Data House of Horrors Followup!

October 20, 2014

Thanks to the lovely folks at for showing a super fun time last Thursday at our Halloween special webinar! If you logged on, you probably caught some of our “fancy dress” but in case you weren’t, this happened:


Getting ready to get spooky with data on our @importio webinar!

View on Instagram

If you didn’t make it, never fear! It was recorded and you can watch the whole thing here:

I wanted to go a little more into detail about how to build this dashboard, so I’ll break it down piece by piece so that you can recreate it!

Bar Chart

Building the first bar chart is pretty easy. To start, put [Costume Category] on rows. Since there are duplicate rows (due to having one row for every word in a title), instead of using [Number of Records] we are going to do a CountDistinct([Prod ID]). You can do this by right-click dragging [Prod ID] to the columns shelf and then selecting Count Distinct, or by clicking the drop down menu on the Prod ID pill and then going to Measure>Count(Distinct). This means Tableau is now only counting each costume once.



Making the price histogram was also very simple. All you have to do is select [Price] in the Measures pane and then hit the histogram button in Show Me.blog2

If the bins that your histogram selects are too big or small you can edit them by finding [Price(Bin)] in the Dimensions pane, clicking the drop down and clicking “Edit”. This will allow you to change your bins to whatever size you’d like.

Lastly, instead of doing a count on price, which will make for duplicate rows because of the join with the words, switch out [CNT(Price)] on the Rows shelf with [CNTD(Prod Id)].

Word Cloud

To create the word cloud, drag the [Words] on to text and [Number of Records] on size. At first, you’ll get a treemap. This is a good point to filter out some of the words to keep them mucking out the word cloud. I filtered out words like costume, adult, the, of, etc. You can just over over a square and click “Exclude”. Once you do that, you can switch the marks card from “Automatic” to “Text” to get a word cloud.

Another thing I wanted to do was filter to only the top 30 words; that way nothing is too small. Since we already filtered on [Words] when we excluded “adult” and “costume” and the like, we can create a duplicate field for words and filter on that. If you click the drop down menu on [Words] you will find the Duplicate option. Click on this and drag it to the Filters shelf. Once you are there, click the tab that says “Top” and choose “By field:” and set it to the Top 30 by [Number of Records].


The table is pretty simple. Drag [Item] to rows and [Price] to label. Easy peasy. I also put [Prod Id] on Detail in the Marks card (you’ll see why later) and [Description] in the tooltip.

Hover Help Ghost

This is a trick I use all the time as it’s a great way to add context to your dashboard without taking up too much space. It’s been well documented before so I won’t go into too much detail. The only real thing I did differently was change the shape to a custom shape that looks like a little ghost. Read more about utilizing custom shapes here.

The “Sexy” button

To create this, I first went through all the words and created groups so that words like “Babe” and “Flirty” fell into the “Sexy” group and all other words counted as “Everything else”

With the groups created and renamed to [Sexy Words] I created the “Sexy” button by dragging out [Sexy Words] to the text on the marks card and then editing the label by clicking on the Text button and editing it to say “Click here to bring back”. Then I put [Sexy Words] on filter and filtered to only show words in the “Sexy” group. Then, I edited the formatting to have borders and colors to make it look button like.

Dashboard Interactions

Tableau Public is great for rapidly creating a lot of different charts types like we did above, but the real power comes in making these charts interact with each other. This is done through “Dashboard Actions.” Now that all of our sheets are created, we can create a new dashboard and drag everything onto it. Then we can create a series of dashboard actions by going to Dashboard>Actions in the menu. Here’s all the actions I created:

Design considerations

I wanted the theme to be really obvious, so I did a bit of design work to make everything match the Halloween theme. First, I set the background color to all of my sheets and the dashboard to black and set the other colors to fit a theme. I based everything off of this color scheme:

Color by COLOURlovers

I even created custom color palettes in Tableau so that I could use those colors as a gradient in the data.

Another thing I did was create a set of custom titles out of a custom font I found on DaFont called “Scary Halloween”

I also added a little tombstone image to the dashboard for the costume picture to load on top of.

So, that’s basically it! Our finished product looks pretty neat:

Learn About Tableau

So, that’s it! I hope you enjoyed the webinar and the dashboard!

#Main #Tutorials
October 20, 2014 @ 10:41 am

So glad you recorded it! I had to leave the webinar early for a work issue but am glad I can now watch the rest.

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