As I was scrolling through the twitter this lazy Sunday morning, I saw this tweet with this image and I thought that I would really like to visualize it.
And then I thought, "I don't tend to have a lot of time to viz. Since today is a special Sunday, I should see if I could get some practice in." If we need to eat five servings of a day, then I should see if I can get 5 servings of viz in today.
So that's what I'm attempting to do. Because there wasn't too much data, I entered it in to a google sheets, connected to Tableau Public and viz vam voom! I didn't really care too much about the driver's actual preference, but which milk was preferred more than the others. And I did something wild and crazy and made a tree map. There are a lot of cool things I could think to do with this data (marry it up to the state or country of each driver), driver's team (do Gibbs Racing drivers like whole milk? #HTTR). But in the end, I'm looking for production, not perfection. This was a really great learning experience for me though, because I needed to add a descriptive label that was a mix of text and data items. Luckily for me, a quick google search led me to the tableau community forums where I found my answer. So here's my first viz of my #5vizadaychallenge
I received a question about the a workaround for selecting all in a filter. In this tip, I show how to guide your users to select specific data items, because sometimes that's what your data demands. Because your data is the boss.
That little question about a workaround for All led me to a better discovery. One where I think angels sang. At least they did in my head. It's the apply button. When you customize and show all, you now become the #vizboss. That's right. Your view updates when you say so, not after every selection. Yay for timesavers! You go you #vizboss.
Hi friends! For my friends who love alliteration, here are two tiny tips to titillate on a Tuesday :) For everyone else, here are two tiny tips.
Change Defaults for Similar Items
When I found that we could change default properties for multiple items at once, it was like efficiency angel sang!
Search and Ye Shall Find...Your Data Item Easier
Typically, I just connect to my data and go to worksheet 1. However, the other day, I needed to spend a little time in the data source window, so this week, I have two Tiny Tableau Tips that are all about the data. I'm also a fan of tips where I can...
Thanks Ron Popeil! I love your saying and rotisserie chicken. So now onto the tip.
Data Source Sort Fields
There ya have it! Two tiny Tableau tips from the data source window and more to explore!
I love the whole idea for exploring and sharing tiny tips in Tableau. Who knew a Think Data Thursday could have such an impact! Haven't seen it yet? Get on that! Not only do I feature my favorite tips, but also ones from the community. It's a bunch of awesomeness (at least for me). So I had this bright idea to do Tiny Tableau Tips on Tuesdays. The alliteration for this sends me to into super happy excited land. So each Tuesday, I'll explore and share a video (via Twitter first) on a tiny Tableau tip. We can even have a Tiny Tableau Tip Twitter Party at 5am eastern (for a few minutes at least). I hope you enjoy this series as much as I do.
This week's video is on the drop down carrot. I hope you enjoy!
I'm reflecting from my time in Austin and what a weird, wild ride it has been!
I really like how they’ve (gone back) to two separate keynotes for vision and operational changes. I like getting a sneak peek at the roadmap. Of particular interest in the vision section was Maestro. As y’all know, one of my platform issues is data prep to the people. It should be easy enough that someone like me—an LCD— can perform data prep to convey information accurately. This makes me super happy. I want there to be a Tableau Public version of it but pricing hasn’t been determined yet (as we were told in our exclusive on the Tableau Wannabe Podcast with Andrew Beers, which will be uploaded shortly). I also think Hyper tackles problems that people with big data complain about—performance. All in all, exciting stuff on the vision front.
My key takeaway
My initial thought is that he’s better on the radio. I was distracted by the (not so fantastic) visualizations in his presentation and old clips that he used. Admittedly, I did not follow directions and kept my phone out while discussing the irony of the data vizzes he used at a dataviz conference. However, that’s not to say that I didn’t learn something from his talk.
My key takeway:
Tableau Devs on Stage
Arguably, one of my most favorite sessions is Devs on Stage. I love seeing the Devs come out and show off what they’ve created. This year, I noticed that the women represented!!! I was happy to see Steph Dietzel on stage, whom met when I did the Tableau 10 VTUG. Since my first Tableau conference in 2011 to now, I’ve transitioned to a geeky fan girl. What was the sign? I welled up at some of the features—specifically distribute evenly, spacing, padding, and pdf connector. Things that will make my vizzing life so much easier. And it’s greater access to data! Data to the people!
