The Data School Blog

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.

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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.

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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...

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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...

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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.

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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...

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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.

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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....

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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...

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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.

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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...

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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...

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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...

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Dashboard Week #5 – Uber Speed data

This was our last project for the dashboard week and we were tasked to look at the movement dataset from Uber. There were two metrics you could look at, time duration and speed. I chose the speed, which contained all the streets in London and the mean speed by hour...

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Dashboard Week Day 5: Uber Movement

On the final day of Dashboard Week, our task was to download, visualise, and blog about some Uber movement data. It was a straightforward process to download the data from Uber, but a little trickier to prep the geo-spatial bits. I was close to succeeding on this...

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Dashboard Week Finale: Uber in Cairo

Today, we are tasked with downloading journey data from the Uber movement site and viz it. The data travel time data is displayed as choropleth maps on the website. Once the website is displaying what you want, you can download the data, relating to each polygon....

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Dashboard Week Day 5

The task was to download and visualize Uber movement data. I decided to look at daily speeds across the whole year for london. The data set was huge so I input and cached the prep and summary for each monthly sheet before unioning them and adding a pad for a radial...

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Dashboard Day 5 – Done and Dusted

So today brings the end to dashboard week - a great feather in the cap. One thing this week has taught me is the importance of working efficiently and not overscoping. Today tested these skills to the max with us being given the go ahead to start at around 10am, with...

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Dashboardnale

Our last task for dashboard day was to use Uber data and create a visualisation. As the blog post says, our biggest constraint today is time! I have chosen to use Stockholm's travel times by hour of day in 2019 q1 and the geo boundary data. The travel times data...

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Dashboard Week #4

Today we had a special task! We had to create a viz using other software different than Tableau. My choice was Power BI, after giving a try to Flourish (and giving up after an hour). We were given Skiddle API to extract events data. I chose to extract events within 50...

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Day 4 of Dashboard Week

It was the ‘Don’t Use Tableau’ day of dashboard week. We took data from the Skiddle API about events within a certain radius. I used Power BI for my dashboard. I had been looking at these Viz types and wanted to use some sort of Map/flow chart to filter and compare...

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Dashboard Week Day 4

Today's task was to download Skiddle events data from their API and return all events that are within 50 miles of their hometown or from where they currently live, return the distance from their location to the event and return all fields available in the API. Once we...

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Dashboard Week Day 4: No-go for Tableau

For day 4 of Dashboard Week, our task was to download data from an API and build a visualisation in a tool other than Tableau. We were to pull every event within 50 miles of our hometown or our current city and return all fields available from the API. The results of...

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Dashboard Week Day 4

Today's task was to collect data about local events via an API, request a key, and use the authentication parameter in Alteryx to get the data. The API was found at github. The objectives were as follows. Return all events that are within 50 miles of my hometown or...

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Dashboard Day 4 – Cheating on Tableau

So day four is down and the challenge was to use an API call to bring in events near our hometown and create a viz using a visualisation software that wasn't Tableau. Ergh, I miss Tableau. So from my limited knowledge of the products on offer - Power BI, Looker or...

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Dashboard Week Day 3

The Data The data was pretty tidy so I just added some columns for the duration of the campaign and the number of pledges / duration. I was focusing on comparing the categories and sub catogories for quite some time when I realised that with the amount of inflation...

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Dashboard Week Day 3 – Kickstarter KPIs

Today our project was to create some KPI dashboards for the C-level and Analyst level using data on Kickstarter projects. After downloading and looking at the data the first step was to draw out ideas for the dashboards. Below are my rough sketches. I wanted to focus...

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Dashboard Week Day 3: Four KPI Dashboards

Today we were tasked with building four different KPI dashboards as preparation for working with clients on our placements. We needed to build one for a hypothetical C-suite, one for some hypothetical analysts, and a mobile version of each of those. The first...

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Dashboard Week #3 – Kickstarter

The third day of our Dashboard week and our task today was to look at Kickstarter data and generate a KPI dashboard and a more analytical one, both of them with its own mobile version. Less challenging than previous days but it was not easy due to time pressure! I did...

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Dashboard Week. Day 3

Fast dashboarding was the brief today. Great to working again with simple, clean data, but the time pressure and the need to bring relevant KPI information to the forefront has made this day challenging like day other in dashboard week so far. I ended up with four...

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Dashboard Week Day 2

Today's task was to scrape data from a pdf. The Diamond League (athletics events) was the chosen one!!! The data I chose to prep was from the Rabat 2019 meet. To parse pdf's in alteryx I used the following blog which was absolutely essential...

