The Final Countdown (Dashboard Week Day 5)

by Katharine Peace

Today our challenge issued by Andy via his blog was as follows:

Metrocosm is a great resource for interesting data sets. For their final day of Dashboard Week, DS12 will need to visualize one month of hourly traffic counts at stations across the U.S.

There are two files they will need to join: (1) traffic stations, (2) hourly traffic counts. They can get the data here.

They’d be wise to read more about this project and the insights found on the Metrocosm page dedicated to this particular project. The visualization they created literally looks like heart arteries when you zoom in.


  1. Download both data sets.
  2. If data prep is required, they need to use Tableau Prep.
  3. They are more than welcome to supplement it with additional data.
  4. They can use any data visualization tool of their choice.
  5. Before 1pm, they must have their data prep complete, dashboards uploaded to Tableau Public, and blog posts written (because we have DS13 presentations starting at 1pm).

It’s been a great week! The team has really take on the challenges and realized they can do quite brilliant work in a very short amount of time. This is great preparation for life as a consultant.

This was a hard one for me as I am not very experienced with Tableau Prep. The data was quite confusing as well as there were quite a few things controlling the granularity and we didn’t have much time to get familiar with the data or to prepare the data today. I like to explore the data, create my workflow for the data, explore the resulting data a bit and then iterate the workflow as I start to get a feel for what I can do with the data. I decided (at about 11.30 am) to look at which states maybe have the most drivers crawling in the wrong lane (something that winds me up in the UK). To do this I decided to bring in another data set and join to the State code in order to get state name information. In the process of this Tableau Prep become unresponsive and I tried to save the workflow and then close Tableau Prep. Reopening prep, I discovered the workflow hadn’t saved and, as it was running at the time I shut prep and I was overwriting the extract at the time I closed it so I had lost the datasource.
After a last minute scramble to rebuild, and get my extract and then develop my dashboard, here is my end result:


Katharine Peace

Thu 28 Feb 2019

Wed 27 Feb 2019

Tue 26 Feb 2019

Mon 25 Feb 2019

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