Humans of Ogury: A Q&A with Data Visualization Specialist, Tristan Guillevin

Oct 16, 2019

Alexandra Matthews

Meet Tristan, Data Visualization Specialist within the Insights Projects team. Tristan comes from Eastern France and has studied in Strasbourg, where he now works. 

Read on to learn more about Tristan’s journey to and at Ogury.

Where do you sit in the global Ogury organization? 

As a Data Viz’ Engineer, I am the last link in the long and complex chain that forms our Insights capabilities. I am part of a team of 15 people spread between France and Serbia and my role is to give our Insights solutions the final look and feel that make them understandable to our clients and prospects, no matter how complex the initial data is. To do so, my main tool for everyday work is Tableau but I am also currently learning the ropes of a second tool, Javascript’s library d3.js.

Tableau is a data visualization tool, which is used to take our Insights data and turn it into more legible visual graphics that our sales team would use to ‘wow’ our clients and prospects. Tableau’s flexibility and rendering power allow us to build new visual products very quickly and to iterate until we find the best way to represent the information.

However, as for every tool, Tableau has some shortcomings. Using d3.js library allows for more creativity and it also better integrates with our existing ecosystem, but every graph has to be written in Javascript code, making it longer to create. This has led to a natural evolution for Ogury, as we now mainly use Tableau to rapidly visualize and iterate until we get a clear idea of what we want the final look and feel of a product to be, and then use d3.js to make it scalable in our products. Currently, Ogury has two main insights products, for Brands and for Publishers.

What led you to become a Data Viz Specialist? 

I have always loved the aesthetic side of a product or a website. At engineering school, I was never the one to have the most performant code, but I was the one who always made sure the way I presented my work was the most visually appealing possible. I found myself in the Data Visualization profession because there is a good balance between the technical side with stats, maths, coding, and visual rendering. It’s not a surprise that it is my work but also my hobby.

I started my professional life as a Data Analyst consultant in 2015 where I discovered Tableau. I decided to focus on data visualization and start a Tableau Public profile to showcase my work. After three years as a consultant, I was approached by Ogury to become their in-house Data Visualisation Specialist.

Tristan in action during a hackathon

What attracted you to Ogury? 

What instantly attracted me to Ogury was that in my previous role, I used to change missions very frequently and didn’t have enough time to really work on long-term projects with a team to call my own. Ogury gave me an opportunity to reverse that tide by proposing the challenging task of participating in building the next generation of Insights studies.

I was also instantly drawn to Ogury’s culture. Ogury has an inherent culture of respect and humility: Ogurians are naturally respectful of each other’s experiences and knowledge. At the same time, everyone is very open to challenging the status quo. Nobody is set in their ways and if someone comes up with an idea or suggestion that could improve our business, they will be given a real chance to develop their project, will be trusted to use the right tools and will be helped along the way if necessary. If it weren’t for our data specialists’ and engineers’ autonomous thinking, I would have nothing to work with.

About your Iron Viz world champion status, can you tell us what your experience was like winning the contest? 

Back in October 2017, I was one of the finalists of the global Tableau contest called Iron Viz, where I had to produce a data visualization using Tableau, in just 20 mins and in front of 15,000 people. I won first place, and it enabled me to write my own book, travel across Europe to give keynotes at Data Viz conferences and become a member of the jury at the 2018 iteration of Iron Viz.

Becoming an Iron Viz world champion was like a dream to me, in that once it was over I went back to my normal life in Strasbourg where nobody knew what it meant. However, this status opened many doors and gave me a chance to do things I didn’t imagine I could do back then. It also taught me humility in the sense that from the moment I won people started placing very high expectations on me, which I had to treat from a calm and realistic standpoint. 

What is your next objective at Ogury? 

My objective for 2019-2020 is to become more expert in using other powerful visualization technologies, starting with d3.js, and continue helping other people with Tableau!

Keep up with the rest of the Ogury group by following us on Instagram: @weareogury