Welcome to Data Plus Science by Jeffrey A. Shaffer. He is a regular speaker at conferences, symposiums, universities and corporate training programs on the topic of data visualization, data mining and Tableau. He has taught data visualization at the KPMG Advisory University, KPMG Global Analytics and for the University of Cincinnati Center for Business Analytics.
It’s hard to believe it’s been 5 years since I wrote this blog post on creating a Sankey-Style Slopegraph in Tableau and I outlined how to create an S-shaped curve using the Sigmoid function in this blog post. For those not familiar, here’s a brief Tableau history on this topic. So what’s the problem? The issue is the shape of the line in the Sankey diagrams. When using the sigmoid function, the flow diagrams start out showing the size correctly, but as they curve, the function narrows the line.
Rodrigo Calloni posted a question on the Tableau forums last week asking how to recreate this chart in Tableau. Mahfooj Khan offered a great solution for this, creating a join to another sheet to add the additional marks needed for this unit chart. The question came up again on the Viz Review for MakeoverMonday hosted by Eva Murray and Sarah Barlett. In this post, I will offer an alternative solution using data densification. This is not a new technique. I learned this technique from Joe Mako. In fact, back in 2015, Joe was kind enough to do a screen share with me. He quickly mocked up some data, unioned it up using Custom SQL and created a few fields in Tableau. In a matter of minutes he had created a unit chart with a parameter to adjust the unit size. Then he walked me through how it all worked. For anyone who's had the pleasure of Joe walking you through something like this in Tableau, you will understand when I say, it was truly impressive to watch him work through this.
There continues to be strong interest in my recent visualization, Bar Hopping: Theme and Variations on a Bar Chart. This week on LinkedIn, Steve Adams saw the post and asked about building another variation of a bar chart in Tableau. He was struggling with trying to reproduce overlapping bars. Normally, I would suggest we avoid these types of visualizations. Overlapping bars can make the comparisons harder to see and a bar with a target line would be a much better choice. However, this visualization is apparently a requirement to be compliant with the International Business Communication Standards (IBCS), so it is necessary for Steve to be able to reproduce this in Tableau.
This is a quick tip to show you how you can deal with web objects on a Tableau Public visualization. It can be frustrating to build a viz and then upload it to Tableau Public, only to see lots of blank spaces on your visualizations in your gallery.The thumbnail is automatically generated when the visualization is saved up to Tableau Public. So here's a quick tip for dealing with this.
In this blog post I will outline how you can get quick and easy statistics on any Tableau Public Profile using the Tableau Public API, and how to batch download Tableau workbooks from a Tableau Public Profile page. It's pretty easy to pull your data, or anyone's data, using the Tableau Public API in just a few steps.
When upgrading to a major release in Tableau, the list of recent files dissappears and the saved color palettes disappear. For Windows users, we can fix this with a few very simple steps. Note however, this requires modifying the registry, and it's best to note Microsoft's warning about this. "Changes made to the Windows registry happen immediately, no backup is created automatically. Do not edit the Windows registry unless you are confident about doing so." That said, the steps are really very simple.