The Data School Blog

Will this break Alteryx? Well no, but yes

The Multi-field formula tool has an expression window that uses a particular form of syntax to refer to fields. If you wanted to multiply Field 1 by Field 2 in the following table to create a new field, you could use this tool and set it up as in F.1. The starting...

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What is that? Colours in the calculated field window

This is part of a mini-series on the easy-to-miss visual cues scattered throughout Tableau. To find out what you've been missing, click here. Tableau, a software dedicated to making data visually intuitive, includes a ton of visual cues to make its interface intuitive...

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How to Make a Span Chart in Tableau

Rule number one in Data School is that if Andy teaches you a new trick, you have to blog about it straight away. As a stickler to the rules, here's my blog about this surprisingly simple chart type. If you want to follow along, I'm using the 2019 MakeoverMonday W49...

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Passing the Tableau QA Exam (second time’s the charm!)

Last week I’m thrilled to say that I passed my Tableau QA exam. For me however the road to passing the QA exam was a real challenge. The first time I took the exam I missed out my just 1% which was bitterly disappointing! In this blog I have tried to come up with some really good tips for others who struggle with severe exam stress…

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How to manually create a user filter

In some situations it may be necessary to restrict the view for different audiences, to do this tableau server can be used to create a user filter. One thing to note is that the method shown below offers row level security, applying security at a row level will not...

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Tableau Server 101

Tableau server, a product from Tableau, is an online platform that provides employees within an organisation a safe space to collaborate and interact with Tableau content and different data types in a very efficient way. It allows users to easily create, share and...

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A Short Guide to Live Connections on Server

Background image credit: Wallpapersafari Many a night, after a day full of dad jokes, scary soap-based stories and challenging data prep challenges I have been haunted by Coach Carl-induced nightmares. Yesterday morning, after having been devoured by a...

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Making Custom Views in Tableau Server

Today I'm going to share with you a very simple trick I learnt in Tableau Server. Many of you may not have noticed this little button here.... If you frequently visit a dashboard which contains elements of interactivity then you likely have a preferred setup - such as...

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How to build a candlestick chart in Tableau

It is believed that candlestick charts originated in Japan in the 18th century as a form of visual analysis for rice traders. The chart shows the market’s open, high, low, and close prices for each time period (usually for a trading day). Using different colours, the...

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Reflections on The Data School

So today is our penultimate day at The Data School and we’ve been asked to reflect on our time in training. In this blog I look back at my first blog, ‘Expectations of The Data School’, and write about what I didn’t expect.

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Comparing Week Sales to Previous Week Sales

Photo by Adam Tinworth, Unsplash The Scenario: Recently, a client asked the Data School to give them a dashboard with a sales overview comparing sales of the most recent week, compared to sales in the exact same week, the previous year. This caused me some...

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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.

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How to Use Historic Dates in Tableau

Update: This has been fixed in 2019.4! 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...

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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’.

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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?

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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....

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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...

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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...

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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....

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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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