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October 27, 2022

Which chart type should you use?

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I get asked quite often how I know which chart to choose and when. There are lot of times now when I don't really think about it, but that because of my experience. When I started, I had no idea which chart would work best for my data.

To make it easier for you to choose the right chart type, here's a list of resources I use when I need to know which chart to use and when. 

Financial Times Visual Vocabulary

Use this guide to help you decide which data relationship is most important in your story, then look at the different types of chart within the category to form some initial ideas about what might work best.

Chart.Guide Chart Chooser

Link  |  The charts are split into different categories, based on their primary use. You can then pick a chart type within each group. I particularly like the icons that tell the primary use for the chart: analysing, communicating, monitoring, and confusing.

The Data Visualisation Catalogue

Link  |  This is similar to You can see all of the chart types alphabetically or organize them by function or as a list.

The Tableau Chart Catalog

Link  |  Collated by Kevin Flerlage, this workbook provides a list of chart types and links to them. 

The Data Viz Project

Link  |  This is by far the most extensive set of charts. Each chart includes a detailed description of the chart type and its functions. There are also options for viewing the charts by chart family, data input, function and shape.

The Visualization Universe

Link  |  I really should be using this resource more often. It's curated by some of the best data visualization experts in the world. You can sort by most popular, alphabetical, and which chart types are trending.

October 25, 2022

How to Create a 3 Level Drill Down in Tableau

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I've showed you in several videos and WatchMeViz live streams how to create a 2 level drill down. And naturally the follow up question is always, how can I go one level deeper? This tip has exactly what you're looking for. I show you how to create a 3 level drill down in Tableau.

This example shows you how to drill down from Category to Sub-Category to Segment. All you need to do for your situation is replace the dimensions I'm using with yours. This will work with any combination of 3 dimensions.

Check out the interactive version below the video.

This type is inspired by this example from Lindsey Poulter -

October 24, 2022

#MakeoverMonday Week 43 - How have Major League Baseball Pitch Types Changed?

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This week's data set was pretty simple. We had 21 baseball seasons and a column for each pitch type. Pivoting the metrics made it much easier to work with for me as I could then split the view by pitch type.

During #WatchMeViz (below), I create a trellis view, showed how to create groups, sets, set actions, sparklines, LODs, custom number formatting, creating a mobile view, and more.

Thank you for tuning in. Here's the video and below is my visualization.

October 17, 2022

#MakeoverMonday 2022 Week 42 - Food & Drug Administration Inspections in America

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Having looked at the original visualization this week (here), it was pretty clear to me that the creators desired to create a KPI style dashboard. In a way it's good that I picked up on it that way. However, it wasn't designed particularly uclarly well to communicate most efficiently.

I decided during Watch Me Viz that I would stick with their idea of a KPI dashboard, but design it in a way that I thought would be easier to understand.

As per normal, it took way too long to faff about with the formatting. I made a couple of small changes after I finished the live stream. Click on the image below the video to check it out. Leave a comment on the video on YouTube if you have any questions. (Comments aren't appearing on the blog for some reason).

Have a wonderful week!

October 14, 2022

How to Use Show/Hide Buttons in Tableau Dashboards

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Show/Hide buttons in Tableau allow you to do just that, show or hide containers, worksheets, blanks, text, legends, even the title. You can now hide ANY object on a dashboard.

One of my favorite use case is adding a show/hide buttons for a filters container. This helps you hide all of the filters at once and increase the space for your charts.

Keep in mind that it's a good idea to name every object in your dashboards in the Layout section so they are easier to identify when creating the buttons.

October 11, 2022

#MakeoverMonday 2022 Week 41 - UNDP Human Development Index

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From UNDP:

The Human Development Index (HDI) is a summary measure of average achievement in key dimensions of human development: a long and healthy life, being knowledgeable and have a decent standard of living. The HDI is the geometric mean of normalized indices for each of the three dimensions.

This week, I really liked the original visualization, so during #WatchMeViz,  I spend the time recreating the visual. I got most of the way there in an hour and finished it off in the evening. The questions on the live stream are super helpful...thank you!

A couple things I learned:

  1. Hover action interactivity is very, very slow in Tableau. I ended up changing it to a select action.
  2. Labeling is overly complicated.
  3. Tables in a tooltip can look really good. And they are very responsive.

The final visualization is below the video. Thanks for watching!

October 5, 2022

How to Create a Starburst Chart

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Starburst charts, sometimes called sunburst charts or circular timelines, are one method of displaying data over time. They may look cool, but they aren't exactly easy to understand. If you are going to use them, I'd advise you to check with your audience first to ensure they understand how to read them.

In this video, I take you through how to build a single starburst as well as a series of starburst charts as small multiples or trellis chart.

All of the calculations are in the description for the video here. You can download the workbook below. 

October 3, 2022

#MakeoverMonday 2022 Week 40 - Income Inequality Around the World

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Of course, as soon as I posted the data set this week, the UK PM decided to backtrack on the tax cuts she has promised before. In my opinion, this is a good. But it kinda made that part of the analysis irrelevant.

Still, though, I was curious to see how the UK compared to the rest of the World. During Watch Me Viz (below), I started by rebuilding the original chart, which I quite liked. I then looked at the data over time, but it was quite sparse and difficult to do any meaningful analysis of.

So I decided to stick with a single chart that looked like the original, but it includes all countries and some filtering options.

To learn how I approached the analysis and built the charts, watch the video below. My final dashboard is below the video.