The Data School Blog

One-year-on Part II: Cost of Beer at MLB Grounds

So I finally got round to redesigning my first ever viz on Tableau Public using Makeover Monday’s dataset on Women in the House of Representatives. In this blog, I recap my reviz and move on to my second ever viz – Cost of Beer at MLB Grounds.

read more

How to Use Historic Dates in Tableau

As the data community grows and grows the kind of data the community is using and analysing grows as well. Unfortunately, Tableau currently discriminates against us history geeks, and so I’m here to tell you a trick to get around Tableau’s date limits. If you’re a...

read more

One-year-on Part I: Women in the House of Representatives

Two weeks ago marked one year since I posted my first Viz to Tableau Public. Looking back over my old work, I always think ‘this could have been more insightful’; ‘this could have used something I’ve learnt since’ or ‘what was I even thinking?!’. So, I decided to reviz my old work ‘one-year-on’.

read more

Layout Containers – how to get your Item Hierarchy under control

When building complex dashboards in Tableau, it is often not possible to drop sheets exactly where you want them.

Tableau’s Layout Containers allow you to solve these issues and build clean dashboards. Unfortunately, they are not always the most intuitive, and I am probably not the only person who has simply dragged worksheets onto a dashboard until they look ‘about right’.

In this blog, I answer what is a layout container? What is the difference between horizontal and vertical containers? And how can Layout Containers be used when dashboarding?

read more

Dynamic tooltips in Tableau: tips and tricks

In this post I discuss how to tackle frequent issues that come up when creating dynamic tooltips: how to concatenate different data types, mix aggregate and non-aggregate fields in IF statements, and use level of detail expressions. Last Friday we joined DS16 for...

read more

How to create a Seismogram on Tableau

A seismogram timeline is a great way of showing change over time and is particularly effective when there are big variations in the dataset.  With the help of a few calculations, the seismogram can be created easily and quickly in Tableau. For the example below, I am...

read more

Dashboard Week- Day 5

Fifth and final day of dashboard week consisted of using an API to get the data for Andy's favourite TV show of all time...……… Breaking Bad! Although I think we disappointed Andy slightly as only about 20% of DS16 have watched it. The documentation in the API was...

read more

Dashboard week – Day 4 – A day of Prep and Power BI

Today’s theme was everyone’s favourite – COLD CALLING! The data we had to work with today was from the FCC who have recorded every complaint about cold calling made across the US since October 2014… Looking back I do feel as though I spent at least a quarter of my...

read more

Dashboard Week Day 4: The non-Tableau day

From seeing blogs from previous cohorts, I knew we should expect a non-Tableau day for Dashboard Week. I guess a positive of today was that the data was clean, thank you coaches! Which led us to focus quite quickly on the BI tool to use. Judging from Andy’s blog we...

read more

Dashboard Week Day 4- No Tableau Day

Today's challenge was to use a visualisation software that wasn't Tableau to create a dashboard based on the complaints data from the FCC. I chose to have a go with Power BI today, which I actually found quite an enjoyable experience. After I downloaded the data from...

read more

Dashboard Week #4: Unwanted Call data (+ Power BI)

Today's challenge was different from the first three days of Dashboard Week in two ways. 1. We had to use Tableau Prep over Alteryx, 2. We were not allowed to use Tableau Desktop as our visualisation tool. The data was from the Federal Communications Commission who...

read more

DASHBOARD WEEK – DAY FOUR

So Today's challenge was the ‘No Tableau’’ day of dashboard week, we were given a relatively clean data set from open data.org on Consumer Complaints and told to choose from a list of other visualization software, so the software I chose to use for today's project was...

read more

Dashboard Week Day 3: Rural Electricity Demand in India

Today we were tasked with PDF scraping! The data we had to analyse came from Harvard Dataverse looking at rural electricity demand in India. Our task was to scrape the PDF of the original questionnaire to retrieve the question headers, and then then to join them back...

read more

Dashboard Week Day 3: The proof is in the parsing

The task for day 3 was to use data from the Harvard Dataverse about access to electricity in India. The data itself was survey responses in .csv format, but the headings were illegible so we had to download the original PDF survey and parse the question titles out...