My key takeaway:
Bill Nye the Science Guy
The final keynote of the conference was awesome! I might even say it was super awesome! First, I love Bill Nye the Science Guy. I grew up watching him. I love his passion for teaching science. Before I was a dataviz geek, I was a science geek. Exposure to shows like Bill Nye facilitated that. Fun fact, I was pre-med before I was a business major. The STEM is strong in this one. Anyway, Bill Nye was awesome. He addressed the election, which was polarizing in my opinion, but I think most people in the audience were not #teamrepublican. What I love is that Mr. Nye tied everything back to us. Another fun fact: I love interrelationships; it aids in comprehension. He tied election to the likely appointees that will oversee agencies like the EPA, who don’t believe in climate change. He tied that to clean water and why we need it globally and how it impacts women’s and girls’ empowerment.
My Key Takeaways:
There were so many sessions I wanted to attend this year. It’s almost not fair. I tried to get into a couple but the room was full before the start time and got turned away. There were a few that I particularly loved.
The ReViz Project with Matt Chambers, Nelson Davis, and Alex Duke
I think I wrote last year that Nelson is an amazing storyteller. That holds true. Matt’s discussion was fantastic. It was raw. He painted a picture that I think we can all relate to at one time or another. And Alex. So many words. First of all, I’m a big fan of Alex Duke. She stepped out of her comfort zone and communicated why she wanted to get involved. Alex has a track record of doing good with data and that came through. She elicited an emotional response. Even though I had to leave that session early, I felt a Braveheart kind of moment, where I was like: Yes! Let’s do this! Let’s viz all the causes! Let’s change the world. Alex presented her six elements of storytelling.
My key takeaways
Databases: The Primer You Wish You Had with Isaac Kunin
In my quest to have #datatothepeople, I wanted to get a primer on databases. I need to go back through and review the recording from start to finish. I liked how the information was conveyed. Isaac discussed the relational databases, joins, and even the fundamental concepts like schema. I want to watch this one again as I got to the session a little late.
My key takeaways:
But it's actually written:
Forecasting with Tableau with Josh Weybourne and Kass Kettner
Here’s the deal. I’ve tried forecasting but it didn’t work for me and I had no idea why. WTF Tableau? I have a number, what’s your deal? Josh and Kett made their forecasting talk interesting with their riffs on each other. I’m adding them to my 'speakers I like' list. When it got to the parts about R, I was a little confused, but that’s on me, not them. Right now, I just want to understanding forecasting in Tableau. I don’t need to be fancy yet.
My biggest takeaway:
The three takeaways Josh and Kett want you to know.
As I mentioned, there were sessions that I just couldn’t get to. The following are ones that I plan to watch recordings of later. If you attended these sessions, let me know if it’s worth a watch by filling out this form.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the Data+Women Meetup. I have so many thoughts, that I'm writing this one in bullet form because it’s just easier for me.
As one half of the Tableau Wannabe Podcast, I'm fortunate to spend my time learning about new products and people in the Tableau ecosystem. Podcasting was so great this year thanks to the support of Tableau employees who ran point for us. We were able to interview managers, executives, media specialist, and learn about a new company. It required a lot of scheduling (always the hardest part), but was so worth it! Thanks for all the listeners who stopped by and reached out to us during conference. It's so great to know that y'all find value in our conversations. Check out iTunes or Soundcloud!
It all started Sunday with meeting some twitter friends in real life! This community has grown so much that it was like rapid-fire discussions. It was great to see so many people come out and support women in data. A huge thank you to Emily Chen who spearheaded this meet up and Eva Murray of Exasol who sponsored drinks at the event. Check out Emily’s blog, Eva’s blog, and Exasol.
The week was full of community connections. I actually hung out with a new crew, which I shall call the UN Crew, comprised of friends from the UK, Germany, and Australia. I got to see old friends and meet new ones like Sarah Barlett, Nick Bignell, Sian Morgan, Lorna Eden, and Nai Louza.
One of my most favorite moments of the conference was when Matt and I announced the winners of the 2016 Vizzies. Thank you so much for everyone who came out and showed the Vizzies love! Check out the slide show (photos by Andy Kriebel).
I know I sound like a big softy, but I really love being a part of this community. I love supporting the community with initiatives like data+women, The Fringe Festival, GovTUG, and the Tableau Wannabe Podcast. I’m fortunate to have found members of my dataviz tribe. Conference is a time for me to nerd out, learn, and have fun with my dataviz friends. In the words of Andrew Beers, it’s super fantastic! I also want to end this post with a clip from the great Will Wheaton. I think it sums up my feelings on the Tableau Community quite well.
Friends! It's been a minute since I wrote a thought piece on data viz and I had so many thoughts in my head that I had to get them down on paper.
