Awards & Press

Viva Las Vegas: O/g Heads to the Tableau Conference

Does what happen in Vegas truly stay in Vegas? Not when you’re at the Tableau Conference! Five O/g’ers, including two who presented during a breakout session, recently made the trek to Las Vegas for this year’s Tableau Conference. This years’ conference hosted over 14k attendees and had more than 400 breakout sessions and hands-on training opportunities. Needless to say, we were in data heaven.

Did you miss the Tableau Conference, but still want to hear about what we talked about during our breakout session? If you’re in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area, you’re in luck! Join us at the Twin Cities Tableau Users Group meeting on November 9th where we’ll be giving our Tableau Conference presentation.

When we were at the conference, we only came away with enough winnings from gambling to repay our ATM fees, but we won in the learnings and “must-know” highlights department. Check out some of our favorite things from the conference below!


In each session at the conference, we are exposed to tons of examples of visualizations and dashboards. In some instances, we are seeing a new type of data visualization or a creative dashboard that gives us new ideas on how to present our clients’ data; others, we are seeing a timeseries line we have made hundreds of times over. In both instances, we glean some new ideas or sparks of creativity. There is such a wide variety of resources, tools, and ideas that can be utilized with Tableau, and at O/g, we continually challenge ourselves to look at our data in new and interesting ways.


Starting with the acquisition of a German high-performance database system in the first half of 2016, users of Tableau have been long awaiting the implementation of Hyper. Hyper promises faster extract creation and improved query performance, especially for computationally- intensive queries. At O/g, we may have summarized data outside of Tableau to improve performance for internal and external clients. We’re hoping that Hyper allows us to bring in larger data sets and allow additional drill down levels in our reporting.

Hyper is available in the 10.5 Beta version of Tableau.

Tableau Server on Linux

The O/g Data Engineering team is no stranger to benefits of Linux environments, in particular, the lower hosting costs for a Linux environment compared to an equivalent Windows machine. In addition, there are more automation opportunities that come with Linux and a third party’s tests have shown the Beta version of Tableau Server for Linux environment to be 40-60% faster when compared to a similar Windows environment.

Tableau Server for Linux is available in Beta 5.

Dashboard Design

Dashboards. The paradox of data reporting. Some executive leaders live and breathe by the dashboards provided to them while others may blow their top if you suggest presenting data in a dashboard. At the Tableau conference, we learned how finessing dashboards and acute attention to detail can drive tremendous value. We reviewed concepts and recommendations such as using grids for organizing visualizations on your dashboards, selecting the right colors and fonts, and enabling the right amount of interactivity to develop reporting with one common goal: for the largest number of people, provide the greatest degree of understanding, with the least amount of effort.

Data Visualization

Data Visualization is as much an art as it is a science. The key to good visualizations is understanding how the human brain processes information. Knowing that your brain can pull out certain “pre-attentive” attributes (position, color, size, etc.) in a matter of nano-seconds points to the power of visuals over a simple spreadsheet to tell a data story. We came back challenged to both increase the simplicity of our workbooks, while getting the end user to the data conclusion as quickly as possible.

Suffice it to say, we were geeking out the entire time.

Lillian Smith

Senior Analyst, Paid Social

About the Author

Lillian is a Senior Analyst on the Paid Social team at Ovative.

Dale Nitschke

Dale Nitschke

CEO & Founder

About the Author

Dale is the Founder and CEO of Ovative. After years of operating a large omni-channel business and leading a customer data initiative, Dale knew there was an opportunity to create a marketing firm that helped clients become more customer centric and drove better performance outcomes. A gap existed between business consultancies and advertising agencies that modern marketing approaches demand. He also believed that a strong, healthy culture could attract and develop smart, talented team members. In 2009, he formed Ovative to bring media, measurement, and consulting together under one roof to enable an enterprise approach that drives more revenue and grows clients’ customer base.

