2015-04-30 22_52_41-Tableau - Tracking Status

Counting from Nothing – A Double Remix (or, Partitioning via Table Calculations v2)

Over on the Tableau forums Alexander Mou answered a thread on generating a count from sparse data, and the solution he came up with is found in his blog post Dynamic Histogram Over Time. In this post I’m diving into some details of what Alexander did, coming up with a couple of alternative remixes of that solution, and describing a couple of different ways to effectively partition a table calculation via another table calculation. Read on for details!

Continue reading

So You Want to be a (Tableau) Zen Master

So You Want to be a (Tableau) Zen Master

As usage of Tableau grows there’s a question that comes up more and more often: How can I become a Tableau Zen Master? It’s quite natural that people would ask for that question, and since we Tableau users are analytically-minded we tend to start looking for something like a checklist.

I’ve been thinking about how to answer this question for several months now. I think I have an answer, and it’s not a checklist. Please know that I’m not writing or speaking for Tableau the company here, just using my own insight and what I’ve gathered from conversations with others both inside and outside Tableau.

One part of being a Tableau Zen Master is demonstrating excellence in one or more areas of working with Tableau, and towards that I published Getting Good at Tableau. Another part is helping the Tableau community, and Steve Wexler has published a great series of posts on that (1, 2, 3). And another part is a way of doing and being, and to communicate that I put together the following presentation (with a little help from my wife, as you’ll soon find out):

If you find this helpful (or not), please let me know!

Tableau Brain Teaser – Coloring the Boxes in Box-and-Whisker Plots

One of the things we’ve been playing with in the Viz Talk section of the Tableau Community forums is posting brain teasers where there’s a problem that has a solution that can (theoretically) be put together in a few minutes. Here’s one from a couple of weeks ago: Headers down below on a grouped bar chart and the latest one is: Can you color the boxes in a box plot to look like this?

Screen Shot 2015-04-18 at 8.00.08 AM

These can be a fun way to learn different ways to think about working with Tableau, and if you’ve got any yourself please add them!

Blinding and Anonymizing Healthcare Data for Tableau – Screencast

Last Thursday 2014-12-04 at the Healthcare User Group virtual meeting I attempted to present an introduction to blinding and anonymizing healthcare data. Due to technical difficulties (the old “swap-machines-at-the-last-moment-then-have-to-upgrade-webex-software-right-as-the-network-goes-down” problem) I wasn’t able to complete the presentation, so I recorded it, it’s now available at http://vimeo.com/113666870.

And here’s a link to the PDF.


Getting Good at Tableau 201411

Getting Good at Tableau – the Screencast

A recurring question in the Tableau community is “How do I learn Tableau?” I’ve tried to answer that question a couple of times now in a presentation that I gave in-person in July 2014 at the Maine Tableau User Group and then a revised audio-only version earlier in November when I was a guest on the Tableau Wannabe Podcast with Matt Francis and Emily Kundhttps://soundcloud.com/tableau-wannabe-podcast/episode-12-the-one-with-jonathan-drummey.

Here’s the full presentation as a screencast:

And the Getting Good at Tableau pdf (45MB).

This is my first screencast, any feedback is much appreciated!

Grr... Argh...

O Extract, Where Art Thou?

This was yesterday’s contribution to a Tableau forums discussion on data extracts, I thought it deserved a separate post that I could keep updated. There are some subtle behaviors and idiosyncracies in working with data connections, Tableau data extracts, and Tableau Server that aren’t fully fleshed out in the documentation, here’s my attempt! I start out with a review of the common file types and .twb vs. .twbx, and then get into some details on different types of connections and what happens based on different orders of operations, and toss in a gratuitous Buffy reference.

Continue reading