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Dashboard Week Day 2: Scraping PDFs with Alteryx

On day 2 of Dashboard Week, our task was to scrape data from a PDF using Alteryx and build a viz with the resulting data set. We each chose a different PDF of results tables from a meet of the IAAF Diamond League (I chose the Monaco 2019 results). According to Andy,...

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Dashboard Week – Day #2

Dashboard Week Day 2 Today's task was to choose a city event from the Diamond League Athletics website, download the PDF, clean the data in Alteryx and create a viz. Downloading data from a PDF through Alteryx requires an R tool, which we needed to install some new...

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Dashboard Week, Day 2: Diamond League.

I didn't know what Diamond League was this morning but i'm a little more familiar now. Results are available to view online from all Diamond League meets on their website, nicely packaged up in PDF format. See the below blog from Head Coach, Andy Kriebel....

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Dashboard Day 2 – Parsing PDF Problems

Day 2 down. Yesterday definitely gave me a false confidence, such a tough one today. We have never been taught how to bring PDFs into Alteryx, but that was exactly what the challenge was today! It was in truth a great experience that I know will serve me fantastically...

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Dashboard Week Day 1

First day of dashboard week. I created an iterative macro to scrape data from the Asos website to visualise in Tableau. The two most useful pieces of RegEx I used were: The non greedy expression .*? to get clumps of data between fields: for example <article.*? And...

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Dashboard Week – Day 1 – ASOS Web-Scraping

Dashboard week is here for DS15! Day 1 we were tasked with using web-scraping the ASOS website for all the clothing items, brand, cost, description and product types for the Men's and Women's new clothing. Andy posted the details our challenge on the Data School blog...

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Dashboard Week Day 1: Webscraping Asos

Day 1 of Dashboard Week was certainly a challenge! Our task was to web scrape all the new men's and women's clothing items from the Asos website in Alteryx and then use that data to build a viz in Tableau. We needed to pull out the brand, cost, description, and...

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Dashboard Week #1 – ASOS Web scraping

First day of DS15 Dashboard week and the task was to web script the ASOS website, both for Women and Men and use the information extracted to create a viz. The data preparation has been the part which has taken the longest. The first issue encountered was that the...

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Dashboard Week Day 1

Myself and the rest of DS15 included were tasked with web scraping ASOS's New-In Clothing for both men and women. Most of the day was spent in Alteryx, in particular the time was spent on inspecting the page source, regex'ing and making an iterative macro so that all...

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Dashboard Week Day #1

The task - to web scrape ASOS new in clothing for men and women. Problem #1 - Error: Download (1) Error transferring data: Failure when receiving data from the peer We had to trick ASOS to think that we were people and not scraping. In order to do so we had to go in...

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Dashboard Day 1 – Web Scraping

First day out the way and I am relieved to have it out of the way. I am actually pleasantly surprised with how I managed my time today. I completed the dashboard with around 30 minutes before the 5pm deadline, with enough time to ramble on in the blog. The task was...

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Welcome to Dashboard Week: ASOS

A hard start to dashboard week. DS15 were set to web scrape ASOS' website for data on their new items for both male and female clothing lines. (See the blog post!) https://www.thedataschool.co.uk/andy-kriebel/ds15-day1/ Today, I have learned lots about web scraping....

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Latitude and Longitude Values from Polygon in Alteryx

During an API refresher session we were looking at pulling data from the Police API using Alteryx. Usually we would pull data using various API calls to extract the data we wanted, however the Police API has an interesting feature which allows data to be pulled from a...

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My first 2 weeks at DS

Are you thinking of applying for the Data School or have applied already and are wondering what the first few days will look like? Then this one is for you.

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Why attend a Meet & Greet at The Data School?

Almost everyone who currently works at The Data School attended a meet & greet before securing a place. So what is it about our meet & greets that will give you the edge over a fellow candidate? Maybe it's the Pizza... maybe it's the free beer... or maybe it's...

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Discrete vs Continuous

During our first couple of days as DS-ers we have been covering Tableau Fundamentals. For my first actual Tableau based blog post I am keeping it super simple with continuous vs discrete dates. The data I have given as an example shows sum of sales by quarter for each...

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Create Points and Lines in Tableau

In my last blog posts, I explained how to create points, lines and calculate their distances using Alteryx. In this one, I also want to show how to create points and lines using Tableau. As for calculating the distance, tableau does not have that feature yet, but it...

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APIs – Open up to a world of data (Part 2)

So yesterday I did a blog post on APIs, and how you can carry out a URL call to bring in each crime along with there counts. This is great and gives us a basic look at how we can utilise APIs. However, let’s take it a step further. APIs often hold huge amounts of...

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