Today's topic is about vizzing in public. Sounds like a lewd act you might be arrested for. As an aside, I think we have more safety monitors than viz police. I'll come back to this in a bit.
I've been talking Tableau with folks the last couple of weeks at the AARP TUG (oh hai, Brittne) and on Think Data Thursday (high five to my TDT partner in crime Ravi Mistry)! In both talks, I advocated for projects like Makeover Monday (MM), which I obviously dig. Ahem... Em, do you even MM?
Why yes, I do! I don't participate every week like others and I’m okay with that. The biggest reason why I love MM is because it’s a data set playground, waiting for me to have fun. I viz when I have time or when the topics interest me.
Because I don't use Tableau in my work life (except as an end user), I use MM to keep current with Tableau’s features. Other people use it for different things, like learning new approaches or skills, or to be creative. I’ve had #barchartburnout from work and I was oh so happy to have an outlet to do something more. And I hope that people respect that I can support MM without being all in with it (heck, I'm lucky if I can get an hour on Sundays to sit at the laptop).
I believe we need to respect how we individually use Makeover Monday and the vizzes we post to our Tableau Public profiles or Twitter (or name your forum). I think a really good example of this is this recent viz from Rody Zakovich. He visualized a recent MM data set on the U.S. Presidential election. He had a dream about how he wanted it to look and set out to make it so.
How awesome is that?!?! Now, when I saw this viz, I found it hard to read. It is visually stunning and looks like something I'd see onlIne from a news organization, not some random dude’s tweets.
This viz generated a lot of discussion on Twitter (yay)! I added to the conversation that there is a challenge with looking at vizzes in a tweet or on someone’s Tableau Public profile because you might not have the context around the viz, their ideas, and their thought process. How are we to know they're for fun or for creativity or a way to demonstrate best practices or created to learn a new skill?
I've seen some MM vizzes that are beautiful and informative and best practices. I’ve seen some that are cool and fun and some that are just… well, exploding pie charts.
That's where I apply some critical thinking skills. When I look at vizzes like Rody’s or an exploding pie chart, I don't think it's an example of what I should do. I take it at face value; Rody wanted to see if he could make his viz dreams come true. Maybe exploding pie chart person wanted to have a little fun too.
When we post our work in public, we need to be prepared for folks to ask questions and make comments. I am concerned that, to some extent, a new person to data viz/Tableau sees all of these vizzes from MM (arguably the biggest Tableau/Public community project) and think these are examples of what they should do. Further, I think there's a bit of danger when Zen Masters publish these fun, creative pieces. As a Tableau Community we hold these folks in high regard. At the end of the day, they are not the end all, be all and they have their own objectives as well.
Just because a Zen Master publishes a viz or makes a statement, that does not make it a viz law. I remember a time on the Tableau Wannabe Podcast when Andy Kriebel talked about left justifying titles. After that episode, I saw several tweets about how people needed to go back and fix their titles. That was Andy’s preference, not viz law. But when he (& other zens) speak, people listen.
Let’s go back to critical thinking and education. I know good data viz practices, and when I look at a viz like Rody’s, I'm not looking at that as good/best/better data viz practice (which he acknowledged as well). Do I respect what he did? Absolutely. Others asked questions about how to read the viz. I think that's a valid question. That's what's great (even though a bit uncomfortable) about vizzing in public…you get questions, people engage, understand thought processes, and learn!
Are people trying to be viz police? Generally I don't think so, but as with anything there's always folks out there who think they are. I believe more than anything, they're safety monitors, who in this age of data, are trying to do their part to engage so other people can learn and then apply critical thinking skills.
I suppose my point to this post is that we should respect what people do, educate ourselves (ask questions/engage in discussion), and apply critical thinking skills.
That's my perspective. Certainly I'm not the Viz Police Commissioner, and I hope you'll think about this commentary and consider how you engage, viz, and think about vizzing in public. If you’re going to #data16, you can attend MM Live and experience it for yourself. Click here for the details!
For this week's study notes, I'm going to document my work in parameters. When I was developing the mentoring match tool, I had the exact design laid out. Then I needed to make this sketch a reality. My first thought was using a filter to identify the mentor or mentee and to identify the skill area (in the viz, it's called the focus area). The oh so wise Matt Francis suggested parameters through a not so subtle hint of messaging me one of his post on parameters.
I know what I want to do, but I just don't know how to do it. I think my favorite calculation says a lot about me. It is... blank ' '. Whenever I need to use calculations, my brain turns to mush. Ugh. I get that parameters can be useful and I know that I need a calculation to make them work. But where do I begin?
How I Overcame the Challenge
But first...I was thinking that I could use a filter. But that didn't work. Why? #becausedata. I have two columns that represent two questions...
