Pop Viz: David Bowie Tour History

January 11, 2016

In case you haven’t heard, a great man and artist passed away last night, just days after his 69th birthday. That man was David Fucking Bowie. I’m devastated. And I’m mourning the only way I know how, with data. I threw together this visualization where you can track David Bowie’s tour history. I’ve also tried to hunt down a video from every tour on Youtube, so clicking on the tours in the bar chart below should open those up. I’m a little frustrated with the Path maps: it’s breaking up the paths by country. It also is showing a “*” for a lot of the dates and venues for when Mr. Bowie played a city multiple times, but adding those to the detail shelf messes up the path map even further. I’m guessing the solution is something having to do with LOD calcs, but I’m still experimenting. But, I wanted to get this out there so we can all start to heal.

UPDATE: My brilliant co-worker Richard Wesley had a super simple solution to my path map woes. Using Max([Country]) instead of [Country] still preserves all of the cities in places while also not using it as a dimension to divvy up the data. Thanks dude!!!!

Pop Viz: Neko Atsume and Trying a New Thing

December 11, 2015

Obviously, I like blogging about Tableau. I’ve held multiple panels on it, written articles, basically professed my love for it at every public opportunity I could get. However, there’s a lot not to love about it. Like:

Sure, I’ve had some success posting blog posts to Reddit every once in while, but the way people use the internet is different now. People want all of their content coming to them through one source, aggregators like Reddit, social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter, or curated content platforms like Medium. Content creators don’t want to deal with the hassle of maintaining a blog. And having a dedicated blog is a big commitment if you only have a couple ideas of things you want to make and talk about.

I still get a healthy amount of blog traffic from the Tableau community. But a big goal of my Pop Viz work (and my work on Tableau Public, in general) is to improve data literacy among the general populous. When I’m doing a Pop Viz post on something like music or Pokemon or whatever, I want fans of that thing to consume the viz. But fans of those things are confused when they come to my Tableau blog and there’s all this other weird content about graphs and data and what have you. To reach them, it’d be better to have these vizzes as standalone projects. I could always just send them to the viz homepage, but then I can’t add all the context that I want to. So, what should I do?

I’m experimenting with a new platform to solve just this problem. I want to make beautiful, responsive, Medium-like articles with data visualizations. Medium doesn’t allow for Tableau Public, but I found a tool that does. It’s called Atavist. It has a drag-and-drop interface to add different “Blocks” of content. One of the blocks you can add is and Embed code, and Tableau Public vizzes work there.

I’ve tested out this platform by making a little article about an iPhone game that all the women in my family have been obsessed with called “Neko Atsume”. So here it is, my article “Data Atsume”. Check it out and let me know what you think about this format! I think I might use it for projects like this where I’m making a bunch of vizzes on a very particular dataset and I want people to explore it. If any of you out there have avoided starting a blog for your data projects because of any of the pain points I listed at the start of this post, I encourage you to try to make a data story with this tool. And be sure to tweet it to me @jeweloree!

See my Neko Atsume Vizzes here!

P.S. It looks awesome on mobile.

Pop Viz: The Darth Jar Jar Theory

December 8, 2015

For the past couple weeks, every time I’m making small talk with someone and they mention their excitement for the new Star Wars movie, I quickly segue into “OMG. HAVE YOU HEARD THE DARTH JAR JAR THEORY?” Judging by some data analysis of Reddit that I’ve done; I’m not the only nerd doing this.


For those of a slightly less geeky nature, Jar Jar Binks is an incredibly unpopular character from Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace. As the title implies, someone in the film is supposed to be an unexpected bad guy. But, we never really find out who that is. By the end, we assume it’s Emperor Palpatine. However, some Star Wars super fans have posited that the Phantom Menace is an even more unexpected character: Jar Jar Binks. Check out this video to see the whole theory:

This theory really rose to prominence in a Reddit post last October. In the dashboard below, I used import.io to scrape Reddit for any post containing “Jar Jar Binks”. You can see that prior to the theory becoming mainstream, the only people that routinely talked about Jar Jar were in the subreddit /r/whowouldwin, which pits all kinds of characters against each other and people debate who would win in that fight. After the theory, a whole subreddit on it /r/DarthJarJar because a popular place for people to suggest and discuss evidence for the theory of Jar Jar being a Sith lord.

