Dashboard Week, Day 4. USA Drought Statistics

by Kofi Bonsu

So yeah, this one didn’t go as well as planned.

It took a while to work out the correct api call, since not all the parameter options were laid out in the documentation.

I decided to look at the Weather Forecast Office Statistics data on drought using the drought severity statistics by area from the years 1950 to 2018.

Once I found the correct api call, I used Alteryx to download the data and Cross Tabbed the resulting data.

The parameter for the Weather Forecast Office’s was a 3 letter code, since the api documentation didn’t have the individual Forecast Office codes I had to locate them online. There wasn’t a complete list so I copied the information from Wikipedia into excel and inputted it into Alteryx.

I turned the initial workflow into a batch macro with the parameter action replacing the 3 letter code and ran the macro using the codes from the excel sheet to get all the Office data and exported it for Tableau.

I got stuck on what the data meant for more than I would’ve liked and probably should’ve explored the website better. Once I realised that the data was showing the area of a state that was a particular level of drought I went back to the api since I couldn’t do any comaprison between States since the values would not have been relative.

I changed the api call to download data about drought severity statistics by area percent and modified my workflow.

This left me with not a lot of time to produce something meaningful in Tableau and in hindsight I probably should’ve stuck with the area data and done a over time comparison between the same States.

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