Chris Chalmers

Seattle, Washington, United States

Calculations, Visual Analytics, Getting Started, Support

Senior Software Engineer, Tableau

I have been on the data train for four years, and the more data I get the more I want.

At home I use Tableau to track my finances, analyze time spent on the computer, and improve my karting lap times. At work I use Tableau to evaluate the efficiency of software development processes.

Another thing I do at work: I build Tableau! If I do my job right, you shouldn't notice. I work on workbook compatibility - making sure all of your workbooks keep working when you upgrade your Desktop or Server.


When I joined Tableau I had no idea what to use our products for. As far as I knew, there was no data in my life. Four years later the rate at which I collect data from my personal life exceeds the cost I am willing to incur for storing all of it. I have to ration my data!

Here are some of my favorite data projects:

- I gather data from my local go-karting track so that I always know which kart is the fastest. Shh, don't tell the people I race with.

- Banks trying to show you graphs of your spending? Skip them and ask the questions you want to. I use Tableau to track all of my spending, my income, and my budget.

- How productive am I on the computer? Using Tableau and an application I wrote that records what I'm doing on the computer, I can explore that question. Working with time durations in Tableau is a rewarding challenge!

- The racing game "Project Cars 2" produces 22,320 pieces of telemetry per second during a race! After a race I analyze the resulting gigabyte of data in Tableau to see how I can improve my virtual lap times. Really, playing the game is just an excuse to visualize more data.

I work on workbook compatibility at Tableau. If you've ever seen the "This workbook was written by a newer version of Tableau" message, that's us. Hopefully you're seeing that message less frequently as we work on some very cool compatibility features. I love that my work helps people collaborate across different versions of Tableau Desktop and Server.

I am passionate about bridging divides between people and welcome any opportunity to use data to advance that pursuit. Of particular interest at the moment is getting people with starkly different political, economic, and/or social viewpoints to talk to one another in an effort to find common ground and reduce hostility.