The Data School Blog

Why not give Certified Pro a go?

This week I decided to try my luck with the Tableau Certified Professional Exam. Sure the Exam Prep Guide recommends a year's experience, but it's generally my philosophy that you might as well give it a go! ""What if I fall?"Oh but my darling,What if you fly?” ...

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Add a Customizable Point at the End of Your Line!

Here is a quick tutorial on adding a customizable point to the end/start of your line chart. We are aiming to produce the below chart. How to Build 1. Start by building this chart using Superstore data. The chart shows profit over time (continuous months) for the...

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Distance between two points using Alteryx

Using fundamental Spatial analysis in Alteryx is pretty easy, thanks to some of the tools, which do all the work for us 😊. This time we are going to calculate the distance between two points on the Earth, a basic measure in the Spatial world, which might come handy...

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Using Reg(ular)? Ex(pressions)?

RegEx or Regular Expressions is a sequence of characters that define a search pattern. The example I will show you uses Alteryx, a software that makes advanced analytics accessible to any data user. Why use RegEx? RegEx allows the user to extract specific parts of a...

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Ranking in Tableau Prep Builder

Unfortunately, there is no simple tool to rank values in Tableau Prep Builder but the Preppin’ Data Week 16 solution makes this all possible! I have taken data of the life spans of animals and put this into an excel and opened this in Tableau Prep to try and rank...

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Quick Tips for Presenting Data

Data analysis is important but if we are not able to communicate and present effectively, it seems like a bit of a waste? During our time at the Data School we have been taught the importance of presenting and have had the chance to practice a lot. I wanted to share...

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Joins, Unions, Blending – Combining Data Sources

Joins vs Unions When I first started the data school (way back in April) I would refer to the "coming together" of any 2 data sources as a "join". It wasn't long before I was taught how inaccurate this was and, indeed, the very first page of my data school notebook...

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Revising Alteryx Gallery Ahead of the Advanced Exam

You may remember from a previous blog that my first attempt at the Alteryx Advanced Exam was unsuccessful. One of the reasons for this was that I didn't realise there would be questions on Alteryx Gallery (and indeed, didn't even know what Alteryx Gallery was!) This...

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Communicating with Colour

A couple of weeks ago we spent some time exploring data visualization best practices - e.g., some of the basic principles of human visual perception, when to use different chart types, use of colour and highlight, etc. A good visualization can help us identify...

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Context Filters & Tableau’s Order of Operations

When covering the fundamentals of Tableau Desktop, one concept that jumped right out at me was context filters. I have spent only a little time with Tableau but would have already benefited a lot from understanding this earlier. So.... ask the community for help!!! I...

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Create a Control Chart

The control chart is a graph used to study how a process changes over time and determines if a manufacturing or business process is under control. I believe this is a beneficial tool for every company, so in this post, I will try to explain how to create one in...

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Machine Learning in Alteryx

Today we had the pleasure of being taught Machine Learning by Bene and it's honestly been one of my favourite days! It's a topic that sounds complicated, but once again Alteryx's drag and drop interface makes it simple. Machine Learning can be broken down into:...

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Dashboard Week – Last Day

For the last day of dashboard week we were looking at data from: https://www.openpowerlifting.org/data I wanted to first understand key questions that users may be asking to make my data relevant. Then look at the interations I could go through to produce a dashboard:...

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Dashboard Week – Day 5

The task for the final day of Dashboard week did not require any Data Prep and was based on the History of Powerlifting. We had to complete the task by 1pm and present our dashboards from yesterday and today to DS15. Here is my viz: For today's viz, I wanted to...

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Powerlifting – Dashboard week Day 5

On the last day of Dashboard week, DS14 and DS15 had the same task - create a dashboard about the history of powerlifting (data can be found here) using a visualisation tool of your choice. I cannot express in words how happy I was to be able to use Tableau Desktop...

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Dashboard Week – Day 5 (Power lifting)

Today was the final day for dashboard week and guess what, we were reunited with Tableau Desktop 😊 Lily and Nick found a data set on Kaggle about the history of power-lifting. The data set provided was already formatted correctly, so there was no need to use Alteryx...

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Dashboard Week: Day 5

Task https://www.thedataschool.co.uk/andy-kriebel/day-5-powerlifting/ Data Prep Luckily today we didn't have to do any data prep - most probably because we had to be finished with the dashboard and blog post before 1 PM The Viz For today's viz - I wanted to compare...

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Dashboard Week: Day 5 – POWERLIFTING

Dashboard week has sadly come to an end. For our last task, we looked at the history of powerlifting. Here‘s the full brief for the task. We had limited time today (only 3 and a half hours) but luckily no data prep was necessary. Here’s the link to my final product...

