Dashboard Week Day 2: Pinball Machines

by Molly Hatch

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 data-set and how to set your scope. Put yourself in the shoes of the person that might view what you create – what would you want to see?

For today’s brief about pinball machines, what would the end user want to know?

  • Where are pinball machines located?
  • What are the highest scores recorded?
  • Where are the machines most popular?

I spent my morning in Alteryx, calling different APIs and exploring the data. At this point i’m not entirely clear on how i want to visualise the data but i have some ideas. From the APIs i have used, i have data on the following:

  • The countries/regions where the pinball machines are located
  • More precise locations of machines within those regions
  • The types of locations these are
  • High scores for the regions
  • The events in each region


My task now is trying to join all the separate APIs together to create an output i can put into Tableau. I really wanted to include data about the high scores recorded at each machine however I was having trouble finding the correct IDs to join on. Therefore in the interest of time i decided not to include it.

My Final alteryx workflow:

Having brought the data into tableau, I spent my afternoon building different charts, without a particular focus. I was initially hoping that I would discover something interesting and focus my dashboard around that but at 4:00pm I was still looking…. Therefore I created an exploratory dashboard that the user could control based on different filters that they could select.

My Final Dashboard:

Day 2 taught me that if i make a plan for the day, its only helpful if i look at it! Although i had started the day fairly productively, I found that I barely referenced my plan as i got caught up trying to join things in Alteryx or making charts in Tableau. My day then sped by and i found myself rushing again at the end.

My aim therefore for Day 3 is to make a plan that i continually reference and adapt. This way I can ensure that I have time to incorporate interesting insights into my final dashboard without it being rushed!