Dashboard Week Day 2: San Francisco Flight Info

by Craig Steven

Todays dashboard was more of a struggle than yesterday, Andy was definitely going easy on us for the first day. My biggest challenge of this data was just getting downloaded, unzipped and formatted ready for tableau. This was a good 60% of my day and once it was completed, I was pushed for time when completing the dashboard which annoyed me because I did things I wouldn’t usually do and it felt a bit rushed. I was happy with the end product considering the amount of time spent on it but every time I look at it I think about how I could of make it look a lot better so this is not a dashboard I am particularly fond of.

Data download and prep as mentioned above was not fun. The main issues were the number of files being downloaded as each file was an individual flight and there are thousands going in and out of this airport each month and unzipping the file took almost an hour. Once in Alteryx I didn’t go the normal route of transposing all of the data coming in, instead I filtered and picked out each column that would be relevant to me and with the wise words of Jonathan guiding me through I managed to create a batch macro that then completed the process for all of the remaining files.

This workflow would have taken over an hour to run but instead I sampled the data beforehand just so I had a quicker workflow that I can use to start building my dashboard with and then remove the filter and run the workflow in the background. This saved me a lot of time and I am very glad I decided to go this route. I reran the workflow but saved it as a different file then once completed swapped the data sources over in tableau.

Now with the data finally in Tableau I could get working. I think the main lesson learned today is that even if I am waiting for something to finish running there’s always something else I can be getting on with. While my files unzipped and Alteryx ran I had been attempting to make a plan of what to show in my dashboard so once in tableau I wasn’t completely clueless as to where to go.

Even with a plan of what to do I still felt rushed but managed to complete what I aimed to create. Out of creating the dashboard the biggest struggle for me was creating bans and making them look good that’s definitely something I need to work on for future dashboards.

Link to my finished dashboard: https://public.tableau.com/profile/craig.steven#!/vizhome/flightskpiworkbookwithcompletedataset/Dashboard1

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