1. Do you want to be a mentor?
2.Do you want to be mentored?
I also have two questions relating the focus/skill areas for each of the mentor and mentee sections.
I have to tell you, it took a couple of explanations for it to sink in as to why I couldn't use a filter and why a parameter made sense. I rang up Matt Francis and had him explain it to me so I could ask questions. This was super helpful. This was a key concept I realized...
So, now that we'e moved past the part where filters aren't a viable option, I created a parameter.
Awesome! I created this part of a parameter, look at me go! The next step was to do a calculation, oh...look at me stop. What kind of calculation do I need anyway? My brain is saying, if someone selected mentor, then mentor (and likewise for mentee). Is that right? Nope. Instead, we just created a calculated field that was just the parameter. Why the heck do I even need that? It seems like such as waste. If I create a parameter and show that control, isn't that doing the same thing?
Oh bless your heart, as my grandmother would say (and my peeps in the south can appreciate what that means). No dear, that's not the same. And here's another tweetable moment.
So, I asked Matt, why have the calculated field be the parameter (as opposed to the data items)? Because this is an easier way to get our selection. Theoretically, I could have done a calculated field with the data items, but that would have been a lot messier. No thank you! I'll take the easy road in this case.
So we've got the parameter all set up for the mentor/mentee. One other note: I pivoted my mentor/mentee data into one. Now, I know I said if it had been one column, I could have filtered. But here's the challenge I ran into...I couldn't pivot the focus area columns. Tableau wanted to add the data to the pivot I already created and that's not gonna work for me.
Okay, so now that we've got the mentoring parameter situation under control, we need to go it all over again for the focus area. Cool! I build a sweet little parameter.
Now it's time for the calculation. Uhhh....errr...I do the same thing as before? (Hopefully you read that with some inflection upwards at the end). No, this time, we need two calculations! What the what? Why can't it be the one like in the mentor/mentee paramter?
Bless my heart...
So here's why we need two calculations (or we could have done one nested calculation, but let's not get too crazy here).
1. We need to know if we're searching through the mentor or the mentee list.
2. We need to know what focus area we need to search for.
That translates to this calculation:
The first is called Search Focus Area.
IF [Mentee/Mentor Switch]= "Mentor" THEN [Identify the focus area (for mentoring others)]
ELSEIF [Mentee/Mentor Switch] = "Mentee" THEN [Identify the focus area (to receive mentoring)]
We also needed a calculation to control the parameter, which in this case uses a contains statement.
CONTAINS([Search Focus Area Switch Result],[Search Focus Area])
Why contains? You're never gonna believe it.
Google Forms brought over all of those data items I had as checkboxes as data separated by commas. So the contains lets us search for server in a string that might contain server, design, and color.
So the calculation in narrative form would be something like this...
When someone selects server, look through mentoring rows for server if they are looking for a mentor (and vice versa for a mentee).
We threw up the calculated fields on the filter shelf, showed the parameter controls, and what do you know, two working parameter controls.
And that my friends, is a discussion on parameters from a non-programmer. I feel a bit better/more confident about using parameters. So now I'll look to reinforce this work with another viz soon. Comment below and let me know if this was helpful!
In my recent Mentor Match viz, I wanted to add email functionality when you clicked on someone's name. There were two reasons for this.
How did I accomplish this?
I thought a url action in Tableau was the way to go. But what was the url? That's when I turned to my trusty friend, Google. I found these instructions in Tableau's knowledge base.
So that's what I did.
When you select a person in the viz, this is what it looks like.
I encountered some issues. Whomp whomp. When I was on my laptop, it didn't work for me. But I had Matt Francis test it and it worked for him. So I figured it was me. And then I got a couple of tweets about it not working.
My first thought was, what did I do wrong?
My second thought was, but I had someone test it. So why is this happening??
My second thought was more productive. I didn't do anything wrong. Going into problem solving mode, me & a couple of Twitter folks figured out that there's an issue with the email functionality on Windows machines, but not on Apple (the screenshot above is from my iPhone). I built this in v10 beta, so I'm going to report it in case it's related to v10.
So I think there are a few takeaways from this.
from Tableau 201
First, holy cow! What an awesome resource Ryan has put together!!
I have been wanting to focus on building my technical skills for awhile now. I go in fits and starts but I know that I need to be consistent so I can can capitalize on my learnings. My challenge: limited time given my work, my mom status, & my fitness which is just as, if not more, important to me. So, I'm developing a plan with the help of a few friends to help me stay on track.
