Achieving the Millennium Goals (and realising how much you've learned)

by Damiana Spadafora

Yesterday’s data involved the dataset that shows how each country is doing in achieving the Millennium Goals by showing a series of indicators for each Goal and the value for each country over the years. You can read more here: http://www.unmillenniumproject.org/goals/

Now, releasing all the data to the public is an amazing feat from the UN, but that got Andy inspired to say to us: “Take all those data and create a dashboard… In what is left of today” (which was an afternoon at that point in time). While on one hand it is day 4 of us creating dashboards in a couple of hours, on the other hand this time we have a really large dataset, rather than the small ones we have worked with so far. Trying to find a story took me most of the afternoon, then something happened: Tableau crashed. And no, I had not saved. It was 6.30 pm. And I had a migraine.

But I still have something to show to you today. And it’s right here:

Dashboard 1

 

Now believe it or not, it was created in half an hour, with a throbbing headache, at 8.30 pm. And while I know you’re not supposed to brag, I am amazed at how far I have come in so little time. I mean, this is Week 10 of training and I have created a perfectly functioning, reasonably pleasing on the eye, quite informative dashboard in a dark room in half an hour, I am impressed with myself. And I have also managed to learn a couple of thing on the way:

  • You can select multiple states on a map to use as filter on another graph. Just hold CTRL and select them. I didn’t know this was possible until yesterday.
  • Using the apply button on a filter. For my dashboard I have given the user the possibility to select multiple filters, which causes for an apply button, in order to give them one more moment of reflection before selecting 25 indicators from the filter list. There is a customise option in your filter menu that gives you several options, among which are:
    • Show/Hide the “All” option
    • Show/Hide the type of filter option
    • Show/Hide the “Apply” button
  • How not to waste the end of a spark line. I will not claim credit for this, because it was Andy’s idea. And here is another blog post to feast your eyes upon: http://vizwiz.blogspot.co.uk/2013/12/sparklineindicators.html. For this viz this is the formula that I have used:
    • iif(last()=0,SUM([Value]),null). It basically tells Tableau to return me only the last value and return a null instead all the other times. Don’t forget to right click on the null indicator at the bottom right of your screen and choose “Hide indicator” to make it go away, since the nulls are meant to be there.

That is all for now, but stay tuned, I am not done flooding the Data School blog with content.