September 19, 2014
The purpose of this post is really just because I came up with a dataviz related “Coffee Talk” joke and needed to share it.
If you have no idea why I find this hilarious, check out this classic SNL clip of Mike Myers’ classic character “Linda Richman.” One of my favorite sketches and characters from SNL ever.
If you have any other Coffee Talk jokes, tweet them to me!
EDIT: Just in case anyone actually wants to know the origins of the term “treemap” Iron Viz contestant and data genius Jeffrey Shaffer has us covered:
September 18, 2014
This morning I had the extreme pleasure of talking to a group of smart, talented high schoolers about data journalism. They were at the University of Washington for the Washington Journalism Education Association’s (WJEA) Journalism day. I’m excited to see what this creative group of young journalists will come up with in Tableau Public.
Here’s a viz we made together in about 15 minutes. I used data from Maxpreps on my high school football team. An interesting finding was that Mariner actually lost their highest scoring game of the last decade.
September 17, 2014
If you were at Pimp My Viz, or at least read yesterday’s summary about it, then you may recall that I spoke a little bit about using the Spotify Web API to pull data into Google Spreadsheets. My partner (and author of this excellent tutorial about bring JSON into Google Spreadsheets) alerted me to the existence of these New York Times APIs yesterday. They have APIs for a number of different things but the ones I think you could get a LOT of interesting data out of are the Best Sellers API, Campaign Finance API, Congress API, Movie Reviews API, and Real Estate API.
Now go forth and do awesome things with data!
September 16, 2014
I had SOOOOOO MUCH FUN bring Xzibit for a day and getting to pimp some vizzes last week! Thanks to everyone who came and hung out with me. For those who missed it, here are the vizzes I pimped and some information about what I did with them.
Mat Hughes’ music dashboard
/r/tableau regular, Mr. Mat Hughes, sent me this great little dashboard of his music listening as tracked by last.fm. I wanted to make it more obnoxiously obvious that it was about music, so when I was done, it looked like this:
Here’s some of the stuff I did:
- Style stuff:
- I got the background image by doing a Google search for “Ghetto blaster.” I took one of the images I liked and used Image Trace in Adobe Illustrator so that I could stretch it out to the size I needed for the dashboard without it getting pixelated.
- I got the font for the title from DaFont and added it to the background boombox image. You can’t embed custom fonts in Tableau (yet…but if Santa exists, maybe one day!) so putting the title as part of an image is how to get that custom look. Custom fonts are one of the easiest ways to make a viz more pimpin.
- I used the eyedropper tool in Adobe Illustrator to find the background color of the boombox and matched the formatting of my sheets so that the background color of the sheets matched the boombox. I floated all the sheets on top of the boombox image. I refrained from using two pie charts so that the viz community wouldn’t try to assassinate me.
- I consciously picked the green/yellow/red color scheme so that the bar chart would look like an equalizer.
- Other stuff:
Lari’s Disney Dashboard
The story behind this dashboard is that Lari McEdward, Tableau instructional video extraordinaire, and her sister were trying to choose a Disney movie to watch and resolved to make the decision by choosing the movie with the best songs. They judged all the songs and created this pretty-in-pink viz. Here’s my pimped version:
Here’s some of the stuff I did:
- Style stuff:
- I put the whole thing is mother fucking castle! Because, obviously, that’s key.
- Again, the custom font title does a lot here evoke the Disney feeling. This one is called Waltograph and I found it at DaFont.
- I liked that Lari had used some pinks and purples, so I kept that and added another pink hued custom color palette for the treemap on the right.
- Other stuff:
- As important as Lari and her sister may think their opinions are, I thought the data was a little misleading and not really a TRUE measure of a song’s actual popularity. I wanted to add a somewhat less subjective metric in there, so I added in Spotify popularity. I got this data by getting all the URI’s for the songs and feeding them into the Spotify Web API and extracting the popularity out of the JSON file. I used this super handy method of turning JSON into a Google Spreadsheet. You can see the resulting Google Spreadsheet here if you want to try to reverse engineer it.
- I did something a little different for the tooltip hover helps in this one. Bringing in fairy godmother images as custom shapes led to them being way too grainy, so instead I added them as background images. I then used a transparent shape in the middle of the plot to hold the tooltip help menu.
- I put in a special little Easter egg for if your filters get funky. See what happens when you bring Spotify down all the way and Lari’s rating up all the way. I document this trick here. I drew that friendly little NPC onto the background image. Since everything is floating on top, when the filters make the charts disappear, Toad appears!
Tweet me if you want more info on any of this. Hopefully you picked up some fun tricks that’ll make your dashboards a little more pimpin! To close, here’s some tweets:
Huge thanks to everyone who came out to see me, Peter, and Andy for our blogger panel last week. We all had a blast. It was great to get a chance to goof around with y’all and show you the fun side of data! As promised, here’s some of the resources I promised to round up for you.