To balance my life, I'm planning to spend three-five hours per week on data viz. it's not a lot compared to what others might spend, but I think it's realistic for me (and that's what's important).
Review trainings available such as
Each week, I'll recap my notes in a basic blogpost which will range from good reminders I want to remember to new concepts I've learned.
While this is my personal study notebook, I hope others might also find it useful!
Now, time to hit the books!
From Tableau 201
First, holy cow! What an awesome resource Ryan has put together!!
I have been wanting to focus on building my technical skills for awhile now. I go in fits and starts but I know that I need to be consistent so I can can capitalize on my learnings. My challenge is the limited time I have given my work status, mom status, & my fitness which is just as, if not more, important to me. So, I'm developing a plan with the help of a few friends to help me stay on track.
To balance my life, I'm planning to spend three-five hours per week on data viz. it's not a lot compared to what others might spend, but I think it's realistic for me (and that's important).
Review training available such as
Each week, I'll recap my notes in a basic blogpost which will range from good reminders I want to remember to new concepts I've learned.
While this is my personal study notebook, I hope others might also find it useful!
Now, time to hit the books!
It's that magical time of year when Tableau opens up Zen Master nominations. What are the criteria? Check out the image below which I snapped from Tableau.
I'm encouraging everyone to nominate folks. The deciders may not know how awesome someone is unless they see the nomination. I've got three tips that I wanted to share when nominating someone. This is my advice/opinion only (not Tableau's).
1. Use the questions as considerations
Is there some other relevant consideration that you think should be included? I say, add it. I *think* it helps the deciders have sufficient, relevant information. Only think the person meets three of four questions, but rocks the F out of those three? Make the case.
2. Show demonstrated performance
Use data (whaaaaaatt!!). Provide evidence that the person you are nominating has demonstrated their zen-ness. Blog all the time? Tell them. Present all the time? Provide links. I think you get the idea.
This one is actually just a pet peeve of mine. Make sure your message is not distracted by poor spelling and grammar.
Now, my biggest piece of advice!
One reason why I hosts events like The Vizzies or the Tableau Fringe Festival is that we have a kickass community and I want to highlight the people in it. Zens have a platform others don't (Zens on Tour, the Zen track at conference). All of the really awesome folks can't be Zen Masters. And that's okay. Being a Zen Master doesn't mean you are the best person. Some Zen Masters demonstrate better leadership qualities than others. It doesn't define how nice you are, whether you are smart, a good family member, or a fantastic data storyteller. So for all the people out there who are hoping to attain or retain their Zen Master status, my message to you is this:
You Define Your Worth
If you want to be a Zen Master and you've demonstrated those qualities, I hope you get it. But if you don't, don't fret.
My productive vacation is coming to a close and one of the things that I wanted to do but hadn't really gotten a chance to do was some viz work. Enter me telling multiple folks that I just need to do a viz. The last viz I did was for Data Chain back in April. Whomp whomp. I've been uber busy. So, I went a searching for something that piqued my interest and that was easy. I wanted production, not development. Luckily, Andy's Makeover Monday has a plethora of topics for me to chose from and are tied up in a nice little bow so that I can start vizzing away. So, for some Saturday afternoon fun, I picked Women in the Workplace Pipeline. Here's the original viz.
And here's my viz. I am having some issues saving to Tableau Public at the moment so for now, it's just an image.
Here's a little peek into my thought process.
For the viz itself...I created a couple of vizzes but I kept coming back to this one, so I thought, this one is the one that resonates with me, so I'll use it.
For the design...I chose to double-encode with color and shapes. I might go back and just make everything black. I used purple and blue for women and men, respectively because I wanted some kind of color but I'm tired of pink and blue. I also used a light yellow background because light yellow reminds me of the legal notepads I use at work. I used the font Copperplate Gothic Bold because it reminded me of corporate lettering. I also re-ordered the positions so that entry-level was on the bottom and c-level was on the top.
For the analysis...I just wanted to highlight the one point that stuck out to me (even though there was improvement in the ranks, c-level percentages didn't really change that much).
I also played with it in the version 10 beta 4 to play with the device previewer. So, here it is on a tablet and phone. I still need to play around with it because obviously, the annotation isn't really readable on the phone. But I am LOVING this functionality.
I wanted to write about a topic that I'm pretty passionate about...the data+women initiative. So, I wanted to take a minute (or several) to write down pretty much everything that I've been thinking. These are my current thoughts, which of course can evolve.
I've heard the commentary that's out there.
By singling women out, it makes us more divisive.
