Actionable tips to launch, grow, and unlock your career in data

May 23, 2023

Make an Awesome TABLEAU Dashboard in Just 10 Minutes

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In this video we'll build a dynamic Tableau dashboard from scratch in just 10 minutes. We'll create a sales dashboard for Superstore’s European region. 

    1️⃣ We’ll create all of the charts which include a map, bar chart, line chart, and KPIs.

    2️⃣ We’ll customize the charts to fit our style.

    3️⃣ We’ll place the charts on the dashboard using layout containers, padding, formatting and more.

    4️⃣ We’ll add interactivity to the dashboard to make for a great user experience.

DOWNLOAD the free Excel file for this video and follow along here.

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Sign up here. Download the dashboard example here.

May 4, 2023

Tableau Techniques for Top Notch Spatial Analytics

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Looking to level up your data visualization skills? Enjoy this live stream from the April 2023 Analytics Tableau User Group (TUG) where I dive deep into spatial data analysis in Tableau!

In this session, I will walk you through the process of importing and visualizing spatial data in Tableau. You'll learn how to use advanced mapping techniques to create powerful and visually stunning visualizations that tell compelling stories with your data.

I cover everything from basic mapping to advanced geospatial analysis, so whether you're a seasoned pro or just getting started with Tableau, you'll walk away with a wealth of knowledge and practical tips you can apply to your own data analysis projects.

Don't miss this opportunity to learn from me and take your data visualization skills to the next level. Watch now and start unlocking the power of spatial data analysis in Tableau!

Download the workbook and data sources to follow along.


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April 11, 2023

How to Create a Jittered Bar Chart in Tableau

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Are you tired of the same old boring bar charts? Add some flair to your data visualization with a jittered bar chart! See more of your data without losing scope of the overall. 

To create one, simply add a random amount of noise to the x-axis and y-axis of your bar chart. This will add more granularity to your data, prevent overlapping and give your chart a unique look. Try it out and impress your colleagues with your data viz skills! 

Here’s a video to help you create your own.

March 22, 2023

How to Master Containers in Tableau

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If you use Tableau, you might be wondering how to organize your dashboards effectively. That's where containers come in handy. In this series of videos, I'll cover everything you need to know about using containers in Tableau.

→ I'll explain what containers are and why they're important.

→ I'll show you how to create and customize containers in Tableau, including how to adjust their size and position on the dashboard.

→ I'll demonstrate how to add worksheets to containers and how to control the layout of those worksheets within the container.

→ I'll also cover how to resize containers and how to align them with other objects on your dashboard.

Throughout these tutorials, I'll provide helpful tips and best practices for using containers effectively. I'll also answer common questions you might have about using containers in Tableau, such as how to use containers with filters.

By the end of these tutorials, you'll have a solid understanding of how to use containers in Tableau to organize and present your data effectively. Whether you're a beginner or an experienced Tableau user, this tutorial is sure to help you take your dashboards to the next level.

So, if you're ready to learn how to use containers in Tableau, watch these tutorial now!

March 16, 2023

How to Dynamically Resize Marks in Tableau

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In this video, I show you how to resize marks (in this case circles) dependent on how many marks are in the view. For example, if all possible marks are in the view (100%), the circles should be small. If only 10% of possible marks are in the view, the circles should be large.

I show how to do this on a map, but it can be extended to scatter plots, box plots, dot plots, jittered bar chart, and more.

March 1, 2023

#MakeoverMonday 2023 Week 9 - Are you drinking a safe amount of caffeine?

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My goal for week 9 was to take this original matrix table...

and turn it into an interactive chart that allows the user to know if they are drinking a safe amount of caffeine. 

Check out Watch Me Viz below. Thanks to the feedback from viewers, we came up with the idea of letting the user pick (via parameters) their drink type, the drink size, and how many they drink per day. I calculated the mg of caffeine per ml and then multiplied that by the drink size and the number of drinks per day.

I spent time showing how to effectively use containers (you can never get enough practice with containers) and then showed how to create a mobile version as well. I think you'll learn a lot by watching and following along with the final build. 

If you are looking for 1:1 or group coaching sessions, I can help! Get in touch here.

February 20, 2023

#MakeoverMonday 2023 Week 8 - The Cost Effectiveness of Protein Sources

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This week we explored the cost of 20g of protein in various foods. During Watch Me Viz, I showed how to create toggles to allow the user to filter by vegan and vegetarian foods. I did this with parameter actions; if you want to learn more, watch the video below.

In the end, though, my fancy filtering with parameter actions didn't quite work out. I hadn't account for the option when the user might want to look at all foods. So I ended up using basic filtering. I overcooked the whole process, but I bet you'll learn something anyway.

I then went through the entire dashboard design process using containers, padding, shading and more. Check that out if you're interested in learning how to use layout contains.

Here's the #WatchMeViz recording, followed by the interactive viz. Enjoy and thanks for watching!

January 31, 2023

How to Calculate Day over Day Change Excluding Weekends

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In a previous tip, I showed you how to calculate day over day change and build 3 KPI cards.

