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Interview of Tristan Guillevin : Finalist of the Iron Viz 2017



As we announced a few weeks ago, our own Tristan Guillevin was selected among 52 candidates to take part in the Iron Viz final, which takes place in Las Vegas, October 9-12.


This occasion marks the perfect opportunity to ask, who is Tristan? We sat down with him for a casual and relaxed interview, filled with good humor, that is our pleasure to share with you…


 (Tristan just agreed to take the pose for us between a ping pong game and an infinity of dashboards)



L.L: Tell us, firstly, about your career to date.


T.G: After a DUT (BTEC Higher National Diploma), I enrolled in ENSIIE (National Graduate School for Industry and Business). As a student, I was interested in computer programming. However, I had an internship for the “Région Alsace”, where I first discovered the world of Data. I was instantly hooked!


I kept working in the data field for my end of studies internship within Atos, which allowed me to hone my skills. Once this was over, I decided I needed a change of scenery, and began working for Actinvision, 2 years ago. It is a smaller company, where I felt comfortable straight away. The company is growing fast and I feel both useful and active. They have trusted me and given me opportunity to progress.


L.L:  What motivated you?


T.G: The Iron Viz challenge is THE challenge – both best known and coveted for Tableau. I wanted to know where my level was at and compare it to others. It is also a way to show what I can do and what I have learnt at Actinvision.


I went into the competition thinking: “here’s what I can do, now tell me what I can do better so I can improve”.


With this challenge, I appreciated the fact that even though the theme is imposed you are free to create whatever you want. I had great fun exploring and creating. In my day job, I have to follow color codes, client needs and expectations, etc. On the creative front, I can’t just do what I want. Iron Viz allows you to do what you want starting fresh, with a blank page.


L.L: What would you say are your key skills?


T.G: I like to follow trends and good practices in web design. I also like to offer and esthetic approach, which helps me in building my vizzes.


For this project, however, I think it is the imagination and creativity that made a difference.


I wanted to tell this wacky story, which would really stand out from the other entries. If I only focused on design, I don’t think it would have been enough to win. What really won people over was using a viz to create an entire universe and, therefore, its originality.



L.L: Tell us about your approach to building this viz.


T.G: To be honest, the day the competition began, I realized I only had 5 days to create it. I had planned holidays ages ago… not sure my girlfriend appreciated me working on Tableau by the pool (laughs). I had to distinguish myself by being original, and by offering something complete.


I took part in the qualifying round for the first EMEA Iron Viz competition, and the feedback I received helped moving forward here. I realized that it was not “just” about presenting data. You have to create the desire to see more and give viewers reason to go further by telling them a story.


I was inspired by adventure stories and well-known characters such as Lara Croft, Nathan Drake or Indiana Jones.


Then, I asked myself “what would I do if I opened my eyes and found myself in the middle of the jungle? What would I hear? What would I see?”

I based my viz on those questions.


L.L: What was your first reaction? What was the first thing you though upon hearing the news?


T.G: At first, I didn’t believe it. For me, most of the candidates were better. So, I was both really happy and also a little bit anxious.


I thought to myself: “ok I’m in… What next?” Then I realized what all this meant: Las Vegas, the final, the challenge, etc.


Now, I am a mixture of joy and nerves… but I am ready to take to that stage, show what I’ve got and win!


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