Tableau Prep: Getting Started Guide

Tableau Prep version 2018.1.1 was released in April this year. Six months on and five versions later, Emily Chen introduced DS11 to Tableau Prep 2018.3.1.

My first thoughts? Its user interface is modern and intuitive with some great functions but there are some limitations. Tableau Prep won’t surpass Alteryx in power at the moment but definitely has potential!

Being a new software, many of you probably haven’t given it a go yet. In this guide, I will run through everything you need to know to get started! See my previous posts on getting started with Alteryx (link) and Tableau Public/Desktop (link).

Now, if you haven’t got Tableau Prep downloaded yet, you can get the free trial here. Otherwise, start up Prep and let’s get started!

 

Start Screen

The first thing you’ll see when you start up Tableau Prep is something like Figure 1.

Figure 1. Tableau Prep start up screen

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Making Every “Show Me” Chart From Scratch: Part Two

Ah… The much-awaited Part Two of my ‘Making Every “Show Me” Chart From Scratch” series (see part one here). Thank you for following my series so far! To recap, we have so far gone through text tables, heat maps, highlight tables, symbol maps, filled maps and pie charts.

In this post, I will go through how to create a bar chart, stacked bar chart, side-by-side bar chart, treemap, circle view and side-by-side circles. For this series, I will be using the “EU Superstore” dataset found in My Tableau Repository.

Let’s get started!

 

Horizontal Bar Chart

Tableau’s Show Me bar chart is known as “Horizontal Bars”, though really, bar charts can be both vertical and horizontal. I will show you both. For this bar chart, I want to look at the profit for each sub-category.

Step One

Drag the measure “Profit” to the Columns Shelf and the dimension “Category” to the Rows Shelf. As we want to look at sub-category, we can either drag the dimension “Sub-Category” to the Rows Shelf next to “Category” or the quicker way: click the little plus sign shown in Figure 1. This expands category to its next level of detail, sub-category. This only works because sub-category is below category in its hierarchy. If these dimensions aren’t in a hierarchy together, the regular drag-and-drop works too.

Figure 1. Building a horizontal bar chart

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Making Every “Show Me” Chart From Scratch: Part One

Tableau has a super useful “Show Me” function which allows you to choose from 24 chart types based on dimensions and measures you select. This is a brilliant feature for beginners. However, what if you’re a little bit more experienced and want to know how to make these charts from scratch? Or even if you’re a beginner who doesn’t want a shortcut? In this four-part series, I will go through how to create all 24 “Show Me” chart types.

For this series, I will be using the “EU Superstore” dataset found in My Tableau Repository. In this post, I will go through how to create a text table, heat map, highlight table, symbol map, filled map and pie chart.

Let’s get started!

 

Text Table

Text tables are exactly like they sound. A table of values similar to what you get in an Excel spreadsheet. For this text table, I would like to look at how much each sub-category of products have made in sales.

 

Step One

From the Data Pane, drag over the dimension “Sub-Category” over to the Rows Shelf (Figure 1).

Figure 1. Building a text table
Figure 1. Building a text table

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Tableau Public/Desktop: Getting Started Guide

We are currently well into our second week of the Data School; with the focus of this week being Tableau (i.e. the reason we all applied to this job). For all of you who are interested in learning to use Tableau and/or are thinking of applying to the Data School but don’t know where to begin, this blog post will take you through everything you need to know to get you started. See my previous post on getting started with Alteryx (link).

First of all, check out Tableau’s Starter Kit (link here). It’s a great resource for getting started. Remember, the more you read, the more you learn!

Now, if you haven’t already downloaded Tableau Public for free, here’s a link to where you can sign up. If you have access and would prefer to use Tableau Desktop’s free trial, then go ahead and start it up!

 

*Warning* I will be dropping a lot of terminology, so get ready. However, don’t worry about memorising the terms as much as understanding the purpose/function.

Start Screen

The first thing you’ll see when you open up (in my case) Tableau Desktop, is something like Figure 1.

Figure 1. Tableau Desktop’s start screen

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Avoid neglecting Alaska and Hawaii in your US maps

Why is Hawaii so far from the rest of the United States? Why is Canada in between Alaska and the rest of the United States?

Trying to get Alaska and Hawaii in a dashboard with the other 48 states can lead to lots of wasted, empty space (as seen in Figure 1). In this view, Alaska looks massive, with lots of space taken up by Canada to the right. Additionally, Hawaii is side-lined and mainland US is small with the details hard to see. Many times, Alaska and Hawaii are filtered out and disregarded completely in favour of a clear view of the remaining 48 states. However, doing this means leaving out potentially valuable information.

Figure 1. There is a lot of wasted space in the default view of the US maps

Is there a solution to this issue? Yes! In this blog post, I will go through a method I’ve used multiple times (Figure 2). Alaska, Hawaii and mainland USA are placed in three separate containers in a dashboard. Filters, highlighters, etc applied to one map will affect all three maps. This method eliminates much of the empty space between the lands and results in a functional and attractive way of representing all US states.

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Alteryx Designer: Getting Started Guide

DS11’s first week at the Data School was focused on introducing us to Alteryx; a super useful software for prepping messy data before visualising in Tableau. Amongst data preparation, Alteryx is also capable of spatial and predictive uses. In this guide, we will navigate through the interface of Alteryx Designer and I will also give some helpful hints on how to get started. Now, download Alteryx Designer and let’s get acquainted.

Alteryx Designer Interface

When opening Alteryx Designer, you will be met with an interface that looks like Figure 1. Matlab users out there will be very familiar with this layout!

Figure 1. Alteryx Designer interface

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It’s Official! First Day of the Data School

This post was also posted to thedataschool.co.uk.

The Data School. DS11. Day one of the next chapter of our lives! A mix of nerves and excitement meant I hardly slept the night before and unfortunately, I came down with a cold. Some paracetamol pills later, I was ringing the buzzer for the Information Lab at 25 Watling Street.

It’s official! I’m here at the Data School

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