However, this does not cover the case when you need to ignore weekends. In this #Tableau tip, I show you how to calculate daily change excluding the weekends.

You can copy/paste the calculations from below the video. Enjoy and good luck!


  1. Latest Day
    {MAX([Order Date])}

  2. Weekday for Latest Day
    DATEPART('weekday',[1. Latest Day])

  3. Sales for Latest Day
    INT([Order Date]=[1. Latest Day])*[Sales]

  4. Previous Day
    IF [2. Weekday for Latest Day]=2
    THEN [1. Latest Day]-3
    ELSE [1. Latest Day]-1

  5. Sales for Previous Day
    INT([Order Date]=[4. Previous Day])*[Sales]

  6. DoD Change
    SUM([3. Sales for Latest Day])-SUM([5. Sales for Previous Day])

  7. DoD Change %
    [6. DoD Change]/SUM([5. Sales for Previous Day])

  8. Positive Change
    [7. DoD Change %]>0

January 30, 2023

#MakeoverMonday 2023 Week 5 - Where can you find a cheap slice of pizza in New York City?

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This week's data set was simple to understand, yet provided me quite the challenge to visualize. The data comes from Liam Quigley and it's a record of prices of slices of pizza he's tried in NY. Quantified self at its best!

Check out the recording below and you will learn how to:

  1. Prepare the data: calculations, joins, spatial intersections, and more
  2. Create maps: hexbin maps, map layers, spatial joins, using maps as shapes
  3. Create line charts and heat maps that are simple and effective (don't overcomplicate things)
  4. Build a dashboard using layout containers

Thanks for watching! There's an image of my viz below the video. Check out the interactive version here.

January 24, 2023

How to Select a Date Range with a Set Action

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In this tip, I going to show you how to use set actions to select a date range in a line chart and summarize the values in the selected area.

In just a few steps, I’ll show you how to:

1. Create the custom date and set
2. Use the set to create a reference band
3. Color the line within the reference band
4. Calculate the totals sales within the date range
5. Configure the set action

January 19, 2023

How to Calculate Day Over Day Change

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In this tip, I going to show you how to build 3 different KPI cards for measuring day over day change. In just a few steps, I’ll show you how to calculate:

  1. Sales for the most recent day
  2. Sales for the previous day
  3. Difference in sales between those two dates
  4. Percent difference in sales between those two dates

I'll then show you how to create these 3 different methods for displaying the KPIs so that you can create those that are most useful for your audience.


  • Data -
  • Month over Month Change -
  • Year over Year Change -

January 9, 2023

#MakeoverMonday 2023 Week 2 - The Spartacus Gay Travel Index

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I found the subject of this week's data set on the Instagram account of The Map Zone. It's a simple map of what's called the "Gay Travel Index". 

The annually updated SPARTACUS Gay Travel Index informs travellers about the situation of lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender (LGBT) in a total of 202 countries and regions. The US-Index provides information about each of the 50 federal states of the US.

The index attempts at finding a balance between measuring the rights of the local LGBT community and considering the demands of queer holidaymakers. Our aim is to monitor the safety of queer people in each country and also increase the awareness on grievances. 

When I saw that the data was a ranking over time, I thought I'd give a curvy bump chart a try. I used this blog by Kevin Flerlage. He makes it super simple to follow along. During WatchMeViz, I showed how to use one of Kevin's visualizations from an old Makeover Monday as a template. I showed how to take the data we had for this week, transform it to the write shape needed for the template, then how to swap out the data source with the new one we created.

Honestly, when I swapped out the data sources, I was convinced that I would have messed things up along the way, but alas, I didn't and I was basically done. I spent time formatting, adding in more categories, and a bit more. Check out the viz below or here and follow along with Watch Me Viz to see how to build one yourself here.

January 6, 2023

How to Create a Two Color Area Chart in Tableau

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In this week's Watch Me Viz, I showed the problem this tip helps solve. An area chart in Tableau only allows a single color. Like this…

What we want is an area chart like this with two colors. 

In 9 simple steps, I’ll show you how to build it. Follow along with the video. The 9 steps are listed at the bottom of this post.


1. Create the area chart

2. Show what happens when you add a profit to color - you only get one color

3. Duplicate the measure

4. Fix the axes

    1. Top axis starts at 0

    2. Bottom axis ends at 0

5. Choose a color for each area chart

6. Format the axes to get rid of 0

7. Add reference lines to scale the charts relative to each other

    1. WINDOW_MAX(ABS(SUM([Profit])))

8. Duplicate for the negative reference line

9. Formatting

January 3, 2023

#MakeoverMonday 2023 Week 1 - The Change in Greenhouse Gases in the Atmosphere

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2023 is here and #MakeoverMonday will be here the entire you to help you continue to learn and improve. Come on the journey with us each week. Build your portfolio. Showcase your skills. You just might get that job you've been seeking. It's happened, a lot, by participating every week.

