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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. :-)

November 17, 2022

How to Create a 3 Level Scatterplot Drilldown

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If you want to drilldown multiple levels in a scatterplot, this tip is for you. In this tip, I show you have to create a 3 level drilldown with a scatterplot.

Naturally after I showed how to create a 3 level bar chart drilldown, someone immediately asked how to do it with a scatterplot. Unlike the bar chart drilldown, the scatterplot will only show you marks for the current level. 

For example:

  1. When I’m at the highest level, I see only regions.
  2. When I drill down one level, I only see States within the Region selected
  3. When I drill down one more level, I only see postal codes that are within the region and state I selected.

This example shows you how to drill down from Region to State to Postal Code. To use this for yourself:

  1. Download the workbook
  2. Copy all of the calculations into your workbook
  3. Swap out the dimensions

Note that you will need to recreate the sets and set actions. This will work with any combination of 3 dimensions.

November 14, 2022

#MakeoverMonday Week 46 - The Cost of Cocaine & Heroin

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Quite the interesting topic this week. I get an email from The Economist regularly and there was an article about the wholesale price of cocaine. That led me down a rabbit whole and I found the data, but also for heroin and also for retail prices.

On Watch Me Viz, I stuck with simple lines charts that compared the price for a country to the overall price for all of the countries in the data set. I allow the user to choose a drug and a country.

I then wanted to show how to Dynamic Zone Visibility feature works (if you haven't seen it, be sure to watch it back). In the end, a simple dashboard that compares the measures in two ways, allows for some filtering, looks good, and that's it.

Check out the dashboard below the video.

November 10, 2022

How to Add Hundreds of Custom Color Palettes

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Tableau comes with some great color palettes that have been designed to work well together. And you can add your own custom color palettes by making a couple of simple changes to the preferences.tps file that comes with Tableau Desktop. For example, you may have a color palette that matches your company’s brand.

In this video I show you how to add 3 different types of color palettes to Tableau:

  1. Categorical
  2. Sequential
  3. Diverging

You can add as many color palettes as you’d like. While you can have as many colors as you want in each palette, the Color shelf only displays 20. Here's a link to my color palettes.

Once you’ve updated the preferences file, restart Tableau and they’ll all be there for you. Below the video is the code you need to create each of the color palette types. Make sure when you copy in the double quotes that they are straight double quotes and not angled.

Categorical Palette

color-palette name="Palette Name" type="regular">

Sequential Palette

color-palette name="Palette Name" type="ordered-sequential">

Diverging Palette

color-palette name="Palette Name" type="ordered-diverging">

November 8, 2022

#MakeoverMonday Week 45 - Who Americans Spend Their Time With

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I found this week's data set super interesting, but also super sad in some ways, like people are more and more alone as they age. Or people spending less time with their partners when they are much older, clearly showing when people typically pass away.

I found the original visualization quite good, so during #WatchMeViz, I spend the hour replicating it. You can see during the video how much time formatting takes, and how I got annoyed about a new bug with colors. In the end, I go pretty close to the original, but some of the highlighting, and particularly the speed of the interactions couldn't be replicated in Tableau; Tableau simply isn't as responsive.

My viz is below the video or check it out here.

November 4, 2022

Tableau Charts: Comparison to Budget & Prior Year

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Are you looking for ways to improve how you visualize comparisons between 2 to 3 performance measurements in Tableau? 

In many performance monitoring dashboards, you need to make comparison of actual values to budget or target. In this video, I will show you effective ways of making these comparisons. 

I will also show you how to compare your performance to prior year (PY) to see if performance is improving year over year. 

One thing you'll notice in these examples is the consistent use of color. Make sure your metrics use the same colour throughout your dashboards, reports and worksheets. The colors should be easy to differentiate. 

I have 4 designs that you can apply to make any comparison look better and easier to understand. 

Download the workbook for a bonus 5th chart type that compares these three metrics over time.

November 1, 2022

#MakeoverMonday Week 44 - Fundraising vs. Spending by Members of the 117th Congress

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The midterm elections in the US are next week. If you're able to vote, please do. Democracy is at stake. 

This week's data was about fundraising, spending and debt by people currently in Congress. If you missed #WatchMeViz, I showed 16 different ways to visualize this data set. Hopefully they give you a bit of inspiration for creating your own.

Catch up with the show below. In the end, I went with a bar chart that compares funds raised vs. spent by State. I also have a gantt bar to show the difference between the two. I have a tutorial of that chart here.

Below this video is an image of the dashboard I created. Click on it to see the interactive version on Tableau Public.