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August 29, 2013

Tableau Trend Line Art

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I was creating a 12x12 scatter plot and limited the data set to two points (so it would draw faster).  I then added trend lines to each row/column and out popped this beauty.  Psychedelic dude!

I was able to reproduce in with Superstore Sales too.  Download the workbook here.

Trend Line Art

Slides from the Facebook talk @ #TCCEU13 - Creating a culture of data…and making everyone an analyst in the process

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August 27, 2013

Visualizing the countries that request the most information from Facebook


Today, Facebook released a report of the requests for data by governments around the world.  The report is a simple table, but I think a visualization tells the story much better.  Basically, the United States makes way, way more requests than any other country.  In fact 53% of the total requests came from the United States.  I guess we shouldn’t be surprised given the PRISM surveillance program.

Download the data here and this workbook here.

August 23, 2013

When left-aligned labels go right and right-aligned labels go left...a logarithmic love story


While working on a project in datacamp this week, I was using a log scale on a bar chart because it was the most effective way to communicate.  (NOTE: See this article from Naomi Robbins for more info about appropriate use of log scales.)  I ran into an interesting phenomenon in Tableau, which I believe is a bug, but I kind of like.

Let’s start with a simple bar chart with three different label alignment options.

Some quick notes:

  1. The length of the bars in all of these examples is represented by the field “Value”
  2. The label is represented by the field “% of Value”. 
  3. These charts all use the default scale.

These charts look as I expect.  Auto, left and right align are placing the labels in the expected location.

However, look what happens when I change the scale to logarithmic.

What happened?

  1. Auto alignment has suddenly become left align.
  2. Left alignment is now right aligned, but inside the end of the bar.
  3. Right alignment is now left aligned.

When I filter down to just the top 10, the behavior changes again.

Final thoughts:

  1. I definitely think this is a bug, and I’ve reported this because Tableau is providing an inconsistent and unexpected user experience.
  2. I really like the look of the bar label inside the end of the bar.  I would like more flexibility with label alignment to be able to get this look intentionally.
  3. If you want to hear about lots of the cool stuff we’re doing with Tableau at Facebook, come here our talk at TCC13 at 11am on Wednesday – “Interworks: Data Discovery at Facebook: Why Culture & Flexibility Matter for Modern Analytics”.

If you want to play with it yourself, you can download the workbook here.

August 7, 2013

Where did they come from? How did they do? Visualizing results from the Summer Breeze Half/10K/5K


This past Saturday, 1,589 runners/walkers participated in the Summer Breeze Half/10K/5K, put on by Brazen Racing.  At the end of the race and on their website, when you want to find your time, you look it up on a table like this:

This is great when you simply want to find yourself and see where you placed, but it doesn’t give you any insight into the entire race.  Being the data nerd/runner that I am, I wanted to know more.  Who are the runners?  What do we know about them?  Where are they from?  How do different demographics perform?  Did certain areas in California produce faster average times?

To answer these questions, I downloaded the data and created this race results visualization.  Go ahead…click around, look for patterns, get a feel for the race.