Prior to founding Ovative in 2009, Dale spent 23 years at Target Corporation where he served as President of and grew the ecommerce business from start-up stage to a $1 billion+ business and established the foundation of Target’s Guest database capabilities. Previously he served as SVP Merchandising at the Department Store Division of Dayton Hudson. Dale has advised retailers and brands globally on business, growth, marketing, and measurement transformation strategies.

Outside of Ovative, Dale is a leader on topics including business strategy, change management, and team leadership. He serves on the board of Allergy Amulet and on the Dean’s Advisory Board of the Wisconsin School of Business at UW-Madison.  He enjoys spending time with his family, up north in northern Wisconsin, playing golf, and cheering on Wisconsin sport teams.

Seth Brand

Senior Manager, Consulting

About the Author

Seth is a Senior Manager on the Consulting team at Ovative.

Amanda McCann

Senior Manager, Consulting

About the Author

Amanda is a Senior Manager on the Consulting team at Ovative, specializing in Retail Media Networks.

Jenny Reinke

Senior Analyst, Measurement Solutions

About the Author

Jenny is a Senior Analyst on the Measurement Solutions team at Ovative.

Annie Zipfel

Executive Vice President, Media

About the Author

Annie is the Executive Vice President of Media at Ovative. She oversees delivery and growth across paid and owned media (digital, traditional, and retail media) and creative services.

Annie has more than 30 years of experience in media, brand management, insights/analytics, marketing, and product. She has also developed large, high-performing teams and built new measurement capabilities. Annie led the marketing team at Andersen Windows & Doors, leading the digital, social, content, customer insights, and creative functions. Prior to that, Annie served in multiple marketing leadership roles at Starbucks, REI, Target, and General Mills, with a keen focus on brand, media, insights, analytics, and measurement.

Annie is an industry leader in brand management, customer insights, e-commerce, social media, and analytics. She enjoys hiking, traveling, cooking, fishing, and spending time with her sweet dog and two sons.

Bonnie Gross

Executive Vice President, Talent Services

About the Author

Bonnie is the Executive Vice President of Talent Services at Ovative. She is responsible for attracting and retaining top talent and creating a culture in which our team thrives personally and professionally. Under Bonnie’s leadership, Ovative has defined an industry leading leadership and development program and transformed our approach to talent recruitment with a focus on diversity, equality and inclusion. Prior to her current role, Bonnie led Ovative’s Client and Business Development team overseeing client satisfaction and new growth opportunities.

Before joining Ovative in 2014, Bonnie spent 13 years at Target Corporate as the VP of digital and Digital Marketing where she led the launch of Cartwheel, an industry-leading social shopping application. Bonnie was the VP of Marketing for Fingerhut for 15 years prior to joining Target.

Leander Cohen

Analyst, Consulting

About the Author

Leander Cohen is an Analyst on the Consulting team at Ovative.

Will Silva

Analyst, Measurement Solutions

About the Author

Will is an Analyst on the Measurement Solutions team at Ovative.

Sarah Chang

Sarah Chang

Analyst, Consulting

About the Author

Sarah Chang is an Analyst on the Consulting team at Ovative.

More Awards & Press

Digiday Finalist

Ovative Group Named Finalist for Digiday Awards’ Most Innovative Agency

Ovative was named a finalist for Digiday Awards' Most Innovative Agency. This award highlights Ovative’s innovation, dedication, and operational... Read More »


Insights Team

Ovative Named Media Agency Partner

Ovative Group Named Media Agency Partner for Minnesota Timberwolves and Lynx

The Minnesota Timberwolves and Lynx have chosen Ovative as their Media Agency Partner.... Read More »

Insights Team


Ovative Group Wins Digiday Technology Award for Best Marketing Analytics Platform and Earns Finalist Spot for Best Data Team

Ovative is a winner of Digiday’s Technology Award for Best Marketing Analytics Platform and a finalist for Best Data... Read More »

Insights Team

accent bar