning journey. For me this means obtaining the associated competences of Analyst and the Tableau Data Analyst certification

In this blog I visually explore the relationship between Learning Paths and Courses on the Tableau eLearning page with a Sankey Diagram.

Aha moments and why Sankey

While studying Tableau I noticed that the courses and the smaller course elements are shared between Learning Paths. Effectively re-using learning content between Learning Paths. Understanding this I realised I could plan my learning time in a way that allowed for more Role Badges in quicker succesion…, or in other words, I could keep things top of mind and pass assessment with greater success. Secondly, this also meant that it is possible to plan more advanced Paths, with less time invested, than I thought before.

This aha! moment gave me to the idea to use Tableau to visualise the many-to-many relationship between Courses and Learning Paths. To keep it fun I also decided use and learn an amazing looking graph: the Sankey.

The Sankey diagram

Read from left to right and follow the color ending at a Learning Path in the color style of the Role Badges.

From the very colourful Sankey above it is visible that Tableau Fundamentals (a 30-40 hour course) is used by 4 Paths. Intermediate is used by 3 etc. Studying Fundamentals, as the name suggests, is an excellent start. This sets you up for the Role Badge linked to Author: Desktop and prepares you for Tableau Desktop Specialist

Following up with Intermediate sets a solid base for Data Scientist, Data Steward, Designer and also Analyst*. Both of these courses cover at minimum 50% of these Learning Paths. The Enable Data Culture Learning Paths of Executive Sponsor and Community Leader take the least amount of time. They are located on the bottom right column. No excuse for any CIO to have a crack at it.
The Deploy and Manage Learning Paths consists out of specialised technical courses, which are in shorter duration than the core Business User Paths.

* I must note that I have not added the underlying course elements to the data of the Tableau Dashboard. This particularly affects the newer (Data) Analyst Path. It leans heavily on the course elements of Fundamental and Advanced. So keep this in mind when planning your learning goal.


I like “the new and shiny” and will start the Analyse Learning Path. Thereafter, I will complete any missing course elements to achieve Intermediate. This will be a solid base for the Data Analyst Certification exam. Will keep you posted.

A word of caution!

The Visual is not intended as a template for a Sankey diagram. The data does not lend itself to it due to the hierarchical relation of Role, Path and Course. However, it does make a nice looking intuitive visual.

If you are interested in making a Sankey flow diagram yourself I happily refer you to:

Want to know more about Tableau Educational Roles and Paths?

The Educational Roles Mapping provides a very logical framework to educate employees in the skills needed to contribute to the growth of a data-driven organization. The Role based education is well explained on their site here. Another great page for an organisation implementing a Data Driven culture is the Developing an Educational Plan page.

In short these Educational Roles are:

Enable a Data Culture: These roles establish cultural & technical standards to align every Tableau user to the analytics goals of your organization. These are Executive Sponsor, Community Leader and Data Steward.

Provide insights and develop visualization solutions: These roles use the capabilities of the Tableau platform to consume & create business solutions that range from ad-hoc visualizations to embedded analytics. These are Consumer, Author, Designer, Analyst, Data Scientist and Developer

Deploy and manage an optimized environment: These roles plan scalable deployments of Tableau Server or Tableau Online and once in production, ensure that users can access what they need when they need it. These are Server Architect, Server Administrator and Site Administrator.

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