Oh crap! Oh my! What have I gotten myself into? I think angels sing when Kelly publishes a viz. After the customer conference last year, I showed a coworker one of her vizzes and said, "See how beautiful these visualizations can be?" So why would or how could I change one of her vizzes? However, I gave it a go, because I thought two things would either happen. I would either do a good job or I would get some valuable lessons from Kelly (read: it would suck and she would very politely tell me where I went wrong and then instruct me to never attempt to makeover one of her vizzes in the future, as thunder claps and I shake in my boots and bow before her, telling all of her greatness. Okay, that last part might be a little dramatic).
Honestly, this was a bit of a stretch for me in that I, err... Vikki Vonn, didn't really have a question about the viz, as with the GasBuddy one. There was only the very broad question, "Is there anything I would change about this viz?"
Having that question really helped focus me. My first thought was that I wanted to make it more oily looking. Kelly's narrative that accompanies her viz is really good, and I thought making it oilier really emphasized her points. So instead of a black background, I switched the colors so the marks were black. And I thought it would be cool to have oil splats because I thought it would work well in the viz. I fired up ye ole Google and lo and behold, found a shape I wanted. I'm sure a bunch, if not everyone, knows this but you can save an image as a picture file and then copy it to the shapes folder in your My Tableau Repository, that way you have some custom shapes you can work with. Not shown in the published version, but a feature I really liked, was putting the date on the page shelf for the daily barrels view. It was really neat to see the incidents over time on a playback loop. The only problem with it is that it didn't really work well when published (boooooo!!!!! C'mon Tableau, help a non-techie nerd out!). Anywho, here I was, thinking about Black Gold again.
So, is it better or worse? I don't think it's better, I'm hoping it's not worse, and actually, I just think it's different. I don't think you all know how nervous I was when I sent Kelly the altered viz. There may have been some rambling, and a please dear lord, please don't let me suck, because that would be so embarassing. I think I closed out the message with "please-don't-curse-me-or-think-I-have-zero-skills." However, at the end of the day, this would be a good opportunity for me because she would either tell me where I went astray or she would like it, and I would be happy either way. Overall, Kelly thought it was neat to see how some tweaks can put a different spin on the same story.