read more

Dashboard Week #3: Indian Electricity Network

Today we were tasked to download data from Harvard Dataverse on electricity in India. The data was survey based (again). Respondents were asked about their energy source, their perceptions to energy use as well as background such as employment and where they lived....

read more

Dashboard Week- Day 3

So today's challenge involved a little(!) bit of PDF scraping combined with survey data. The data set was from Harvard DataVerse and we had one table with all the data and then a separate PDF file containing the questions of the survey. The data was an electrical...

read more

DASHBOARD WEEK – Day Three

Today's brief was a tricky one, using the Harvard data-verse, we were asked to parse out survey questions and assign them to headers in the survey results csv. Initially using prep to break out the tables I quickly realized for what I wanted I could use Alteryx and a...

read more

Dashboard Week – Day 2

Today we were challenged to web scrape the parliamentary rules database - we WERE NOT allowed to download the ready made raw data from the website, but to create our own raw dataset using Alteryx! Web-scraping is not my strong point as it can involve ALOT of Regex....

read more

Dashboard Week part 2: Web Scraping

Our challenge today was to web scrape the Parliamentary rules going all the way back to 1811 using Alteryx and then produce a visualisation based on the data. My workflow: The general gist of my workflow this week was to visit the URL for the parliamentary rules...

read more

Dashboard Week #2: Web Scraping the Rules of Parliament

Today's challenge was based on Rules of Parliament and involved getting data from ParlRulesData.org. The only problem was, we weren't allowed to download any data. Instead, all the information we needed had to be scraped from the website directly. Getting the data:The...

read more

Dashboard Week Day 2: House of Commons rules

We were told to web scrape via Alteryx data about Parliament House Rules. There was a CSV available, but naturally Andy did not let us use this. The first step was the Download tool to download the HTML into Alteryx.Obviously, the HTML code would not be ready to...

read more

Dashboard week – DAY TWO

Today we are looking data from the Parliamentary Rules Database, which contains 'the formal rules of procedure’ for parliaments over time. I began the day by web scraping the data from parlrulesdata.org. First off by getting a list of the dates used in each link...

read more

Dashboard Week- Day 2

In my blog yesterday I said that I was waiting for Andy and Carl to set us a challenge that made us scrape the data from a website- well today was the day! The task was to download all of the rules in Parliament from 1811 using the download tool in Alteryx and not to...

read more

Dashboard Week – Day 1 – Design Census Survey Data

So here we are already at Dashboard week - the last 2 and half months has flown by! Today we were tasked with looking at survey data from the 2019 Design Census. I've always hated working with survey data as I always seem to make something involving bar charts, and as...

read more

Dashboard Week: Day 1

For today’s dashboard week challenge we were tasked with downloading data from the Design census 2019 and creating a visualisation based on it. Generally, the task is divided into two steps; data prep and visualisation, so in this post I’ll describe what I did for...

read more

Dashboard Week #1: Survey Data

This week is the infamous Dashboard Week for DS16. Every day this week we will be given data at the start of the data. The challenge is to carry out any manipulation required in Alteryx, find a story and build a dashboard in Tableau which has to be published to...

read more

Dashboard Week- Day 1 Survey Data

Dashboard week is FINALLY here! After the first day I can't decide whether I am happy about that or not. Our challenge today was to download the data from Design Census 2019 using this link https://designcensus.org/, thank goodness it didn't involve any web/pdf...

read more

DASHBOARD WEEK – DAY 1

To start my morning off I spent half an hour going over the data and pulling out different ideas I thought would be interesting, finally landing on my original idea looking into the highest paying jobs in the design industry. Having a background in design, I found...

read more

Drilldown into data (with formatting and tooltip tricks)

Often on a dashboard in Tableau there is not enough space to display all the levels of detail in your dataset. Set Action drilldowns allow the user to see a lower level of granularity before investigating the underlying data. This blog outlines how to build a bar chart drilldown. I then explain how to build different variations on design including how to show the maximum data point in the underlying data; drilldown arrow headers and vertical titles for the selected header.