Here’s the dashboard:

As for me…well:
I want to believe

#Data15: Pimp My Viz 2: Electric Boogaloo Follow-Up

October 26, 2015
10-26-2015 12-40-14 PM

I had a blast bringing back my weird point-of-view on making dashboards a little more fun to #Data15. Last year, I focused more on custom design and making things look as little like Tableau as possible. This year, I went a little more in the direction of doing some calculations and interactions that are a little more advanced. Let’s take a look at what I did!

But first, here’s the video I couldn’t get to play in my session:

Viz #1- Buzzfeed’s Most Viral Numbers

Ok, ok. Before you get too mad at me, yes. I admit it. I pimped my own viz. But it was out of desparation! All the vizzes submitted to me for Pimp My Viz were already too pimped out! Stop getting so good at Tableau, people! (Actually, don’t stop. It’s awesome.)

So here’s some stuff I did to make this dashboard a little more pimpin’



Viz #2- Price of Gold Over Time

This is a pimped out version of a viz originally by former Tableau intern and wunderkind Quinn Schiller. You may remember him as the badass who figured out how to use pages to make animated gifs in Tableau. In honor of that, GIFs were one of the key features when I made over his Price of Gold dashboard (which has some excellent annotations and storytelling in it!). Here’s what I did:

OMG! A useful application for gifs?!?!?!

You’ve gotta be kitten me!

It’s true! I thought of a useful application for gifs! I know I’m not alone in lamenting that using animation on the Pages shelf in Tableau doesn’t not work once published to Tableau Public or Server. But, we can use gifs to work around this! Check it out:

How is this done? It’s actually pretty simple:

  1. Create the gif. I used Camtasia, which I have for recording training videos, but that’s a pretty hefty piece of software. There’s plenty of free tools to create screen capture GIFs, so pick whichever one works best for you.
  2. Host the gif online (again, Imgure FTW!) and embed it on your dashboard as a web object.
  3. Float the sheet that you are animating on top of the web object. What we are basically doing is a variation on this trick I wrote about last year, to leave your viewers with a message when filters make your vizzes disappear.
  4. Last, we need to create a button to make the viz disappear and show the animated gif behind it. To do this, I created a calculation that equals “Null” for everything. I made a button out of it by creating a sheet, putting the calc on text, and setting a square shape in the background. I edited the text label to say “See/Stop Animation”. I added to my dashboard with a dashboard action that effects the scatter plot on click and where clearing the filter excludes everything. This is what makes the chart disappear and the gif behind it reveal itself.

5 Easy Ways to Pimp Your Viz

To end the session, I gave a rapid fire list of 5 easy ways to Pimp Your Viz. This was based on a blog post I did earlier in the year, but here are those steps again, just if you need a refresher:

  1. Colors. Don’t be satisfied with the default Tableau blue! I like using sites like Colourlovers to choose color palettes that aren’t built into Tableau. I also like that they limit their palettes to 5 colors, which makes you really think about how you are using your color. Ryan Sleeper wrote a pretty fantastic blog post about color a couple years ago that is still a great resource.
  2. Marks Card Magic. Along with changing the color, there’s plenty you can do with the Marks card to pimp out your viz a bit. Make your bars fatter! Add labels! The stuff I did to the bars in the BuzzFeed viz above is a good example of how simple changes on the marks card can make a pretty strong impact when it comes to making a viz look custom.
  3. Add a banner. A good title for your viz is a MUST. And you might as well take that opportunity to make a banner. Banners are great because you can communicate what the theme of your dashboard is and set the tone for what people are about to see. My typical banner strategy is to find an image related to what the dashboard is about, crop it, blur it, and add the title in a custom font. I often use Adobe Illustrator for this, but a few people in the viz design community have confessed to me they just use Powerpoint for this and it gets the job done. For a web based solution where you can create some REALLY gorgeous graphics for your vizzes, I highly recommend Canva. It’s a web based drag-and-drop design tool that’s super intuitive and has stock images built right in for you to use. I actually use it all the time for designing gig posters for my band and am just now starting to use it for viz work. But I have a feeling it’s going to be my go-to from now on.
  4. Clean up the tooltips. SWEET MOTHER OF GOD JUST CLEAN UP YOUR TOOLTIPS, OK?!?! You should NEVER EVER EVER publish a viz with default tooltips. I assure you, they look like unreadable crap 100% of the time. In my session, I said that if you don’t clean up your tooltips, little fairies will fly into your bedroom at night and punch you in the face. I’m not joking. Although, the little fairy might be me in a tutu and fair wings, but I assure you, you’ll get punched. In the face. You don’t want that do you? So just clean up your tooltips, ok?
  5. Thoughtful Interaction. A dashboard without interaction is like pizza without cheese…. an ABOMINATION. Think through how people might want to interact with the data you are presenting them and try to make the order of operations make sense. Make the order that you click things go from left-to-right and top-to-bottom since people in the Western world read that way. Have a friend look at your dashboard and just watch what they try to click on and make those the areas where you put your interaction. The more people play with your viz, the more they’ll remember it!
  6. Finally, let’s wrap this up with some of my favorite tweets about my session.

