Stuff I do with Tableau

I put together a list of some of the things I’ve done with Tableau public there. I had put the link on twitter last Friday, and I just saw the number of connections through bit.ly – never thought something posted just before the week-end could get so much attention! so thanks, twitter followers. I’m putting another link here on the blog for convenience.

I’ve been using Tableau public ever since its release (well actually a tad before). ¬†Over time I’ve been trying to use it less as a visually pleasing and convenient way to shove a lot of data in a limited space (like here), and more as a way to promote a certain angle when looking at a dataset (like here), that is, as an invitation to the viewers to reach the same conclusions than us, but by giving them access to the data so they can see for themselves.

One of my first vizzes - just a layer on top of the dataset

This one is less neutral. I would like readers to embrace the opinion in the associated article, so I use Tableau to present the data in a way that supports this opinion.

That long list is still a subset of what I’ve done with Tableau, mostly because like many people in datavis I use Tableau at two stages.

I use it to communicate a finished visualization such as these, although I may use a static image or another interactive tool.

But I also almost systematically use it in the early stages, when I receive a dataset and I need to make sense of it before I can represent it. By manipulating a dataset in Tableau and testing various basic dimension combinations one can quickly see the points of interest in the data and come up with relevant questions to ask the data, to which a visualization is the answer. So while I can’t share these “drafts” they are very very helpful.

Also over time I got better (hopefully) at controlling dashboards so they look exactly the way I want them to and not how I manage to put them together. What helps is setting the size of the dashboard as exact dimensions (ie 600 by 400), not as a range, and, unsurprisingly, to draw the dashboard on paper first. Anyway, all the dashboards which are on that page are freely downloadable if you want to see how they are done