For week 1, we were analyzing greenhouse gases in the atmosphere from 1979-2021. The original visualization is quite simple.

We have CO2 and total gases on the left axis and the variance to 1990 on the right. Overall, the chart is pretty easy to read, with the exception of knowing that the red line is always compared to the 1990 value. That definitely needs to be more clear. It's also missing a title, so without the website it is posted on, you wouldn't necessarily know what it's about.

For my viz, I started by reproducing the original, but it doesn't look as good because the data we have starts at 1979. So you miss the big upward curve. From there, I focused primarily on making good looking sparklines that show comparisons with a parameter action. I also showed how to create an "area chart" with multiple colors. I'm going to create a tip video for it; I like how it turned out.

Here's the livestream and below is the visualization for you to interact with. The viz does not render properly on Tableau Public, but hopefully you get the idea.

I hope you continue to join me throughout the year so that we can learn together.

Have a wonderful 2023!

December 22, 2022

How to Calculate Customer Churn Rate in Tableau

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In this tip, I’m show you how to calculate the 3-month and 6-month churn rate in Tableau. To calculate churn rate, all you need to do is:

1. Create 4 calculations

2. Follow the 8 simple steps to build the view

Customer churn rate is the % of customers that you’re losing in a predetermined time period. Churn rate is bad because if you don’t know how many customers are leaving, then you won’t know the impact on your revenue and you would be able to make changes to reduce churn.

December 13, 2022

#MakeoverMonday Week 50 - Which Countries Get the Most Vacation Days?

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This week's data set focused on the vacation time and paid public holidays (or lack thereof) of countries around the World.

I remember when I started working at Coca-Cola. I got 10 days of vacation time for my first 2 years. Then I got 1 additional day for each year thereafter. It was terrible, but unfortunately the norm in the US.

I started by trying to create a tile map of the World, but it was going to take too much manual renaming of the countries than it was worth. So I got the idea that I wanted to show rankings, which led me back to Workout Wednesday Week 31. The view was pretty simple to create; follow along in WatchMeViz below.

My final viz is below the video, or you can view it here.

December 8, 2022

How to Conduct Customer Retention & Cohort Analysis

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In this tip, I’m going to show you how to analyze customer retention and conduct cohort analysis in Tableau.

With cohort analysis you group your users based on a shared characteristic to better track and understand their behaviors. Cohort analysis is typically used to understand customer churn or retention.

Cohort analysis is nearly always done for an app launch.
  • First, down the view, the users are divided into cohorts based on when they first installed the app
  • Then, across the view, the users are tracked for 10 days after the launch to see who continued to use it.

Comparing these two groups allows us to see when users are churning so that we can then investigate why.

December 6, 2022

#MakeoverMonday Week 49 - How good are Americans at perceiving demographics?

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I really liked the original visualization by YouGovAmerica this week, so during Watch Me Viz, I spent the hour working to replicate it. 

Easy to replicate:
  • Barbell chart with dots on the ends and a line connecting them
  • Coloring the lines by the larger value
  • Choosing the colors
  • Formatting the view (except the labels)

Challenges/things that should be easier:
  • Labeling the dots/ends of the lines; this took several iterations on the calculations
  • Creating the color legend as headers; I had to use reference lines, turn on totals, move the totals to the top, then work on the formatting to get them close. They still aren't perfect.
  • Creating the horizontal reference lines; this required me to create a dummy axis

While there are only 3 challenges, I estimate those three challenges took 75-80% of my time. I can only imagine how much more productive I could be if formatting didn't take so long.

In the end, I'm satisfied with how close I got to recreating the original chart. I like the additional context I added by coloring the lines connecting the dots.

If you missed #WatchMeViz, check it out below. Below the video is my final visualization.

November 22, 2022

How to Create a Full Year Calendar Heatmap in Tableau

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Calendar heatmaps are a great way to visualize time-series data over an entire calendar year. Individual days are shaded on a light-to-dark gradient based on a measure that has been added to the visualization.

Creating a heatmap for a single month in Tableau is pretty straightforward. It gets a bit more complicated when you want to view an entire year at once. In this tip, I going to show you, step-by-step, how to create a full year calendar heatmap in Tableau. The workbook is below this video to download.

#MakeoverMonday Week 47 - Worldwide Railroad Infrastructure Quality Rankings

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This week was a fairly simple data set. Rankings by year by country for a single measure. One thing I found tough to get my head around was the 1-7 scale of the quality ratings. I converted the values to a 1-10 scale instead.

I had limited time for #WatchMeViz, so I quickly went through a few techniques you will find interesting:

  1. Recreating the original bar chart
  2. How to create a bump chart
  3. How to use a diverging color palette and alias country names
  4. How to create a ranked dot plot
  5. How to use parameter actions to sort the view
  6. How to use a filter action to remove the highlighting

This definitely ended up being the largest viz I have ever created (1300x3200). You can view the dashboard below the video. Click on the image to view the interactive version (or click here).

I hope you found it useful. If you did, please give the video a like and either share this post or share the video so that you can help others...pass it along. :-)