This week at the Data School each of us ran a training session about the topic in which we scored the worse at the Qualified Associate Certification Exam. My topic was calculations.
To be honest, I actually really like calculations: they are really smart tools, and I see them as blocks to be combined in order to solve puzzles.
I strongly believe in what my coach Laszlo told me:
“The fastest way to learn is via the errors we commit until the solution of the puzzle!”
First things first.
Exactly one month ago, I was roaming around London to hunt a place to live in, and spending my free time learning the most I could about Tableau, through online resources and blogs.
Eventually, Laszlo proposed a LOD-related challenge to the team:
What better way to learn than accepting the challenge?
The puzzle was making a viz to show just the value of the last grade scored by each student in each module.
I downloaded the sheet, and after some days (and some pain) I came up with a solution, I shared it with my coach, and I called it a (satisfactory) day…
…until Craig’s lessons about Advanced Table Calcs came into the picture!
“LODs are actually shortcuts, you can do almost everything you want without using them!”
He asked us to build a viz using a LOD calc, and then to re-build the same viz using just Table calcs!
It was challenging and provoking, and in the end I was able to arrive up to the last step (which was just turning the ‘Stack Marks’ off…!).
Not only this exercise was excitingly useful for understanding a bit more of what Tableau does under the hood, but also it immediately awoke my spirit of adventure, and I thought:
“Well, if we can do almost everything we do with LODs without disturbing curly braces, I should also be able to solve Laszlo’s puzzle in a similar way!”
I therefore undusted the workbook, I squeezed my brain, and I finally solved it again just using Table Calcs!
I love this kind of puzzles, they gamify my learning experience, and I had so much fun in solving this one that I used it as an exercise this week during my training session !
Of course there are more than one solution to the puzzle, so don’t hesitate to let me know yours!