Thursday, April 26, 2012

Tableau Biz Viz Contest Entry: A Click-through History of Venture Capital Investment Deals

Tableau is holding one of their regular visualization contests.  Their Interactive Biz Viz Contest challenges Tableau users to take business data (any business data) and turn it into an informative, interactive data visualization using Tableau.  They give you some suggestions for data sets that are available.  I chose venture Capital data from the National Venture Capital Association.  Check it out...

This visualization was originally designed to be animated using the playback controls for Tableau page views.  Unfortunately, much to my dismay, I found out that the playback controls that would automate this visualization are not available in the public version of Tableau.  Nevertheless, I think you can still get the same effect by manually clicking through the data.

The Data
So the data sets I used from the National Venture Capital Association are independent of one another.  Perhaps I didn't know the right place to look, but I couldn't find a data set that combined region with industry.  Regardless, I thought showing both the regional data and industry data side by side would still be both interesting and informative.  In fact, you will notice certain obvious trends.  For instance, in Q2 of 1995 you see an increase in the average investment in both the Media/Entertainment industry and in LA/Orange County region.  

The Design
Some of you who have been following my data viz creations might be rolling your eyes at seeing me create yet another scatterplot visualization.  I know...I know.  I thought about this myself.  The actual purpose of this particular viz for me was to find a way to use the page controls in Tableau.  The page controls is one aspect of Tableau I have not really taken full advantage of.  It just so happens, that I also thought the data looked better as it moved within the scatterplot from page to page as opposed to using some other view such as a bar graph or some type of matrix.  I also spent more time thinking about this scatterplot fetish of mine.  I actually think some of it comes from the fact that I spend most of my days making line charts, bar charts, heat maps, etc that when it comes to something I create for myself, the last thing I want to look at is another bar chart.  

But back to the page controls.  As I mentioned above, this is actually designed for the playback control for pages.  If you are a Tableau user, take a moment and download the viz, turn on the playback controls and press the play button.  If you do this, let me know your thoughts in the comments section below.

As always, thank you in advance for any feedback, comments, suggestions you provide and thank you for reading my blog!

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