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Scattered Plots: Links and Likes for February 2017

I often find myself stumbling upon useful nuggets or sources of information from the Tableau community or the wider world of data viz that I end up doing one of the following with:

  • sharing with one person directly (“wow – have a look at this!”)
  • adding to my own bookmarks (a long and growing list of further reading)
  • losing track of (later getting frustrated that I can’t remember where I saw that amazing tip)

To both aid my own recollection and also share with others those useful articles when I find them, I’m going to trial collating them each month into a single blog post. This is by no means designed to be an exhaustive list of awesomeness, but just the stuff that really caught my eye. So, here’s what I found during February.

1) I like big numbers and I cannot lie by Gyilym Lockwood (The Data School)
I love the stuff that comes out on the data school blog, it’s always so varied, well-written and practical. This is all about making a quick impact when the occasion calls for it.

2) Tableau Padawan – Data Types vs. Display Formats by Jonathan Drummey (Datablick)
This should be compulsory reading for the Excel enthusiast who’s just getting into Tableau. I bookmarked this at the time I saw it and can see myself referring back to it regularly.

3) 5 things you should know, for the accidental server admin by David Pires (I Visualize)
Tableau Server is perhaps under-served in the blogging community, but this single post provides more signposting than you could wish to find in a month of searching.

Two vizzes on Tableau Public really caught my eye, one so much so that I had to try and recreate it as soon as I could. That was this contribution by Will Griffiths which has already racked up 42,000 views. It’s both simple and powerful, and it finds a way to bridge a gap between the basic and the complex.

The second immediately struck me as absolutely beautiful and mesmerising. It’s Ravi Mistry’s viz of EU growth over the last 20 years, which just begs for user interaction. The offset red/blue bars beneath the main chart are a masterstroke and I will definitely be looking to emulate these in my own work in the future.

Other Stuff
I mustn’t overlook the speedy tips demonstrated by Lorna & Pablo at the London Tableau User Group. This was my first TUG and I was beaming for days afterwards. A few of the best were written up on Charlie Hutcheson’s blog.

I’ve already begun to collate March’s list, and already sense this is a blog feature I’m going to love curating and referring back to. Any feedback on structure from readers out there would be welcomed with open arms!

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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