Dashboard Week Day 5 - US Highway Traffic

by Alfred Chan

This is the last day of the dashboard and the trainings of our cohort (time flies!). As we have party today so I am not going to ramble (but maybe I still will) and cut to the chase.

Today we were given the US Traffic Data. And we need to try to visualise 1 month worth of car counts in the States in November 2015. Initially there are 2 sets of data we need to join on - the counting stations and the hourly count. And 1 big highlight of today is that we were supposed to watch DS29's client presentation at 1pm, which means we had around 3 hours to finish our data prep, dashboard building and blog writing.

Luckily the data prep side of things were not too hard to do. We just needed to figure out the joining keys and pivot the hourly data to make it more Tableau friendly. So my initial prep flow was something like this:

I have also pulled a table containing the state name for the state code because the original data has no state name which makes it hard to human to know which states they are looking at.

BUT, but if you look closely you can see there are more lines coming out from the steps before the output. It is because initially I could have stopped with the data cleansing work that I have done. But in the end I wanted to do something more for the dashboard and hence it led me to the steps beyond:

I have done a self join (technically) to get the latitude ang longitude for the previous station. So that I could work out the lines between the current and the previous station. So that my dashboard can look like something as below:

Tableau Public Link

I know the map below does not look nice. But I took me maybe an extra 30 mins(it is a lot considering we have just 3 hours to complete all the stuff) to do the self join above. And it linked all the line between the station and the previous successfully and in the end I would still consider it a success. Another thing about the map is that it is filtered by hour and we can do a little animation about the time of the traffic by hour for every line. So not too bad for a 3 hours work I guess?

Today this marks the end of our training, it has been a really rewarding journey. Next week we are all going to a client placement which I am excited and nervous about right now. This week might be a great great lesson and experience for us when we are out there in client's environment. Because sometimes we will have tight deadline (reasonable one maybe?). So from these short period of time we now know that we can still produce something decent from a short period of time.