The infamous ‘Dashboard Week’ is over and it lived up to expectation!
In this blog, I’ll talk a little about the experience and some of the lessons I learned, and then show each visualisation.
1. Lessons From Dashboard Week
Before coming here, I would never have thought that I could scrape data from a website/API, prepare it for visualisation, make a dashboard, and then blog about it, all in one day, and then repeat that process throughout the week. Yes, there were late nights, and I must admit that I thoroughly enjoyed the 9 and a half hours sleep I got last night, but this week has been been full of great lessons.
A) How To Use An API
Prior to dashboard week, we’d had little exposure to APIs, quickly running through how to use one with Alteryx guru Ben Moss (DS2) one time. This week was clearly the time to learn properly, as every single data set except one required us to get the data from an API. Each API has a url which we can copy into a text input in Alteryx; we can then use the download tool to ‘get’ the data, ready for parsing out what you need.
Philip Mannering’s blog (DS5) walks through a typical API workflow in Alteryx, so for more detailed information about APIs, check out his blog here.
B) The Importance Of Finding A Story In The Data Set
I love making exploratory dashboards, where you can dive deeply into the data and find lots of insight. However, being pressed for time frequently this week, I was forced to try and focus my dashboard around a specific story, instead of attempting to visualise everything. The Shoreditch air pollution viz was an example of that. It allows you to guide the viewer to the insight much more easily, as the whole dashboard serves to illustrate that one insight.
C) I Can Be A Formatting Perfectionist
I guess I already knew this one so it wasn’t a lesson per se, but it was exposed in how much more time (after work hours) I spent formatting my dashboards than was necessary for dashboard week. This is an area where I’d like to find the right balance!
2. The Vizzes!
Day 1 – Andy’s Eating Recommendations In Rome
Day 2 – N/A (Had A Shadow Day On Tuesday)
Day 3 – Dangerous Episodes Of Rick And Morty To Be In
Day 4 – Global Energy Trends (Favourite Dashboard Of The Week)
Day 5 – Air Pollution Trends In Shoreditch