The Data School Blog

Thoughts going into Dashboard Week

The purpose of this post is to highlight aspects of my experience at the Data School before going into Dashboard Week to be as mentally prepared as possible. I've written this to frame my expectations for the week and also to reflect on my time at the Data School so...

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Tableau Show/Hide Button

Tableau Show/Hide Button

This week we are working on survey data for a client project. We have a fairly long list of filters to include in the viz for the demographic information that has been collected in the survey. A show/hide button enables us to provide a much cleaner view on the final...

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How to create a simple 4-colour quadrant in Tableau

How to create a simple 4-colour quadrant in Tableau

The example in this blog is based on data provided by The World Bank and is also available on makeovermonday.co.uk/data under 2020 -> Week 11. Step 1. Build a scatter plot and add reference lines to both axes. Step 2. Create a calculated field to colour the circles...

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A tip for Tableau, presenting and blog posts

In this post I’ll be going over three simple tips which can be put into use very quickly! Tableau tip - navigating between sheets To navigate between Sheets in a Tableau workbook I used to click and navigate through the workbook. When there are many sheets it can take...

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Breaking Your Design Habits

Breaking Your Design Habits

The more charts I find myself making, the more I find myself falling into habitual design choices, which in many cases is a good thing. It's tried and tested, but to continue growing I think we must make conscious efforts to improve our design. In this blog I'm going...

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Tableau Tutorial – Waterfall charts

Today I will be going through how to design a waterfall chart in tableau. I’ve been told that the waterfall chart is often something that clients are looking for out in the real world, so for my own sake and hopefully to help you learn I’m going to go through how best...

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Alteryx Macros vs Python Loops

Alteryx Macros vs Python Loops

Macros come in three main flavours: Standard, Batch and Iterative. These have some parallels in Python, with which I am more familiar. I hope by highlighting the similarities and differences I may be able to help those in a similar position (and myself).

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Tableau Set Actions Refresher

Tableau Set Actions Refresher

Basically, it is a bar chart that drills down when you click on it. We’ve used it a lot in our last client project, it worked quite well for everyone. Let’s go straight to the topic. Put Category and Subcategory on rows, Step1: Create a Set from Category Step2: Create...

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Troubleshooting a Batch Macro | Alteryx Tip

Troubleshooting a Batch Macro | Alteryx Tip

Have you built your batch macro and for some reason you get only a single record at the output? Have you then spent hours trying to figure out what's wrong and you still have no idea what's going on? Well dear reader, you would be more than glad to know that you are...

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Quick, Easy Tips to Speed up Your Alteryx Workflow

Quick, Easy Tips to Speed up Your Alteryx Workflow

In our penultimate week of training at the Data School, DS18 and I had a great session with Dan Farmer regarding how to test Alteryx workflow, check their performance and how to troubleshoot both our workflows and macros. The section on speeding up workflows and...

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How to Parse Time Fields with AM/PM format in Alteryx

How to Parse Time Fields with AM/PM format in Alteryx

What I absolutely love in Alteryx is the flexibility it allows its users to approach any problem. Subject to your Alteryx or coding experience, your thinking process or sometimes due to shear luck, you might come up with the most simple and robust solutions. However,...

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Copy Data in Tableau | Tiny Tip

Copy Data in Tableau | Tiny Tip

Let’s say we have some chart in Tableau and we want to quickly copy this data and use it elsewhere. There are a couple ways that you can do this and I will briefly show you them.

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Scaffolding Data in Alteryx

Scaffolding Data in Alteryx

For the purpose of a visualization, you may need data that ‘is missing’ from your dataset. Or if you were looking into the activity of a support desk, it may be useful to understand how many tickets are open on certain days. However your data may only specify the date...

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Gantt Charts, Date Formatting & Date Scaffolding.

Gantt Charts, Date Formatting & Date Scaffolding.

Gantt charts are similar to bar charts, but they have a specified starting point and a dimension to define the length of the bar. They are mainly used for time analysis, project management and timetabling. For the client project last I was tasked with analyzing shift...

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Find Bordering Countries in Alteryx

Find Bordering Countries in Alteryx

Last week during a Dashboard week challenge about life expectancy around the world, I wanted to compare each country to its neighbours. As the data didn't include which countries bordered each other, I had to find out using Alteryx. Although I wrote a bit about this...

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Next Week as Project Manager

Next Week as Project Manager

Each data school cohort typically is involved in 8 client projects while training. These are a week long and occupy roughly half of our work hours that week, with each project having a project manager (PM) from the group. We take it in turns so that each of us are the PM at least once. Next week is my week and I wanted to express some of my thoughts going into this process to reflect on at the end of the week.

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Annual Calendar in Tableau – 2. Filling in the Gaps

Annual Calendar in Tableau – 2. Filling in the Gaps

There are two ways to fill in the gaps on the calendar. One, we can add the missing dates in the dataset, but there is something else we can do without touching the data. Step 1: Start a new worksheet for a ‘Background Calendar’, create a calculated field using the...

