5. T O O M U C H
C O N T E N T
Users can’t quickly consume the
6. G E T F O C U S E D
WHAT ARE THE
What’s the objective of this
Name your top 5 items you want
Supplement with additional
7. D A T A
Q U A L I T Y / A C C U R A C Y
Knowing the general concepts
Relying on the person who
transformed the data.
8. K N O W Y O U R D A T ADIG IN AND GET
• the nuances with the data
(updates every two weeks)
9. A C C E S S O R I Z I N G
Adding lots of features because
you can and surely, someone will
want to use them.
10. T O O C O M P L E X
Complexity obscured the
“I don’t understand how to read
11. B E A U T Y I N
S I M P L I C I T YSO MANY QUESTIONS
Know: Who is your audience?
Can the reader get your
message in five seconds?
12. O B J E C T I V E R E V I E WPEER REVIEW CAN BE
A LIFE SAVER! Look at your critically, as if
someone else did it.
Answer the question:
Does this add value to my viz?
If not, then considering removing
Is the color palette viewable by
If not, change it.
Peer review your work!
13. C O M M U N I C A T I O N
The biggest mistake of all!
Ways to resolve it:
Provide your expert opinion.
14. I T ’ S N O T J U S T M E !
My twitter poll revealed that
everyone has made one, many,
or all of these mistakes.
17. V I Z W I Z
Why it’s good:
• Tips that are very basic to advanced.
• Understand the thought process of
someone who has been working in
this field for many years.
• Examples of good data viz
• Data set playground in Andy’s
18. D R A W I N G W I T H
N U M B E R S
Why it’s good:
Facilitates understanding what goes
on “under the hood” of Tableau.
Helps readers go from guessing to
predicting what will happen in
19. D A T A
R E V E L A T I O N S
Why it’s good:
The premier resource on
visualizing survey data.
Critical approach to visualization
20. P A U L B A N O U B ’ S
V I Z N I N J A B L O G
Why it’s good:
Paul has established himself as
a go-to resource for
Tableau adoption, and
Center of Excellence/Business
L E T ’ S K E E P I N C O N T A C T
@ E M I L Y 1 8 5 2
W W W . W A N N A B E A W E S O M E M E . C O M
W W W . T H E F R I N G E F E S T I V A L . R O C K S
Imagine the excitement, you get your first Tableau project and it’s a big one! You’ve developed a workbook that measures resourcing commitments. You collaborate with folks, you get help with data…you’ve worked long and hard. And then it’s the big day…you present to Executive Committee and the reception is less than ideal.
How do I read that?
That number doesn't look right
How did you arrive at that?
There’s too much in here.
I can recall that meeting like it was yesterday. And the talk I got afterwards. And how I felt like my career was over. I just presented to the senior leadership in our agency and got crushed.
So, now you know my worst Tableau experience ever. Let me tell you a little more about me…
One of my biggest mistakes was trying to incorporate everything on that 8.5 x 11 paper that the executives wanted. So I tried to fit everything in, trying to please everyone. But in trying to please everyone in the audience, I had too much content and my messaging was not clear.
While it was true that different people wanted different things and they all wanted their stuff to be in the workbook, they all agreed in the types of comments they were making that it was just too much.
So how you do work around this?
Get focused. Ask them…what are the most important items? Name your top 5 items. What can be supplemental? I used that tactic by just including a separator dashboard with the text “Supplemental Information”.
Another method I’ve used to focus the message is to do a separate workbook. One of my biggest “platform” issues audience-level reporting. Meaning, the reports/dashboards need to be tailored to the audience…management gets the 50,000 view, mid-level managers get the 10,000 view, and the analysts get the detail. In my agency, the executives don’t have time to explore. They want the information in an easy read and their analysts will dig in and explore. Therefore, depending on the data, I might do a couple of different workbooks.
Unless you have a data person with you, when you do a visualization, you need to understand all of the nuances with the data, including the views or how it’s been transformed.
This may be easy for some, but for others (me included), it’s not the type of detail we get into. But it needs to be done. Ask your data person to explain it so that you can explain it too.
But it’s not only for being able to answer questions from executives. In my examining world, we think that management information should be accurate, relevant, timely, and complete. By knowing your data, you’ll be able to hit on some, if not all of these points.
You’ve got this powerful tool and you want to show off all of its functionality. Filters upon filters. Parameters, invasive tool tips. You name it.
This chart was really hard to understand. There are a couple of quick fixes that could have been done (removing the row grid lines and adding column grid lines, because it’s additive in the column. And that would help but it might not have been enough.
While the 5 second rule is a good rule of thumb in my opinion.
We tried educating the readers. again and again. But you know, after so many training attempts, there’s a message and it is:
have the courage to change. I had one visualization where we used red and green together (keying in on that good/bad association). After taking a class on visual analytics, I went to the senior staff member and suggested we change it and why.
I had to hand this project off to one of my staff. Looking back, I see the flaws in this and I want it changed. I’m not in a position to influence it anymore. For some people, it’s hard to admit that what they developed isn’t ideal. It certainly was for me for awhile. But when I take an objective look at this, it’s screaming for a makeover.
I got a lot of: can I choose all?!
I want to highlight SOME of the go-to blogs.
These are just a few of the Tableau Twitter folks. I recommend following the Zen Masters and the Tableau Ambassadors.
Community forums are a fantastic resource of information.
You can post your questions (preferably with a workbook) and get answers in a pretty timely manner.
The ideas forum is fantastic and the community is so stellar with providing responses.