After yesterday’s unfinished dashboard and after Andy’s advice to plan the work in advanced, I decided to do just that for today.

So even before downloading the data, I sketched the below plan:

  • Review the documentation for the API
  • Download the data through the API and prep if needed
  • Narrow focus on data of needed

All this shouldn’t take longer than 1 hour.

As design is the key element of this dashboard most time should be allocated for making the dashboard.

  • Look for inspiration and ideas
  • Explore the data
  • Decide on the best charts to visualize the data and show the insights

Aim to finish this by 2pm

  • Place charts on the dashboard and work on the design
  • Highlight insights

Finalize dashboard by 4pm and write the blog for within an hour.

So this was the plan..let’s see how it went.

Once opened the documentation I realized that it’s quite a lot of API’s to choose from and instead of downloading all (which is my usual instinct) I deiced to narrow down to the things I would be more interested in.

So I made a list of the API’s I was planning to download, and was trying to do the data prep as I was going along.

While downloading the data through the APIs an idea of what I would like in the dashboards started to come together in my head. My idea was to create a search tool that would allow Pinball lovers to search for events within their area and pinpoint areas where they could practice for those events, and show how long they would have to practice.

The timings weren’t really going according to plan, as getting and prepping the data took longer than an hour, but decided that since I already have an idea of what I want to achieve I can work on the data until lunchtime.

This is the flow:

After lunch as I loaded the data into Tableau I found myself struggling to create what I imagined earlier. So after a couple of tries, I decided to settle on the upcoming event calendar as seen below, instead if a list of “buttons” that I was planning to do initially.

Then added all the event details in the tool tip for each dot.

This can be filtered based on Region, Date, and Number of dates untill the next event.

Now that I had a list of events, I wanted to use this to help the user decide on an event, and based on the region in which the event is, show the locations at which pinball machines are available, and provide information for the user in the tool-tip.

With 14 minutes past the deadline, I feel that today went better than yesterday and having a plan help me focus on what I want to achieve.