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Dashboard Week Day 5 – Can Money Buy a Longer Life?

Dashboard Week Day 5 – Can Money Buy a Longer Life?

Fiiiiinaaaly, the last day of Dashboard week. It's more like a morning of dashboard week, because we need to finish by 12pm. So our task seems more simple today, as we are allowed to work together on the dataprep, and work individually on finding insight in the data...

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Dashboard Week Day 5 – It’s Finally Over!

Dashboard Week Day 5 – It’s Finally Over!

So dashboard week has come to an end, and i approximate these 5 days have aged me around 20 years. Today's data set was from Gapminder and contained data on, birth rates, life expectancy, C02 emissions, child mortality and income. Overall, the data was very...

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Dashboard Week Day 5 : The end of a fantastic week

Dashboard Week Day 5 : The end of a fantastic week

Last day into our Dashboard week and I cannot be happier. Today we were tasked to analyse data from Gapminder, a platform making people aware of global facts. We had to pick from the below five indicators : Babies per WomanCO2 emissionsChild mortalityIncomeLife...

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TGI Dashboard Friday

TGI Dashboard Friday

Today's dashboard has come with the biggest time pressure this week. We've had to create a dashboard in just three hours. On the up side, the data was clean and pretty simple. It gives socio-economic measures about different countries over time, such as life...

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Dashboard Week Day 5

Dashboard Week Day 5

..3 hours to create a dashboard and write a blog post,.... Today we are tasked with creating a dashboard, finding insights on the following: Babies per WomanCO2 emissionsChild mortalityIncomeLife Expectancy We started as a team to join the data together and then...

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Dashboard Week Day 4 : Childhood Obesity in the UK

Dashboard Week Day 4 : Childhood Obesity in the UK

Rumour has it that there has been lots of complaining from DS18 about the first three days of our Dashboard Week. The reason? Those three days were more about data preparation in Alteryx than dashboarding. This is indeed very very true but, who cares?? Alteryx is...

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Day 4 of Dashboard Week: An End in Sight

Day 4 of Dashboard Week: An End in Sight

For the first time this week, we've been able to get straight into Tableau with hardly any prep in Alteryx. This was pretty encouraging because if nothing else we'd have dashboards by 5pm. The data today was on child obesity in the UK, but because the data was...

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Dashboard Week Day 4 – The Finish Line is Near

Dashboard Week Day 4 – The Finish Line is Near

Day four provided us with a chance to practice our dash-boarding skills, which was a welcome reprieve from the data-prep-heavy week we have had so far. We were provided with data from Guys and St Thomas Charity that concerned childhood obesity - for those who have...

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Dashboard Week Day 4: Childhood Obesity in the UK

Dashboard Week Day 4: Childhood Obesity in the UK

On day 4, we were tasked with creating a viz as part of the Viz for Social Good community project. We had to create a dashboard that explained the nature and causes of childhood obesity in UK, focusing on Lambeth and Southwalk. Thankfully the data was very clean and...

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Dashboard Week Day 3 – UNESCO heritage sites

Dashboard Week Day 3 – UNESCO heritage sites

Today's challenge is about UNESCO heritage sites - web scarped from Wikipedia and visualized in Power BI. The words..."web-scraping" and "Power BI" hit me quite hard as I am not comfortable working with either of them. So without leaving myself much time to dwell on...

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Dashboard Week Day 3  – Web Scraping and Power BI

Dashboard Week Day 3 – Web Scraping and Power BI

Day 3 of dashboard week required us to web scrape data from Wikipedia to collect a list of UNESCO heritage sites and their associated countries. We were then required to visualise this data in Power BI. Easy right? Of all the days of dashboard week, web scraping was...

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Dashboard Week Day 3: UNESCO Heritage Sites

Dashboard Week Day 3: UNESCO Heritage Sites

I definitely spoke too soon when I said it couldn't get any harder than day 1... Today we were tasked with web scraping a list of UNESCO world heritage sites from Wikipedia and creating a viz in Power BI. The Wikipedia page that we were web scraping had a table...

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Third Day of Dashboard Week

Third Day of Dashboard Week

I think that Dashboard week has finally broken me. This morning we were given the task to web scrape information about UNESCO world heritage sites from Wikipedia. We had to scrape a general overview table as well as tables for each individual country. At the beginning...

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Dashboard Week Day 2 – Become a Pinball Champion!

Dashboard Week Day 2 – Become a Pinball Champion!

After yesterday's unfinished dashboard and after Andy's advice to plan the work in advanced, I decided to do just that for today. So even before downloading the data, I sketched the below plan: Review the documentation for the APIDownload the data through the API and...

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Dashboard week Day 2 : A Pinball Map of the U.S.

Dashboard week Day 2 : A Pinball Map of the U.S.