    Need more pimping? You can also watch the original Pimp My Viz session from TC14 in Seattle and read the followup!

#WatchMeViz Deadline Extended!

October 1, 2015

I want to make sure we have as many amazing dancers as we can have, so I’m extending the deadline to submit #WatchMeViz videos to October 4th! So if you have time this weekend to do some sweet dance moves, please send them to me! Check out some of the current awesome submissions below:






#WatchMeViz – Submit your video!

September 22, 2015

My loyal readers probably saw the last post about chart based dance moves and guessed something was up. Well, you were right. My pal Aaron (who recently started a blog called Veni, Vidi, Vizi) approached me with an idea to do a Tableau based parody of the hit dance craze “Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae)”. Together, we wrote some new lyrics and came up with some dance moves and “Watch Me Viz” was born! The fabulous MC Short Shorts helped out with the backing track:

Now we need your help! We want to put this all together into an awesome music video before TC15 and we need dancers! You can submit videos by hosting them on Dropbox, Google drive, or another file sharing tool and filling out this form.

Of course, to make a video, you are going to need to know the dance moves. Luckily, I made this handy guide. (And yes, an entire wall of my apartment is a giant map. Deal with it.)













And during the “Oooh TC15!” part, you can freestyle. I recommend recreating moves from old episodes of Soul Train for inspiration. Now go get your groove on and send me your videos! I need the videos by October 1st in order to make the video in time for TC15!


August 20, 2015

If you were to come up with a dance move to rep a chart type, what would it be? Here's my box plot move: http://t.co/rVa0IQomf6 #watchmeviz

— Jewel Loree (@jeweloree) August 20, 2015

Send me your best viz dance moves!

Also, I’m still looking for people to send vizzes for Pimp My Viz 2: Electric Boogaloo, so fill out this form with your ugliest viz!


It’s Happening! Pimp My Viz 2: Electric Boogaloo

July 22, 2015

That’s right, dear readers! Back by popular demand, I will once again be pimping vizzes at Tableau Conference! What’s Pimp My Viz, you ask? Well, check out this little teaser video!

You can also watch last year’s session here.

A key component of Pimp My Viz is having vizzes to pimp! That’s why I created this handy submission form. Send me your lackluster vizzes and I’ll make them so shiny and ridiculous it’ll bring a tear to Xzibit’s eye. Submit your viz today!

Data Feed: Inside Airbnb

June 2, 2015

Stumbled upon a pretty fantastic group of Airbnb datasets for Amsterdam, Barcelona, London, NYC, Paris, Portland, San Francisco, and Sydney. You can find them here. Looks like things are spread across a few different tables so some join/blend action will probably be necessary. But on first glance, they look pretty robust. Enjoy!

Pimp My Viz TC14: Now Available for your Viewing Pleasure

April 23, 2015

Great news, everyone! All of the session from Tableau Conference 2014 in Seattle are now online for your viewing pleasure, including my super fun Pimp My Viz presentation. Check it out, learn some cool tips, and get thinking of ideas of vizzes to submit for *hopefully* Pimp My Viz 2015!

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