Sure, by singling women out, maybe it makes some people feel this divisiveness. However, I submit to you that when you look at it through another lens, the discussion is about bringing awareness to an issue some may be unaware of. Challenges in the workplace are real and we need to recognize them. These conversations aren't meant to be a pity party we attend all the time. They are meant to acknowledge and address the issue.
So, do we want special treatment? Speaking only for me, the answer is no. I want perspective. Let me share a personal story that I find funny. When I was talking with my husband about about our tastes in music, I said that I had varied tastes...I like pop, R&B, rock, a little country (oh hey Bonnie Raitt), and a little dream pop (SIIVB). My husband also said he liked lots of different music too...classic rock, grunge rock, and indie rock. You might have noticed a common theme...it's all rock music! His perspective is a bit narrow. I liken this to women actively participating in the workforce. Women bring a different perspective and as a result can shape a better result. This is a concept that really sunk in when I attended a talk by Sarah Bloom Raskin, who talked about this concept in why it's important to have women involved in lawmaking.
Equality vs. Equity
I believe that having qualified women represented in leadership or decision-making roles is essential for creating equity. In my day job many moons ago, I participated in a community development tour where I heard this leader once say that generally, people want a hand up, not a hand out. That resonated with me and I think the image above speaks to that.
Leadership Principles Apply Here
A good leader is one who develops others and gets shit done (or more eloquently, is productive). This concept was reinforced for me at Leadercast where speakers like Dr. Henry Cloud and Andy Stanley speak extensively about leadership. I see a tie back to one of the prongs of leadership; development. Developing others gives them a hand up. But then there's the other prong; productivity. Either personally or through your influence, women (and people in general) can be more productive because they have the skills and abilities (because of the hand up they received), which then positions them to demonstrate their skills and go for that promotion/new job/leadership or management role.
The data+women initiative is a good way to learn about the issues and about yourself. I love the d+w meetups. But there are other ways this can be addressed that we may or may not see. Visible efforts include TUGs. Invisible efforts may include mentoring. Both are important for different reasons. TUGs and meetups are great for leading by example for everyone to see. Through highlighting women as speakers or even by having women in the attendance; women can either demonstrate their abilities through presentations or can learn something new to apply later. But let's be clear, women aren't to be trotted out at every meeting to show that the TUG/meetup is a supporter of this initiative. There are so many factors; scheduling and domain knowledge are just two.
Let's take an example. If a local TUG asked me to present on server, I would say no...not because I'm skerred, but because I don't have that knowledge, my domain knowledge is more centered around engagement, Tableau public, color, etc. So maybe they ask Jen Vaughan, but she's not available. This doesn't mean that the TUG/meetup doesn't support women or that a woman has to present every single time. Support should be consistent, but let's recognize that this is real life and that can't always happen. Conversely, having a woman speak once or twice might signal opportunity for greater support.
Additionally, one of the things we don't see is mentoring. And I think this is a great opportunity for me to talk about how important I think men are to this initiative. When men (and women) recognize potential in another person, we should do something about it. Support and encourage them (tying back to the development prong of leadership)! Jonathan Drummey is a really great example of this. He would sit with me on a conference call at o' dark thirty to go over my questions about Tableau. Jonathan isn't the only guy out there that does this. I've heard of others too (Paul Banoub and Joe Mako for example).
Personally, here lately, I've been on a 'Women of the World, Demonstrate your skills' kick. So when I mentioned earlier that D+W is a good way to learn about yourself. I started to reflect. I feel hypocritical if I'm asking for other people to do this, but I'm not doing it myself. So, I have some big, scary goals, and one of them relates to Tableau and trying to do more talks. Scary stuff, but the thing is...while I'm not a Tableau technical guru, I have knowledge to pass on after using the tool on and off since 2009 (and more so since 2013). It makes me cringe, but I'm gonna go for it.
Another concept we can learn from d+w meetups/discussion? When hiring officials/managers (maybe some of the folks in the room), realize that we might have a unconscious bias on how we hire or rate women vs. men employees. Once we recognize that, then we can take actions to address that. My hope? That once addressed, we start decreasing the 23% pay gap (that's a national number). And if I apply that to me, what does that mean? My family gets a 23% raise and I can spend a little more, save a little more, and do some things that increase our family's quality of life (my point? it's not just me getting a pay raise...my family is impacted as well).
Our Civic Responsibility
The point to this post is that we all need to be responsible members of the Tableau community and give women a hand up. Women need to show up, step out of their comfort zones and demonstrate their skills (and by the way, knowing that you have a smaller community that understands as discussed in d+w meetups is super helpful). The end result as I see it?
