Going under the hood
How many times have you seen a viz on Tableau Public and thought wow? A fair few, right? I would imagine in many instances that wow has led to that same viz being favourited on Tableau Public, a sign of your admiration for the author and a personal reminder for you of potential future viz inspiration. Now let me ask you how many times have you downloaded the viz to ‘look under the hood’ and truly appreciate the design and underlying Tableau techniques?
This is the question I asked myself after watching my fellow #SportsVizSunday co-host, Spencer Baucke, present the 2nd round of our TC Europe 19 data viz quiz ‘A Question Of SportsVizSunday’. The round, inspired by Workout Wednesday, challenged participants to recreate elements of Spencer’s MLB ‘The 500 HR Club’.
I have long admired the viz, the in-depth analysis, clean design, minimal use of colour, however it was not until listening to Spencer explain the techniques behind the viz that I fully appreciated its brilliance. The immediate attraction of the design became matched by an attraction for its construction; the table calculations, the formatting tricks. My inner geek was truly satisfied by this feast of Tableau excellence.
Then it hit me like a Babe Ruth home run. Yes, I use Tableau Public as a source of viz inspiration, but too often I rely on the visuals for inspiration and not the technical construction. Imagine how rich our learning experience would be if for every viz we favourited, we got into the automatic habit of downloading the viz, when available, to ‘look under the hood’.
So, my challenge to you all is a simple one, next time you see a viz and think wow, don’t just favourite it. Download it. Take the time to fully appreciate it and learn from the technical brilliance that happens across the Tableau Community every single day.