I first created this blog as a requirement for a Tableau contest, but continued with it as a way to develop my Tableau and data visualization skills. Since then I entered two more Tableau contests and won one of those -- the Evil Viz contest. The most recent was the Gov/Public Data contest. The winner of that contest, Steve Wexler, had a great viz with strong analysis. He looked at how closing family planning clinics effected STD rates in Texas. He did a great job demonstrating the impact that budget and policy decisions have on public health.
What impressed me about his data viz is the county mapping he did. That is not a feature of Tableau, and something I have put on my list to learn. So I have downloaded the viz and have started to pick it apart and figure out how he did it so I can possibly use it in a future data viz of my own.
For my contest viz, I chose data from the Energy Information Agency. Even though I thought the viz turned out okay, the data itself was not very interesting from a visual perspective. I chose to use icons for the sectors and colors for the source of energy. I think the icons made it a bit more difficult to see the line. And the wide variation of the data made it difficult to visualize effectively. I used percent of total for the size of the icons so the icons on the bottom wouldn't just be a big block of yuck. However, I think my overall data analysis suffered because of the small icons along the bottom.
While it is fun to enter the contests, I am ultimately blogging to develop my skills. So I appreciate any feedback I get. I especially appreciate the feedback I received from a member of the DC Tableau User Group who shared with me his work around for percent of total when you filter. The Tableau community is a wealth of knowledge for work arounds and tips and tricks to make Tableau do what you want. I think this is a definite strength of Tableau.
Bottom line, I learned a lot from this latest contest. I learned from the winning visual and one of the DC User Group members shared a work around with me. I still need to work on improving my technique for visualizing data that has a wide variance.
I appreciate everyone who has stopped by and taken a look at my blog and stopped to make a comment. I have no idea if over 1000 page views is a legit milestone or not. But what the heck. It is an excuse to for me to put together a data viz. Blogger is terrible when it comes to letting you access your page view data, so I had to scrape my own dashboard page to get this data to turn it into a viz.
Let me know what you think!