March's Data Chain theme was about entertainment. I tracked how I spent most of my free time in google sheets and then visualized it. What's not shown below are the activities that I do pretty much all the time, like fitness (strength training, running, and now posing practice) and engaging over social media. Recently, I've been on Pinterest more in an attempt to gain more insight about figure and bikini competitions given my upcoming show. I had found a YouTube clip from Kara Corey Fit Life on Pinterest and have kind of binge-watched these short little clips. And the major highlight, An Evening with Greg Dulli. Now that's the visualization is done, I'll update the blog post with the postcard once it's drawn out!
My first time participating in the Makeover Monday challenge was sweet! If there's a way to incorporate music into a viz or a blogpost, I'm likely to do it. Like Sugar, We're Going Down by Fall Out Boy. I thought this song title was appropriate because hopefully it's foreshadowing!
Now on to the viz...I like the wrapped candy shapes and used the pink which represents sweetness (to me) for this viz. I kept it super basic, but hopefully informative. The point that really jumped out at me in the data? Soft drinks comprise 27% of TODDLERS' added sugar consumption!!!! I can't imagine my kids when they were toddlers drinking soft drinks (they had enough natural energy). So here's my contribution.
Section 508 compliance is a thing. It's actually been a thing for a while. For some reason, I became interested in learning more about how to build 508 compliant vizzes. My plan is to develop a 508 considerations and recommendations quick reference document so to provide some guiding thoughts on what vizzers should be cognizant of and what workarounds they can do to create reports, vizzes, dashboards, or stories that all people can see. While I have a bunch of work ahead of me, I wanted to share something I just received...Tableau's VPAT, which is their voluntary product accessibility template results. While I haven't reviewed it in depth, I wanted to share here on the blog so that others could have immediate access to it. I'll plan to do more review, with either a post or to inform my next steps for the quick reference document. Note: I noticed that the text was cut off in some cells. The Tableau rep indicates that this is the only version he has seen.
If you have an interest in collaborating on this or have specific questions, drop me a comment below!
Y'all. I have a confession to make. I don't feel very women's empowermenty. Last year, I organized WEViz (women's empowerment visualization event) & this year, my plate is so full, I couldn't pull it off. I'm behind on a lot of stuff. These grand plans I had are not materializing.
I mourned WEViz for a little bit. How can I make a difference if I'm not contributing or facilitating?
I recently read Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert and one of the concepts in the book is that ideas can pass on to others as well as committing to and nurturing them. And accepting/embracing that concept is like acknowledging that you did what you could while the idea was in your court. So when the idea is in someone else's court, it's their turn to commit fully to it. This concept really helped me get through the 'why can't I get my shit together and dedicate the time to get this done?' to 'yes! the message/awareness is still out there!' through others (like Data Dare) challenging folks to do women's empowerment vizzes. I want to participate and show my support and contribute to the Data Dare. But...when?
There are so many things I want to do.
If I take a look at how I spend my time, I can chunk it into major categories:
To me, it becomes a question of: am I okay with it?
With respect to WEViz, yes. Awareness is being raised by others. I'm good with that.
At the end of the day, I have to make choices. What do I prioritize? Right now, building my business and coaching my clients is a top priority. Training for my fitness competition is a top priority. Spending time with family is a top priority. Contributing to the Tableau/Dataviz community is important. Perhaps I can't do everything I want. As long as I meet a certain (unknown) threshold for dataviz, then I feel okay.
So as I reflect on this International Women's Day and my two hour commute home (which is where I wrote most of this with my car in park on New York Ave in DC), the fact that I ate dinner, kissed the kids, & went right back out to the gym, I thought of the following:
I can't do it all but as long as I'm happy overall, then it's all good.
I was super happy to see February's theme; love. I knew I wanted to do something around Valentine's Day and so I decided to track how I express love. The kids and I started Valentine's at my parents' house and due to a snowstorm, cut the trip short and returned home.
I went analog at first by tracking the expressions of love in my notebook, then transferring the to google sheets, where I connected to the data using the web data connector (seriously one of the best features IMO). I created a few different charts but I had trouble coming up with a design/theme (which is just one reason I was late getting this card out). I use Tableau just for data exploration for Data Chain work. I might fancy it up a little, but I really look at it as a means to an end. Spending time with my mini-me brought me design clarity.
One of the side benefits of being late is that I could capture the two cards in one picture (silver lining)!
So there we have it, I'm all hearts and rainbows. The hearts are shaded by the types of love. Purple is for memes, gifts, etc, while pink is for hugs, and red is for kisses. The borders around each represent the people I expressed love to. The big heart is for my family, the middle heart is for friends, and because I love social media, the small heart represents a Facebook post. One thing I learned from this month's data chain is that I need to show more friends love.
