Ben Davis

Ben has a background in Marine Science, and has spent the last few years researching the ecology of coastal systems in Australia.

Recognising the need for better visual communication of results and ideas in science, he began to explore news ways of working with his data – leading him to tools such as Tableau.

Inspired by the deluge of open data flowing in from various sources, Ben turned his attention from his own data to public datasets, to investigate a range of topics – including sports, global trading patterns, human geography, and crime trends. His passion for data-driven storytelling has since prompted him to swap the lab for newsroom, where he undertook an internship at the Financial Times data journalism desk.

Now he is keen to work with bigger data in a range of contexts, telling stories that are clear and engaging, with visualisations that are both beautiful and functional.

Mapping equitable sales territories in Alteryx – Part 3

In the previous blog post I walked through the evolution of ideas that led to the concept of a geo-aggregation algorithm for generating equitable sales territories. I also explained how we used Alteryx to prepare the data for this. In this blog post, I’ll talk you...

Mapping equitable sales territories in Alteryx – Part 2

In part 2 of this 4 part blog series I will walk you through the evolution of ideas that led to our final equitable sales territory algorithm. Then, I will explain how we prepared the data to execute this algorithm. Before touching Alteryx, we deconstructed the task...

Makeover Monday: Gender gaps across levels of seniority

This week’s Makeover Monday looked at disparities in representation of men vs. women across US corporations. The data was broken down by gender, levels of seniority, and also year – with data for both 2012 and 2015. Here is the original: Here are some issues I...

Making barbell plots in Tableau

Often, dot plots can be an useful way of comparing values of different measures on the same chart area. To further enhance their effectiveness, we can draw a line between the two dots. This guides the eye to size of the gap between them, and can aid perception of...

Alberto Cairo – The truthful art (review)

In a world where everyone has access to large quantities of public data and visualisation software, the democratisation of data journalism and related practices is largely a positive thing. However, alongside this we see the emergence of people misusing data and...

Jazzing up your Tooltips in Tableau using Calculated Fields

Until recently I didn’t pay much attention to my tooltips in Tableau. I almost treated them as annoying defaults that I’d have to strip back, or ignore altogether. Now I’ve realized their great potential as a beautiful complement to the data. If used well, they can be...

Drill down hierarchies in Tableau with website-style navigation

Shortly after publishing my blog post on Groups & Hierarchies, TIL colleague Ben Moss was quick to point out that many people may be averse to using them, due to the small and fiddly nature of  ‘+’ and ‘-‘ symbols that allow you to expand and collapse the dimension....

Creating groups and drillable hierarchies in Tableau

Often we want to split our dimensions into groups that will help us slice and dice the data we visualise in meaningful ways. Perhaps unsurprisingly, this is exactly what Groups are for in Tableau. Groups basically let you simplify dimension levels into higher level...

Splitting up your scatter plot in Tableau using Sets.

Here I will continue with my theme of dynamically highlighting key data in Tableau (If you missed it, my last blog post demonstrated how to dynamically highlight extreme values in dot plots). This time I will focus on scatter plots. With scatter plots you are not...

Pushing the limit: dynamically flag your outer values…

Say we are interested in the extreme or outer values of a chart. It would make sense to flag these visually somehow, to aid our interpretation of the data. For instance, we may be interested in values that exceed or fall under some fixed threshold level - like a store...