October 21, 2019

Kelly Martin

A friend and colleague died a few weeks ago. Her name was Kelly Martin and she had a profound impact on me and the entire Tableau community.  

There is much I could write about her, but I know I will not do as good a job as Bridget Cogley, Kelly’s friend, colleague, and protégé.

I hope you will read her article, then come back for a brief coda.

My first experience with Kelly’s work.

In mid-2013 I decided to check out Tableau’s “viz of the day” and see if there was anything good.  I’ll confess that back then I could be an insufferable snob with respect to dashboard design and my previous visits to this site had left me unimpressed.

But then I saw this http://www.tableausoftware.com/public/gallery/socialworld

F&*k!  While I wasn’t paying attention a bunch of people really raised the bar on Tableau dashboard design.  Now aware that I was not quite as bad-ass as I thought, I decided to find out who built this particular dashboard and discovered Kelly Martin of VizCandy.

There is so much great work here, and so many useful blog posts. 

Some thoughts from Jeffrey Shaffer

Kelly was going to be one of the authors of The Big Book of Dashboards. My fellow author, Jeff Shaffer, writes about her here and the brief period when the three of us were working together.

I believe that whenever you see a Tableau dashboard that combines brilliant analysis with brilliant design you are seeing something with Kelly’s DNA.

Thank you, Kelly, for directly and indirectly inspiring me, and thousands of others.