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Scattered Plots: Links and Likes for April 2017

I have no fewer than six POV blogposts in draft that I need to get around to finishing, and I’m desperate to turn them around, but with the advent of another month it’s time to prioritise the articles and vizzes elsewhere that caught my eye. One of the challenges with becoming more immersed in the blogosphere and following many more contributors is that it’s so much harder to keep up with all the great content, but that does also mean stumbling upon even more amazing stuff.

Here’s what caught my eye during April that I’d like to share my love for:


1) Using Colour To Tell A Better Story With Data by Colin Wojtowycz (@datawoj)
Colin tells the story of one of his recent Makeover Monday vizzes, in particular reference to his colour choices. This was particularly pertinent for me as almost instantly after seeing this blog I’d been listening to an old Tableau Wannabe Podcast episode with Andy Cotgreave where he talked about exactly what Colin has done, using colour in relief against a grey. This blogpost cites excerpts from a number of dataviz books, that all contribute to the theory Colin applied.

2) Reshaping Your Data In Tableau by Joshua Milligan (@vizpainter)
I really love challenging myself to reshape data in Tableau to create bespoke fields and hierarchies using calculated fields. Here, however, Joshua Milligan walks through his process of doing so with Join Calculations in the Data Source tab, something I’d never seen before but am aching to find a chance to have a go at.

3) How Do You Visualise Chess Games? by Neil Richards (@theneilrichards)
I worship at the altar of Neil Richards, master of the long-form viz blogpost. As if to put you off, the metadata on the post warns in advance that there are almost 1,300 words to come, yet you should read every one of them. This isn’t about a viz so much as it is about proces, method, quality research and combining passions. For what is a ludicrously technical accomplishment in my view, this is not at all a technical post. It does, however, contain mild and frequent chess references.

4) Map Classification With Parameters by George Gorczynski (@GGorczynski)
Another long blogpost, and somewhat more technical, but this provides so much elegant guidance on usage of colours on choropleth maps according to a variety of schemes, from the Tableau defaults to an array of statistical approaches. Comparing the impacts of different approaches, textbook-style, struck me as very powerful and has already once prompted me to reconsider before selecting a scheme for assigning colours.

The aforementioned chess viz gets another nod here. Everything from the colours to the structure, the detail and the interactivity make this one of my all-time Tableau highlights, and yet criminally it’s had only a handful of views.

Seriously, how could you not be taken by that?

Other Stuff
I’m working up my own list of resources which I plan to share some time soon, but this ‘Storytelling Toolkit‘ from Jenny Richards covers most of that ground already, signposting great resources for both beginners and intermediates.

Right then, let’s see if I can rattle off a few more of these blogposts before the end of May comes around…

About The Author

Mark Edwards

A statistician at heart, Mark’s approach is always numbers-led. Already visualising data in other side-projects, Mark was introduced to the world of Tableau in 2016, when he and Pablo started working together in UK financial services. A keen participant in social Tableau challenges, Mark is building his skills and appreciation of clean and simple visuals, discovering interesting and untapped data sets, a path that has already led to a new career and a range of further opportunities. Mark is a Tableau Desktop Certified Professional, a Tableau Social Ambassador and an annual attendee of the Tableau Conference in the US.

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