Visualisation Success with Tableau

KISs - Keeping it Simples

Because no-one is stupid

What is Datawonders?

Take a look around the net, there are some really great sites dedicated to helping you communicate your data, with any tool, and there are some really cool sites, dedicated to helping you get the edge on your Tableau visuals some of my favourite contributors include:

So how does Datawonders differ? What makes it special?

Well, this is my space for one, but most importantly like the above mentions, and the number of awesome developer sites scattered across the net, I too just want to help you on your Tableau journey, however, I have a very different background to many of the other contributors:

"Coming from an analytical background, moving to data and then big data engineering before uniting both disciplines in visual business intelligence, first with Excel, then QlikView, before settling on my favourite - Tableau"
And I'm not a fan of single-message info-charts

All of my work is centred on creating dashboards that (mostly business) users love to use, I love multi-perspective immersive and interactive dashboards, where collections of charts are brought together to help users understand how that tiny crumb of data impacts the bigger picture.

But, despite working with some fairly large data-sets (in excess of 10 trillion rows and 200+ columns), the one element that is always at the front of my mind when building is: Performance, because lets face it, no matter how great your dashboard is, no user will be happy waiting more than 10 seconds for it to render.

So when I set to work on a new piece, my first five questions tend to be: 

  • Where is the data?
  • How much data is there, and will I need to build and optimise a new table and or warehouse - not the usual first question most analysts ask
  • Who are your audience
  • What is the final presentation medium (as much to Tableau's chagrin, static PowerPoint decks are still preferred over Tableau Server)
  • What's the story: Are we only presenting static / 1-dimensional data, or are we looking for a more immersive experience?

Bottom line:

Many sites dedicated to Tableau, usually only cover one aspect, how to do that awesome chart.

Datawonders' purpose is different from the many wonderful sites out there: Sure I shall show you the how, but also I will explain the why (or the why not as is sometimes the case), and help you to understand the architecture behind the scenes.

With more than a decade of both using Tableau (every version since v4 in September), and teaching Tableau (all versions from v5 since June 2010), this site aims to help you, not just learn Tableau basics, but also the architecture, to help you create charts your users will LOVE to use.

Have you ever played with the Preferences file: Preferences.tps? I mean, really played with it? Sure, everyone knows about using the preferences file to add custom palettes, Tableau even describe how to do that in the knowledge base, what I’m talking about is, the other stuff, the non-documented functions. C’mon, you don’t think the Preferences file exists to solely add palettes to the tool did you?…
And why also does my dashboard often render so very differently on Cloud/Server compared with Desktop? Ah, that old chestnut. This isn’t the first time either of those problems have been encountered, but you’ll be pleased to hear that this problem doesn’t only affect Tableau - no way, not by a long shot. Qlik Sense users for example also faced the same problem, right up until QlikTech moved Qlik Sense to web auth only, where all the problems seemingly disappeared overnight. Why?…
To the Linux user - I apologise, I think its plain to see, that I’m a fan of the safety net that MS has built in Windows Have you ever deployed Tableau Server to a Windows Stack? I mean actually deployed the server, rather than spin-up a pre-configured image from either Tableau Cloud, or those available in Amazon Web Services, MS Azure, Alibabba or Google Cloud Platform. Regardless as to whether you have or you haven’t,…
Because not every region is created equal. And with this inequality comes the chance to learn new ideas and techniques. The accelerator workbooks (Sample Workbooks in pre 2023 versions), you know the ones: that sit in Accelerator Workbooks section at the bottom of the Start Screen. Changing the language settings, means you get to see a different group of available books, and the first thing you’ll notice is, not every region is the same: English (UK) image-20231014-140407.…
Ahh, the Accelerator Workbooks (Sample Workbooks in pre 2023 versions) section that appears at the bottom of the Start Screen: image-20231014-135839.png Wouldn’t it be nice if this could be customised to show five of workbooks of your choosing. Maybe you’re not interested in seeing the Tableau Samples; or maybe your company has several showcase workbooks. Maybe you would like to use this as a starting point for templates using company designs it would like you to use instead; or even,…

Can't get enough visualisation? Me Neither. Check out these other great links for inspiration:

My Tableau Public Profile

Of course I want to sell myself: See some examples of my work at the Tableau Public site

See me at Tableau.comAnd I help out on the forums as every contributor should.
Tableau PublicMuch of Tableau Public is infochart style, but don't let that put you off
Qlik GalleryWhoever said ideas cannot be shared? Sure, Tableau and Qlik function differently, but what is important is the end result right?
DatapineCame across this site a while ago, sure, its for another Tableau alternative, but they do have some great dashboards for inspiration
Juice AnalyticsSimply the best resource for data analytics and visualisation, and an absolute Godsend for any person in the analytics industry, regardless of skill-level

Feeling up to a challenge?

Pop on over to Workout Wednesday