And if you're wondering, Katie chose to be the color purple on the border and loved the hearts and rainbows.
I love seeing the commentary on #TableauIsWhy. It seems like this software tool has made an indirect or direct impact on so many.
A couple of years ago, I participated in a hackathon for women's empowerment and learned about key factors in empowerment. That really stuck with me. As a result, I was inspired to host a virtual hackathon called WEViz (Women's Empowerment Viz) event last year. When I was working on WEViz , I stumbled upon a video about child marriage. And it made me sick. This gut wrenching feeling solidified this notion of being a women's empowerment advocate. I made over a HuffPo viz, but importantly, I began to pay more attention.
On Instagram, I follow Katie Marshall who not only is a fit mom, but a World Help blogger. She would share her experiences and I decided I wanted to contribute
Sarah, Katie, Alex, & Darrell Green
I became a World Help Advocate and this past February, when they wanted people to put their Love on the Map, I did just that. Learning about child marriage and other issues in Uganda from my work on WEViz, I decided I was going to sponsor a girl from Uganda. And then I found Sarah (which is also my sister's name). What I learned about Sarah's family is that it's just Sarah's mom and her siblings. Her story is one that you read about...having to fetch water or not having enough money. So I'm happy to help and hopefully make a difference.
But what does this have to do with Katie, Alex, & Darrell Green (one of the GOAT Washington and dare I say NFL players)? In a speech he gave at my work, he said something that really resonated with me.
Things are caught before they're taught.
I hope Katie and Alex are catching on to a few key concepts:
We live in a global community and we can make a difference in the world.
It's totally cool for girls to do things they are interested in...even if it's playing with data on the weekends.
Hopefully things will be different as the kids get older, but regardless, they should support each other. Alex can be an ambassador for girls in his class or Katie so that they are treated equitably.
To sum it all up, Tableau is why I learned more about women's empowerment issues and why I'm trying to do something about it.
You'd think for someone who talks a lot January's theme, What I Said, would be NBD. Wrongo. My problem is that I had too many options. Do I do something about the podcast? Hashtags on instagram? Tweets? Other conversation? I was also a smidge lazy and didn't feel like manually tracking anything. Sooo, I turned to a trusty IFTTT recipe I created last April on my tweets. I threw the data into Tableau to explore and out popped a story...what do I tweet about more? Dataviz, fitness, or random stuff!
Please note, I did the viz purely for exploratory purposes and did not spend a lot of time tweaking it because it really wasn't the end result.
Before I move on to the postcard, I wanted to mention a couple of points about the viz and what I learned.
So here's the final result. I wanted to use the calendar as the background to represent the sky, the birds on a wire feeling, and I used a flock of birds to represent the amount and type of tweets. I also learned that drawing birds is challenging!! I can't wait to see how February turns out!
So I was looking at the twitter one day and saw this fascinating discussion going on because of this visualization developed by Stephanie Evergreen.
Whew doggie, did it generate some discussion, which I found very fascinating. I was curious to see how I might makeover what Stephanie developed. The last time I tried to visualize financials, I found it very challenging, so when Stephanie put it out there as a challenge, I thought I would see what I came up with and here's where I landed.
What I Tried and Why
So what do you think? How would you represent this data?
I loved this month's Data Chain theme-Christmas Music. I knew exactly what I wanted to do and I wanted to get the kids involved!
Because I spend so much in the car, I wanted to track the number of times we listened to Christmas music and who requested it.
We started tracking the week of December 6th and the same week, I went to a DC Data Community meetup with Catherine Madden as the speaker. She presented and showed off Paper by 53. I downloaded it immediately and started doodling. I also bought the pencil that goes with the free app (which you can learn more about here). The reason why I'm spending time discussing Paper because I saw a great use case for it. I could draw out concepts for my postcard vizzes. Here's some early iterations of December's concept.
In terms of process, I use Tableau to explore the data and then come up with the postcard. I don't really try to recreate the postcard in Tableau but one inspires the other.
Check out the dashboard I created in Tableau.
And here is the front and back of the postcard I sent to Emma. I'm not quite sure how I came up with the whole Hark the Herald... theme came from but I like it!
One challenge I need to overcome: writing less/being more concise in the how to read section. Maybe I'll try a template to be more concise!
What's This About?
After using Tableau in my last position, I'm now a data viz hobbyist and this is my little slice of world dedicated to data visualization...typically Tableau related.
Vizzed and Confused?