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Dashboard Week – Day 5

The final day is here. Today's data was about powerlifters, and since we only had half a day to produce our dashboard, little (no) data prep was required. Since we only had to focus on dashboarding, I quickly came up with a lot of ideas which took up my first hour....

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A Powerful End to Dashboard Week

Today we were looking at the history of powerlifting and we had free rein of which tools we wanted to use! Read more in Andy's blog. This is probably the dataset that I've found most difficult to work with, as it's not one that I'm familiar with at all! So I spent the...

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Dashboard Week – Day 4

For Day 4 of Dashboard Week we were tasked with looking at Candy Survey data between 2014-2017. Andy stated that we could only use Tableau Prep Builder to clean our data and Tableau Server's Web Authoring function to build our visualisations. Tableau Prep Tableau Prep...

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Dashboard Week – Day 4 (Candy Survey Data)

Day 4 we had to visualise survey data about candy. We were only allowed to use Tableau Prep to clean the data. I was pleased to use Tableau Prep, as I’ve mainly be using Alteryx. Below is my workflow: However, we had to create our visualisation on Web Edit. Web Edit...

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Dashboard Week: Day 4 – Candy

Cannot believe it is day 4 of our dashboard week! Today, we were working with survey data about people's favourite candies. Here‘s the full brief for the task. We had to use Tableau Prep Builder instead of Alteryx to clean up our data. It was in a relatively good...

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Dashboard Week – Day 4 – Candy!

Today was day 4 of dashboard week and the roller-coaster continues! Yesterday was a good day, so today was due to be a tough one again. The task today was looking at the US Candy Hierarchy from The Science Quarterly Review. There were some rules in place, we couldn’t use Alteryx and we had to complete the dashboard in Tableau Web Edit only.

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Dashboard Week Day:4

Task https://www.thedataschool.co.uk/andy-kriebel/day-4-candy/ Data Preparation To prepare the data we were only allowed to use Tableau Prep Builder. Given that the data was coming from a survey - I decided to focus only few fields and ended up with 4 columns instead...

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Candy Ratings – Dashboard week Day 4

Our task for the fourth day of dashboard week was to visualise survey data about candy. We got Alteryx taken away from us - only Tableau Prep was allowed to use, and we were still not allowed to use Tableau Desktop. Instead, we had to build our dashboards in Tableau...

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Dashboard Week – Day 4

Today was all about Tableau Prep Builder and Web Edit on Tableau Server. We were dealt with pretty harsh limitations for today's data set which was about candy and the sentiment around certain candies. There were 4 different excel files for 4 different years which all...

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Dashboard Week – Day 3

Task Today we had to create a visualisation based on data about our Solar System within Power BI. This task required the use of an API to access the data. Data Preparation Alteryx Workflow Retrieving the data was not as complicated as the previous two days and it was...

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Communicating With Data 101!

'Data visualisation is the graphical representation of information and data' Good data visualisation allows people to easily make sense of data and can often even help them identify patterns and trends. Two key concepts to understand that help with effective data...

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Dashboard Week – Day 3 – Solar System

Day 3 of dashboard week was up today, and I was hoping for better improvements compared to yesterday! Andy released the brief to us this morning, and it involved using an API from Solar System OpenData and then creating a visualisation in Power BI!

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Dashboard Week: Day 3 – The Solar System

Day 3 of dashboard week was stellar! We were exploring data about the Solar System. Here's the full brief for the task. Using the Solar System OpenData API, we downloaded the data via Alteryx. Since we had a nicely structured JSON file, it was easier than yesterday to...

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Dashboard Week – Day 3 (Solar System)

Today we used an API to access data about the Solar System. Extracting the data was fairly okay; below is my Alteryx workflow: However, it wouldn’t be dashboard week if it was that simple… Oh no we had to use Power BI instead of Tableau. Let’s just say I’ll never...

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Dashboard Week: Day 3

Task https://www.thedataschool.co.uk/andy-kriebel/day-3-solar-system/ Data Preparation Getting the data today was quite easy and smooth. we only had to insert an API endpoint and all the data was listed nicely on Alteryx. Luckily we didn't need to do any pagination -...

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An API and Power BI – Dashboard Week Day 3

The first part of the task today made me very happy - I love working with APIs and I like astronomy too. The second part of the task... not so much. Read more about our challenge today in Andy's blog. The Sketch: I thought it would be essential to sketch out my ideas...

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Dashboard Week – Day 3

Today was a day with many challenges. I was very excited about the data as it was about celestial bodies in the Solar System, however there was one big caveat. We were only allowed to use PowerBI. There are a lot of things that PowerBI cannot do. Along with the fact...