read more

Prep-Prep: How I Tackled Alteryx

During DS17's first week we've been plunged into the weird and wonderful world of Alteryx. Since the application process is decidedly Tableau-heavy, you can imagine our trepidation at spending an entire week learning the basics of Alteryx. Funnily enough, most of us...

read more

Tableau Server Repository- The Self-Data Maker

Week 8 of The Data School was all about building on our knowledge of Tableau Server and getting our heads around the PostgreSQL database. PostgreSQL is built into Tableau and is fundamentally a database where Tableau Server stores all the data relating to how the...

read more

How to create a density map in Tableau using Hexbins

Last week I wrote a blog post on how to create a density map using Alteryx (find it here). However, if you don’t have Alteryx to hand or you just want to improve your Tableau skills then here is an alternative way to make a density map in Tableau using hexbins. To...

read more

Downloading data from Tableau Server

Today we kicked off Server Week, and in diving into all things Tableau Server, so for my first post on the topic I’ll be talking about some of the nuances around downloading data from workbooks that have been published to Tableau Server, as well as some best practices...

read more

Chained Analytical Apps

Chained Analytical Apps are composed of multiple apps that run sequentially allowing a more intuitive user experience. They work by using the output from an initial app as the input for a secondary app and so on. In this blog, I outline a use case for Chained Analytical Apps and how to build them.

read more

Creating a simple highlight parameter action in Tableau

In my recent Makeover Monday viz (W33) I had a go at using parameter actions! Here is a very simple step by step guide which will hopefully help you to do the same! Viz link: https://tabsoft.co/2kPNIyN To create a simple parameter action, we first need to create our...

read more

Top 5 Tips to Succeeding in your First Client Project

Research company Before meeting the client on Monday morning, do a little research into the company over the weekend. Try to have a basic understanding of what the company does, where their offices are, who the key people are, and whether they have been in the news...

read more

Site Roles in Tableau Server

On Tableau Server, there are two main ways to limit content available to certain users – Site Roles and Permissions. Site Roles apply to Users rather than Projects. In this blog, I explain this difference and the different Site Roles available on Tableau Server.

read more

Who’s (Spark)line is it anyway?

In this blog post I’m going to give a brief introduction into sparklines, what they’re useful for and then a step by step guide on how to create them as well some useful tips I’ve picked up during my training on how to make them that little bit more informative. A...

read more

Reflections on Iron Viz

Last week was our first week-long project – creating individual entries for Tableau’s international Iron Viz competition. In this blog, I talk through my final submission. With my project lead coming up next week, I also reflect on the challenges of working to make dashboards over a week.

read more

Difference From Average Set Action

Set actions are a great way to add interactivity into your dashboard. I recently learnt how you could use a set action to show the difference from the average and thought this would be useful in a lot of visualisations. The example below is using Superstore (US) data....

read more

Don’t be a hater, be an iterator! (part 2)

In an earlier blog post I started to talk about some of the first steps to take when approaching an iterative design process, and in case you missed it you can find it here: https://www.thedataschool.co.uk/ryan-lowers/dont-be-a-hater-be-an-iterator-part-1/. In this...

read more

Tableau File Formats

When saving work from Tableau, just like Excel, there are a lot of file types to choose from. Up until today, I had mainly taken a guess at which option to go for so I was interested to talk through the differences on Tuesday. In this blog, I will try to outline these different file types encountered when working with Tableau to help users choose the right file format for their intended purpose.

read more

Joins, Union and Blending

On Day 1 of Week 4 of The Data School, we spent a hefty amount time trying to get to grips with the different ways you can link data that and how each of them work. Here is an overview of the four different types and how they appear in Tableau. TYPE: Join WHAT: two...

read more

Don’t be a hater, be an iterator! (part 1)

In this post what I’d like to talk about is an iterative design process and how crucial it is to the field of visualization, using one of my own pieces of work that I really struggled with. Hopefully this can shed some light on what I’ve learned so far about finding a...

read more

Dashboard Week Day 5

Final day of the week. Today's task, myself and the DS15 squadron had to download, visualize and blog about movement data from Uber. There was lots to choose from. I focused on Uber movements in London and combined it with spatial data from Uber to build a...

read more

Apply for The Data School

Our application process is always open. Get started with your application today!