Second day in our dashboard week and we were tasked to download data from Pinball Map's API. We had to make a visualisation about the locations and location types of pinball machines, events, high scores, users’ favorite locations, etc. I have achieved to address only...

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DWD2: PinballMap users

DWD2: PinballMap users

Dashboard week day 2 (DWD2)Data/ topic: https://pinballmap.com/ Time needed: 8 hours. Here's the captains log for this voyage into the world of pinball. Who, What, Where, When, Why Taking a look at the data before pursuing any specific topic or task.The API has lots...

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Dashboard week day 2  – dropping the (pin)ball

Dashboard week day 2 – dropping the (pin)ball

So as that awful title maybe gave away, day 2 of dashboard week hit me pretty hard. Today was looking at pinball data which we needed to download from Pinball Maps API. It all started fairly well, with my API requests going through and managing to download the data...

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Dashboard Week Day 2: Pinball Machines

Dashboard Week Day 2: Pinball Machines

The main take away from Day 1 was that I need to plan my time better so I started the day with a plan. The focus today is visual design and analysis - creating something that is engaging to our audience. Andy gave us some good advice for how to approach a large...

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Day two of dashboard week

Day two of dashboard week

Despite today's challenge being to create a dashboard visualising data from a pinball machine API, I felt myself doing a lot less bouncing around today than yesterday. Though the documentation for the API lacked examples and extensive notes, connecting to it and...

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Second Day of Dashboard Week

Second Day of Dashboard Week

After a really tough first day of dashboard board week, we were rewarded with something a little kinder, pinball data. This time we actually had measures in the data. The trick was that we had to get the data from an API but luckily the documentation was clear and...

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First day of Dashboard Week

First day of Dashboard Week

To start off our week of building dashboards, we were given a big data challenge and by big data I mean 9gb of data. The first task was downloading it, which took 30 minutes in itself. While downloading the data, I took a look at the documentation. The data was from...

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Dashboard Week Day 1 – EPA Registries in Hawaii

Dashboard Week Day 1 – EPA Registries in Hawaii

Today's data-set was about facilities or sites subject to environmental regulation in the US. After receiving the link to the EPA website, we quickly released that the file would take over half an hour to download. So I decided to focus on one area only. Not knowing...

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Dashboard Week: Day 1

Dashboard Week: Day 1

On the first day of Dashboard week, DS18 looked at EPA Environmental Regulations. After reading some of the documentation, I started downloading the main data-set which included data for the whole of the US. However as the file was so large, the download was taking a...

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DWD1: it ain’t great

So here we go. The infamous dashboard week and for the first day I am dueling with data from the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) in the US. Let's see who lives to see another day.1. There's a lot of data. 1.2gb zipped file for all states. Over 12gb once extracted....

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Tableau Server: Sites vs Projects (The Basics)

I like to think of Tableau Server as a library, and like all good libraries, there are ways to store and sort the sweet, sweet knowledge within them. Sites and Projects do just this. Projects tend to be the everyday workhorse; Sites, on the other hand, operate on a...

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How to clean up your workbooks

How to clean up your workbooks

If you've ever made a dashboard with lots of sheets you will know that things tend to get a bit messy and cluttered. If you can't work with a cluttered workbook or have to hand over the workbook to a client who needs to be able to readily use it then you might need to...

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Creating A Unit Chart in Tableau

Creating A Unit Chart in Tableau

What are unit charts? Unit charts are a type of chart used to communicate quantities of things by making the number of symbols on the chart proportional to the quantity of things being represented. In my example I will be using a unit chart to show the breakdown of...

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Menu-item shortcuts | Quick tip

Menu-item shortcuts | Quick tip

Holding alt in many software packages triggers functionality that allows you to select menu items with your keyboard. In other words, alt can allow you to navigate the menus with your keyboard and this can be useful to increase the efficiency of your work.

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The Data School Blog Style

The Data School Blog Style

Let's test the CSS of the Data School blog This blog is here to demonstrate the styling used on the Data School blog so that those who write on it can best make use of the features available. It is also useful to demonstrate the styling itself and isolate any issues...

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An Introduction to Parameters

On day 9 at the Data School we were introduced to parameters in Tableau and their different uses. It was a bit of a face-palm moment for me as I realised how much I’d over-complicated them in my application vizzes! A parameter is a function which allows a level of...

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Text to Column – – – Just Smart Enough

Text to Column – – – Just Smart Enough

One thing Carl spotted from my first Friday’s presentation was that the ‘Text to Column’ tool can be used to split the text entry in one column into multiples based on multiple delimiters. For example, we want to split: into: The ‘Text to Column’ tool actually allows...

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Titles & KPI BANS | Blogs about one dashboard

Titles & KPI BANS | Blogs about one dashboard

The title is an important part of any dashboard. It can have stylistic, contextual and descriptive importance for what you are presenting, which may make it worth your time working on. Here’s a look into my thoughts on the topic and my influences on the demonstration dashboard.

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