Data Viz Done Right

June 28, 2022

How to Use the Highlighter to Set a Default Color Palette

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Let's say you have a view with lots of marks and you want highlight a specific mark and assign a color palette so that mark is always highlighted whenever that dimension is used, irrespective of the chart.

To do this you can Highlight one or more discrete fields from the color palette and assign those marks to be highlighted. This does not impact the level of detail in the view.

Here's how you do it:

June 24, 2022

My Sabbatical with Maggie

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Having been with The Information Lab for more than 5 years, I had the opportunity to take a month-long sabbatical. I went to Siam Park with my son Henry in Tenerife, a week long trip to Eckington in the UK, plus every possible moment spent with Maggie.

Of course, I tracked everything I did with my beloved companion. And we did A LOT. 

We covered 254 kilometers (158 miles) in 60 hours over the course of 38 days. 

While I do have the routes for every activity, I thought that was too personal, so I stuck with a simple KPI dashboard. It tells me lots of stories I'll never forget...from gun dog training to long hikes across the English countryside to cuddles on the couch. I love her so much!

June 22, 2022

How to Sort a Multi-Column Bar Chart with a Parameter Action

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Let's say you have a chart with 1 dimension and 3 measures. You want to make sorting the bar chart by any of the measures as easy as possible. In this tip, I show you how to use parameter actions to sort the bar charts based on the measure you select.

June 20, 2022

#WatchMeViz - Workout Wednesday 2022 Week 1

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Below is the livestream and link to the workbook I created as I took on Workout Wednesday 2022 week 1 - FAA Wildlife Strikes. Enjoy!

June 14, 2022

How to Create a Two-Panel Column Chart

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I this tip, I show you how to create a column chart that has one data series on the primary axis on one row and another data series on the secondary axis on a second row. Even though this is called a two-panel column chart (by Jon Peltier) there are two measure in the rows and one or more dimensions in the columns.

This might be my shortest tip ever, but I bet you'll find it useful.

June 7, 2022

How to Compare to a Selected Value with a Parameter Action

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In this tip, I show you how to use a parameter action to compare values within a chart. This example uses a bar chart; it works with other chart types as well.

May 31, 2022

Proportional Brushing with a Set Action

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Proportional brushing allows you to view an item you choose from one chart as a proportion of another chart. For example, you can view the sales for Corporate (from the Segment dimension) as a proportion of the sales of each Region.

May 25, 2022

#WOW2022 Week 20 - Monthly Sales vs. Target

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Today I ran a live #WatchMeViz session to show how I completed Workout Wednesday 2022 week 20. I messed up a bit, even though I had done the challenge before, but that's part of the learning process! I hope you find the session useful. If you have any questions, please leave a comment on YouTube.



May 11, 2022

How to Color BANs by Positive or Negative Change

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In this tip, I show you two methods for coloring BANs based on whether there is a positive or negative change. The first method colors the entire BAN, whereas the second method only colors the value of the change itself.

April 21, 2022

#B2VB - 2022/W4 - Design Some KPIs

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April 19, 2022

How to Calculate YTD vs. Prior YTD Based on a Selected Date

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In this tip, I show you how to calculate year over year change based on a date selected with a parameter. The use case is to calculate YTD sales depending on the date selected and compare it to the prior YTD sales for the same period.

April 12, 2022

How to Show Data for Only Completed Periods

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In this tip, I show you how to filter your data to only completed weeks. This method can be extended to completed months, quarters or years. All you have to do is swap out the word 'week' in the filter calculation.

April 5, 2022

How to Always Sort a Dimension to the Bottom of a Chart

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In this tip, I show you how to use a calculated field to always sort a specific dimension to the bottom of a chart. You can also always have a dimension at the top, you simply change the sort from Descending to Ascending. This also works with column charts that sort left-to-right.

March 31, 2022

#B2VB 2022/W3 - Olympic Medal Tracker

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If you're not participating in the Back to Viz Basics community project yet, you should be. It's all about creating effective, simple charts, which is exactly what you need to be able to do before you build anything fancy. This will definitely help you master data visualization best practices.

For week 3, the objective was to build a text table of Olympic medal counts. Sounds simple, but unfortunately, building good looking tables isn't one of Tableau's strengths. 

I also started the #WatchMeViz livestreams again. You can find all of them on this playlist. Thank you to those that attended live and asked good questions and left thoughtful comments. Below is the livestream as well as my final viz.

Until next week...

March 29, 2022

How to Create an Alternative to a Merimekko Chart

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A Merimekko Chart, also known as a variable width bar chart, is useful for comparing both high-level data and low-level data in the same chart. However, since we have size variables for both the width of the bars AND the height of the bars, comparing different segments of the chart is more challenging than it needs to be. Read more about the problems with Merimekko charts here.

In this example, I show you how to make an alternative to a traditional Merimekko Chart. I show you how to compare both category sales and regions sales within each category at the same time.

This can be easily replicated by simply swapping out the dimensions and updating one LOD calculation. Alternatively, you could use two parameters to allow the user to pick both the high-level and low-level dimensions and a third parameter for the measure to compare.

March 22, 2022

Two Methods for Labeling the Top N Values in a Chart

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In this tip I show you how to use the INDEX and RANK functions to label the top N values in a chart. I also explain the difference in how they work, and how the RANK function is simpler to configure.

March 11, 2022

How to Include Multiple Dimensions on the Color Shelf

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In this tip, I show you how to include more than one field on the color shelp. 

A few notes:
  1. You can have more than two dimensions on the color shelf. Simply repeat the steps for adding a second color.
  2. This only works for dimensions, as I show in the video.
  3. You do not have to use Sets for this to work; I used that in my example for simplicity.

March 1, 2022

How to Create a Dual Axis Chart with One Dimension and One Measure

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This tip comes from a comment from a viewer. They wanted to know how they could build a dual-axis chart based on a single dimension (e.g., Order Date) and a single measure (e.g., Sales). In this tip I show you how to compare the monthly sales for the current year (as a line) to the prior year (as a bar).

February 22, 2022

How to Displays Multiple Measures on Multiple Rows

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In this tip, I show you how to create a chart with multiple rows, one row has three measures and the other row has two measures. AND all of the measures are on a single worksheet.

February 15, 2022

How to Create a Barbell Chart

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In this tip, I show you two methods for creating a barbell chart. The first method uses two measures and the second method uses one measure split up by a dimension.