- import.io- My preferred method for web scraping. Basically the Tableau of webscrapers. Check out this webinar I did if you’d like to see it in action.
- Kimono- haven’t used it, so this isn’t an endorsement, but I’ve heard good things.
- ScraperWiki- has a really great tool for scraping tweets
Quantified Self Apps:
- Sleep Cycle- I use this to track my sleep quality every night. It’s also a great alarm clock.
- Last.fm- Track your music listening history.
- Reporter- customize questions for personal surveys throughout the day.
- Period Tracker- for those of us of the fairer sex to keep track of data that makes dudes uncomfortable.
- Spreadsheets- track your intimate moments. Hopefully, they are more pleasant than this guy.
- Pornhub Insights- for those of us who just can’t get enough porn vizzes.
- OKtrends- the best damn data blog out there. Data analysis from the founder of OKCupid.
- Darling Data Fabric Collection- Here’s where you can buy the fabric I made my viz skirts out of! Also available as wrapping paper.
And here’s a little of the Twitter action from the session:
August 19, 2014
In case you missed it, I made this viz for our Destination Data countdown. Every week a different Tableau employee will share their insider knowledge of things to do in Seattle. You may have gathered as much by now, but I am a bit of a music fanatic. I go to at least 1 live show a week. In fact, just this past weekend, I was in Portland for Musicfest NW where I saw awesome bands like HAIM, Spoon, Tuneyards, and Man Man. Even with a lineup like that, the part of the weekend I was most excited for was an after party show at a tiny club with my local heroes Tacocat and my newest obsession, Tijuana Panthers. I’m not exaggerating when I’m saying that I was fangirling pretty hard. I’ve got data to back up my claim:
I mean, just look how excited I was to take a picture with two-thirds of them.
I love live music culture and am so devoted to the scene that I considered (well, really I’m still considering) getting a tattoo of something like this on my inside right wrist:
(because when you go to shows in clubs they usually stamp your wrist so that you can get in and out.)
I’ve highlighted some of my favorite venues in the viz below. I tend to like smaller, more intimate places. A lot of fantastic acts come through the bigger venues like Paramount and the Showbox and they are beautiful buildings, but I just don’t feel it as much in those places. Not to mention that I’m often too short to see anything at those venues if I’m in the pit. Here’s the dashboard if you’d like to explore!
July 30, 2014
I found this link to the Beer Institute Brewer’s Almanac through a post of excellent vizzes from Data Knight Rises. There’s definitely a lot of info here, and while it may not all connect with each other directly, making dashboards difficult, it would probably do well with story points.
Get the data here.
July 10, 2014
In case you missed the announcement from last week, I’m doing a super fun talk at the 2014 Tableau Conference this year called Pimp My Viz!
In order to do this session, I’ll need your help! I need vizzes to pimp. If you’ve got a drab viz that could use a fresh coat of paint and a set of spinners on the wheels, fill out this form and submit it to Pimp My Viz! And guess what: there will be prizes!!!
If your viz is chosen for Pimp My Viz, you will get this super cool one-of-kind custom made t-shirt! Pretty sweet, right?
But that’s not all! Every person who submits a viz and finds me at the 2014 Tableau Conference will get a limited edition totally rad VIZ BANDANA. These are so limited edition that I haven’t even made them yet. But I’ve already printed some test swatches of the fabric and they are going to be DOPE.
So what are you waiting for? Get in on all this fly swag and fill out this form and submit it to Pimp My Viz! I’ll be taking vizzes through the end of July!
July 3, 2014
I’m very VERY excited to announce that I will be holding a fantastic new session at this year’s Tableau Conference called Pimp My Viz. For those not familiar with the MTV classic “Pimp My Ride” host Xzibit wouldn’t just fix up a broken car; he’d add monitors in the headrests, spinners on the wheels, and flames shooting out the tailpipe. In the same fashion, this isn’t going to be an ordinary viz makeover. I’m going to take a few vizzes beyond just making them adhere to visual best practices and add all kinds of design flair, embed content, and other kinds of unnecessary awesomeness.
That being said, I need some broke-ass vizzes to pimp out. So if you have a dashboard that is lacking flare and in desperate need of pimping, please send them to me at email@example.com or tweet them to me @jeweloree.
July 1, 2014
Y’all know how much I love datasets about sex, drugs, and rock and roll. This dataset was just released by the CDC titled “Variation Among States in Prescribing of Opioid Pain Relievers and Benzodiazepines — United States, 2012″
It could be interesting to mashup this data with figures on opiate drug abuse or number of people on disability. Have at it, vizzers!