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Scattered Plots: Links and Likes for March 2017

I was so pleased with the reaction to the first post in this series, I will definitely endeavour to stick with it. It’s so useful to keep bookmarking interesting articles when I stumble upon them for personal reference anyway, and great to share the love among the Tableau community. So, continuing with the second of a monthly series, here’s what caught my attention in March.

1) The Murky World Of UK Geography by Neil Lord (The Data School)
This one actually comes in four parts – parts two, three and four follow on neatly. Neil tackles the complex nature of UK geography that it’s important to comprehend before attempting to visualise anything across the British Isles. Duly bookmarked, and I will return to it many times, I’m sure.

2) The Art of Gerrymandering #IronViz by Ken Flerlage
Of the many fantastic recent Iron Viz entries, Ken’s is one of few that comes along with a post detailing his approach. It’s always one thing putting together a fascinating product, but another altogether to let the world in on your thought process, challenges and lessons learned. This post provides a great example of how to blog your experience, and just so happens to relate to a brilliant and complex viz.

3) Makeover Monday Week 10 by Louise Shorten
Louise has begun to blog her Makeover Monday experiences and this entry provides an intriguing insight into what she attempted to incorporate into her viz and her own review of what worked and didn’t on the original.

The IronViz competition blew me away. I contemplated entering (found my data and story angle), but then realised I didn’t have the time to compile something I’d have been happy with. And then I saw the competition and was slightly relieved!

The pick of the bunch, for me, was this entry by Marc Soares, which highlights racial segregation in American cities. Not only is it beautifully structured and accessible, but it falls into my favourite category of viz – that which prompts further questions (what caused that? What would this city looks like?). Marc was even kind enough to extend this to incorporate cities not in his original viz – here’s the output from my request to see what Seattle looked like:

Secondly, Andy Kriebel’s viz of Game Seven of the 2016 World Series, which he set as a challenge for Workout Wednesday, works for me on so many levels. As a baseball fan I was familiar with the complications of the subject matter, and I love the Tableau-fication of a scorecard in a viz, but there are so many technical factors presented here. I’m still wrestling with a reproduction of it myself, having only got part-way through when it was released, but I just love, love, love how much information is squeezed into the limited space, yet still allows enough white space for the shorter innings to help tell the story of the game.

Other Stuff
I don’t recall how I was directed to this, but this series of (non-Tableau) visualisations are mostly stunning. I yearn for better GIF-making functionality within Tableau. One day it’ll come, I’m sure.

The most recent Tiny Tableau Talks event took place in February, but the videos of each of the five-minute talks was posted in March. Personally, I particularly enjoyed those by Amanda Patist and Hashu Shenkar, but they’re all worthy of a watch.

Charlie Hutcheson’s tips shared at his workplace have been captured in video form, and are full of useful guidance when looking to empower colleagues with best practices.

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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