The Data School Blog

My Expectations on joining the Data School

Hi everyone, I'm Ryan and just joined the Data School as part of the DS16 cohort. It's looking like it'll be quite exciting but also daunting in fairly equal measure, so I've put together a short list of some of my expectations for my time here. 1) Up to this point...

read more

Seeing Stars (*) – Asterisks in Tableau

If you've used Tableau even a little you may at some point have been met with an asterisk where your expecting a value. From what I've experienced, the most common cause of this is when using the ATTR() function. So, what is going on? First lets understand what the...

read more

Alteryx – Time Series Analysis

Alteryx uses predictive analytics to identify patterns in historical and transactional data to identify risks as well as opportunities. The predictive tools are built using R (programming language), but there is no need to learn R to execute these predictive tools as...

read more

Scatter Plot Drill Down

Following on from my recent webinar on set actions in which I was unable to finish the whole exercise to drill down two levels in a scatter plot I mentioned there would be a blog post to explain this very soon, so here it is! This also coincides nicely with my first...

read more

My (Great) Expectations

It’s day 2, and Andy has asked us to write down what we expect from our Data School experience. Peering over at the screens of my fellow DS16 members, I’m seeing lots of lists containing specific, tangible expectations, so I’ll try and mix things up a bit with some...

read more

My Expectations of The Data School

Having graduated with a degree in History and an MSC in HR Management, if you had told me 5 years ago that I would be kick starting a career in data at the age of 27, I would have thought you were joking! I was first intro’d to The Data School whilst working at GRB....

read more

APIs – Open up to a world of data (Part 1)

APIs are an essential tool in your search for exciting datasets to go forth and visualise. They allow you to pull in data from a database somewhere in the world, and even better they are often live and will update through each call. For an extensive list of APIs you...

read more

DS16: Expectations

I think the application process for The Data School has given a small introduction as to what to expect from The Data School and life as a data consultant. These are my expectations after Day 1: There will be things I won't grasp immediately but there is no shame in...

read more

Expectations of The Data School

Hi everyone! My name is Joe and I am one of the latest cohort to join the data school. What are my first impressions and what do I expect is to come? In this post I introduce myself and answer these questions.

read more

Clustering Analysis in Alteryx

'Predictive Grouping is an approach that allows users to assess and create the appropriate number of clusters (groups) for their data to be assigned based on their similarity to each other in the same cluster and dissimilar to other data assigned to other clusters.'...

read more

Tableau Desktop Certified Associate Exam: My Top Tips

So, a couple of weeks ago I passed the exam and am now a qualified associate. Along with my new shiny badge on LinkedIn, it’s a real step forward in my Data School Journey. I thought I would share some tips on how I approached the exam for anyone looking to take it....

read more

Sentiment Analysis using a Dictionary

Paul Houghton has a great blog post and webinar on creating a sentiment analysis workflow in Alteryx using either an API, Dictionary, or Custom model. Check them out for a really good guide on how to use each of them! In this blog I will take a deeper dive...

read more

Standard Alteryx Macro Example

What is a Macro and why should we use one? A macro is basically an Alteryx Workflow that is compressed down to be a single tool. They allow you to take a section of a workflow that you need to repeat. You can then use this macro in other workflows. There are 3 types...

read more

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?” ...

read more

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...

read more

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...

read more

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...

read more

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...

read more

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...

read more

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...

read more

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...

read more

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...

read more

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...

read more

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...

read more

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:...

read more

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:...

read more

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...

read more

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...

read more

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...

read more

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...

read more

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...

read more

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....

read more

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...

read more

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...

read more

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...

read more

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...

read more

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.

read more

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...

read more

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...

read more

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...

read more

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...

read more

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...

read more

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!

read more

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...

read more

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...

read more

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 -...

read more

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...

read more

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...

read more

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....

read more

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)...

read more

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...

read more

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...

read more

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...

read more

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...

read more

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...

read more

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...

read more

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...

read more

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...

read more

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...

read more

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...

read more

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...

read more

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...

read more

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...

read more

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...

read more

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!

read more

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...

read more

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...

read more

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...

read more

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!

read more

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...

read more

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...

read more

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...

read more

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.

read more

Apply for The Data School

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