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Using Alerts in Tableau Server

A simple guide to creating an alert in Tableau Server. Reducing time spent checking-up on progress. For this example, I have used the DS Blog Tracker dashboard, alerting once DS15 achieve 50 blog posts. Once the dashboard is in view, find 'Alerts' in the toolbar....

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Dashboard Week – Day 2 (Battlefield Sites)

Today we had to visualise data about battlefield sites in the U.K. using data from Historic UK. It has been a long and tiring day; I’ve never used so much Regex before What have I learnt today... Multi-row formula can save you so much time, (I never used it before)...

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Battlefields in the UK – Dashboard week Day 2

On the second day of DS14's dashboard week, we were tasked with visualising data about battlefield sites in the UK. This involved a lot of regexing and not much visualising. Here is how my day went: Getting the data Our task for the day was to download data about UK...

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Points on Bar (Timelines)

When showing trends over time, we usually use line charts to display a time series of data. I will explain how to create another approach using points, using some scatter plot for times series and enclosing the points for each time period. This approach will help if...

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Dashboard Week Day 2

Today really emphasised the 'Urban Legends' that are spoken about frequently in regards to Dashboard week. We were tasked with using data from Historic UK which had information based on Battles within the UK. Here is the workflow for the data I used for my viz: My...

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Dashboard Week: Day 2 – Battles in the UK

Day 2 of dashboard week was all about historic UK battles. Here are the full details about the task. It was another day of webscraping and I ended up with the below long workflow in Alteryx: After going through all the effort of scraping the tables of battles and...

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Dashboard Week: Day 2

Task https://www.thedataschool.co.uk/andy-kriebel/day-2-battlefield-sites/ Data Preparation To get the data, we had to web scrape Historic UK website to get all the data for all battle fields in the UK. Webscraping the data was quite challenging because most of the...

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England vs Scotland – Dashboard Week Day 2

Today we were looking at battles in Britain (full task in Andy's blog here). I didn't have such a structured process today and definitely suffered for it! I forgot to sketch out my ideas until semi-late in the process and then didn't even stick to my idea anyway. The...

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Dashboard Week – Day 2

Day 2 of Dashboard week, and it's about battlefields in the UK. It certainly was a battle to get the data out of the website. Hahaha. The first steps of webscraping this website seemed fine, until you realise that the structure for each battlefield web page varies...

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Set Actions: ‘Exploding Bubble’

Last week we were introduced to set actions, which allow users to drill down into the data to another level of granularity. In our example we learnt how to do this for different categories in the view for a bar graph. I wanted to see if you could apply the same...

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Dashboard Week – Day 1 (UFO’s)

Today Andy gave us a data-set about UFO’s, we were tasked to scrape the website for all UFO sightings across all years and then produce a cool dashboard. I practised with web scrapping and Regex, which was initially challenging but still good fun… Here’s my Alteryx...

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Dashboard Week Day 1

Today was the start of Dashboard week and our task was to create a visualisation based on reported UFO sightings. We had to web-scrape the data from http://www.nuforc.org/webreports.html and I used Alteryx to do this. My Alteryx Workflow Above is my Alteryx workflow...

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Dashboard Week: Day 1 – UFO Sightings

Today is DS14's first day of the Data School's famous Dashboard Week! For our first challenge, we had to scrape UFO sightings data from The National UFO Reporting Center Database website using Alteryx and then create a viz in Tableau. Andy posted the full details for...

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Dashboard Day 1: Viewing Data from a Different Angle

Day 1 of dashboard week was out of this world! We were tasked with web-scraping data about UFO sighting around the world. This required a considerable amount of work on Alteryx to download and clean the data, followed by creating a Tableau dashboard to present the...

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UFO Sightings – Dashboard week Day 1

Today marks the first day of DS14's dashboard week which brought us a rather interesting dataset - UFO sightings across the world (courtesy of Nick and Lily). The requirements for the week:- work independently- must finish everything by 5pm- present what you created...

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Dashboard Week Day 1

Task https://www.thedataschool.co.uk/andy-kriebel/day-1-ufo-sightings/ Getting the data We had to web scrap the data from National UFO Reporting Center website for all years since 2008 until 2019. The process wasn't too complicated and we were able to get the data...

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Dashboard Week Day 1 – UFO Sightings!

The first day of our dashboard week was all about UFO sightings from the National UFO Reporting Center Online Database. The task involved Web Scraping all of the UFO sightings from the webpage and then making a dashboard of our results. Here’s how I got on!

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Alien Invasion on Dashboard Week Day One

This week is Dashboard Week for DS14, which means a blog every single day! Andy posts our task around 9am and our first one can be found here. It involved webscraping data about UFO sightings, spooky. Step 1 - Sketch: After a quick peek at what fields were included in...

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Dashboard Week – Day 1

This week is dashboard week at the Data School, which means a new dashboard every day with a different challenge every time. Today's challenge was to webscrape some data about UFO sightings, so first we take it into Alteryx to download some data and using a lot of...

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How to Create a Waterfall Chart

Back in my old job, I often saw waterfall charts being used to explain which factors were contributing to growth/decline in a particular area. I always thought these were a great visual representation of positive/negative influences, but never got around to creating...

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4 Steps to Creating a Parameter

With the recent release of the new Tableau, there has been a lot of buzz around the new parameter action features. Therefore, I thought I would take a step back and write a blog post about how to actually create a good old parameter in the first place!

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Week 1 down…

First week done! It’s been a hell of a week; my brain feels like it’s absorbed more information in 5 days then in the last five years (shameful how accurate this probably is). There have been times that I swear the clocks in these buildings are broken. We have two...

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Alteryx Advanced – A Step Up

Today I decided to give the Alteryx Advanced Exam a shot. I didn't do much specific preparation, but followed Hanna's advice that the best way to practise is to try the real thing. So how did I do...? I got 75%. So close, but so far! (The pass mark is 80%) Considering...

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MakePoint and MakeLine in Tableau

With the new release of Tableau, there have been a lot of new features to get everyone excited. Parameter Actions and Vector Maps seem to be getting a lot of the attention (and rightly so!) but Tableau have also released a feature which allows you to create points on...

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My Work Shadowing Experience

I was given the opportunity to shadow a dataschooler (Steph) who’s on her third client placement so this blog post will be going through my experience and what I did to try and get the most out of it.

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Using Parameter Actions to Dynamically Update the ‘Relative to’ section of a Table Calculation

In one of my previous post,s I wrote about Dynamically Update the ‘Relative to’ section of a Table Calculation, using a parameter.
Now with the release of Tableau 2019.2, and the introduction of Parameter actions, it is possible to dynamically select a member of a dimension as the ‘Relative to’ part of a Table Calculation.
In this blog post, I will explain how to achieve this result.

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The peaks of the Data School

It’s the very last week of training for DS13. I can’t believe it’s already been four months since we started! It was a crazy ride but fun at that, so here are my top moments of being at the Data School so far.

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Tableau QA Fears – Justified?

You may remember a blog I wrote at the end of April, all about my hopes and fears for the Tableau QA exam. Well, first things first, I passed - yay! Let's revisit some of those fears and see if they were justified. Fear #1: Running out of Time This first fear was...

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At last we have Parameter Actions!

Back in Week 15 of Makeover Monday, I accidentally used a Parameter Action. It was early on in my Tableau journey and I didn't realise that I had built my dashboard in the 2019.2 Beta. Of course, I was unable to upload this to Tableau Public and was disappointed. But...

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Tableau Quick Tip: Unfix your axes with one click

In this Tableau quick tip I am going show you how to dynamically spread your line chart. People often have a parameter that allows them to select different metric over time. Sometimes, someone hands a workbook to you where the axes are all fixed and when you start...

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Using Parameter Actions in a Scatterplot

Today DS14 was experimenting with the latest, beta version of Tableau Desktop (2019.2). In this short blog post, I will describe how to use some of the new features of this beta version to build a scatterplot that shows the relationship between profit and sales...

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Reflections on my DataDive experience

Last weekend I’ve participated in an event taking place at the data school, called DataDive.
The event was organised by DataKind, a non-profit organisation which aims to help other charities using data.
To do so they recruit volunteers which participate in a Hackathon style event, where they clean, analyse and visualise data.

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Step by step guide into creating a Macro

What is a Macro? A Macro is a group of tools that are grouped together into a single tool. In Alteryx there a 4 types of macros: Standard Macro: runs only once – used when the exact same process is repeatedBatch Macro: repeats the process for each incoming field into...

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Calculating Minimum Dates Without Using LODs

Usually, to calculate the minimum date you would use an LOD calculation to get it – the equation would be {Fixed [Dimension] : Min([Date])} and in case you want to get the minimum date for the whole dataset (to the lowest level of detail) you would use {Min ([Date])}....

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How to create a dumbbell chart on Tableau?

A dumbbell chart illustrates the change between two (or more) data points. To create a dumbbell chart on Tableau you will need to create a dual axis; one of the axes has a mark type of a line and the second axes has a mark type of a circle. Below is a step by step...

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