Tableau Smooth Bump Chart

Have you ever come across an idea with TONS of potential but fails to deliver on that potential? My friends Andy and Eva are pros at finding this stuff.

Let me explain…

They run a super cool project called MakeoverMonday.

Why is it so super cool? Because each and every week they find data visualizations from across the web, collect the underlying data sets, provide inspiration and feedback to the data viz community.

It’s a great way to connect with others and level up your data visualization game.

But, here’s the secret that most people don’t know.

By participating in MakeoverMonday, you get to fulfill the potential of that FAILED idea.

Super cool, right? How often at work do you see a crappy PowerPoint deck or poorly written email? How often do you get to make it better? Basically never.

Well, I’m going to pull back the curtain to show you how I fulfill the potential of a failed idea.

I dig into a super busted (and super boring…) chart from the World Health Organization looking at life expectancy rates across the globe.

While the original chart is definitely boring, the underlying story is definitely not boring. Just look at these examples which all use the exact same data set. CRAZY!

In this case study you’ll learn:

  • 4 things I really liked about the WHO Life Expectancy dashboard
  • 5 things I didn’t like…
  • How I improved the WHO Life Expectancy dashboard
  • The exact 14 steps you need to create a smooth bump chart in Tableau (including ALL the calculations)

Let’s do this!

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Tableau Dashboards: Beginner’s Guide

Have you been working with Tableau for some time but want to take your skills to the next level? The absolute best way to do that is by creating Tableau dashboards because you learn by doing.

The problem is that it can be tough to know EXACTLY where you should start.

Well, I’ve got good news…

I did a bunch of research over the past few weeks and have compiled all of my notes into a handy guide for you.

Based on my experience working with Tableau for the past two years, I found there are 5 steps you need to create Tableau dashboards that are sure to impress your coworkers and colleagues..

I put everything into the guide below and even created a walk-through video and bonus PDF cheat sheet.

Here’s are the 5 steps…

  1. Collect your data: How to take data you’re familiar with and use it in Tableau
  2. Create your metrics: Thinking ahead to create a few measures that will make your Tableau dashboards actually useful
  3. Connect the dots: Impress your co-workers with powerful visualizations
  4. Communicate your story: Build Tableau dashboards that get the point across quickly and effectively
  5. Collaborate with your team: Publish your work to Tableau to share with your team – and across the world!

Bonus Materials

Want to save some time? Download the PDF checklist of this post + 5 Beginner Mistakes that Every Tableau Dashboard Developer Must Avoid

Let’s dive in…

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How to Create 5 Different Tableau Bar Charts

Pretty much everyone knows that bar charts are a great way to visualize your data.

Really, one of the best.

There are LOTS of reasons why bar charts are just plain awesome, but the two MAIN REASONS are:

  1. everyone understands them starting in grade school. People know how bar graphs work.
  2. everyone can quickly estimate values to spot check the numbers displayed in the bar chart.

Now, most people have created lots of bar charts for school projects or maybe in Excel.

xkcd: Efficiency
xkcd: Efficiency
But, here’s the thing:

Tableau is a great tool for making bar charts and there are a few techniques worth learning.

In this guide, you will learn:

  • How to make a basic bar chart, even if it’s your first time using Tableau
  • How to make clustered bar charts (or grouped bar charts) using multiple measures
  • Instructions for making stacked bar charts in Tableau
  • All about dual axis bar charts (also known as bullet charts)
  • How you can create a regular bar chart next to a stacked bar chart side-by-side
  • How to create diverging bar charts (kinda tricky but worth it!)
  • Tips, tricks, and techniques to wow your colleagues!

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Tableau and Google Sheets: Step-by-Step Guide To A Quick and Easy Dashboard

Ever wanted to build a quick visualization based on data you have in Google Sheets? Well, you’re not alone.

Connecting Tableau and Google Sheets used to be FRUSTRATING before Tableau Desktop 10
Connecting Tableau and Google Sheets used to be FRUSTRATING before Tableau Desktop 10

Yes, there are some charts and graphs built in, but they are pretty limited.

Here’s the thing…

Starting with Tableau 10, you can now connect directly to any Google sheet with a few clicks and start visualizing you data within a few minutes.

Save time by connecting Tableau directly to Google Sheets data
Save time by connecting Tableau directly to Google Sheets data … disclaimer, this chart was built with Google Charts 🙂

In this step by step guide, you will learn

  1. How to upload your data into Google Sheets
  2. Connecting to Google Sheets from Tableau
  3. Create a quick dashboard with Tableau and Google Sheets

Before you get started, you’ll need two things….
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Free Data Visualization Books

I’ve seen lots of posts over the past few months with lists of great data visualization books. However, most of the books are pretty expensive. Now, I hadn’t seen a full listing of free data visualization books, so I wanted to put one together.

Here’s the thing: if you are just getting started with data visualization, there are tons of resources to get started. 

So here’s what I did…I spent a few days researching and compiling all of the free data visualization books I could find.

Most of the books will give you some general guidelines on data visualization and are enough to get started.

One note: a few of them require an email to sign up.

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Business Analytics Trends That Will Transform Your Career

It’s pretty hard to work your regular job and keep up with new stuff that comes up at the same time.

There are only so many hours in the day after all…

However, if you are looking to boost your career in data analytics> then you really have to learn about new trends AND figure out how they actually apply to you in your every day job.

No pressure 🙂

Business Analytics - Salary Increase and Skill Level
Business Analytics – Salary Increase and Skill Level

Most articles I’ve seen are filled with super boring lists and ZERO real information that will actually help you.

So, did some digging and put together a huge list of the top business analytics trends for you.

In this article, you will learn

  • 15 new trends in analytics identified by top industry leaders.
  • How you can apply each trend to your career starting today.
  • Helpful links and information if you really want to dig in and have no idea where to start.
  • Also, you can download a checklist version of this post for future reference.

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20 Tableau Tools You Might Not Know About

Everyone knows that Tableau is the fastest way to analyze your data.

However, there are a bunch of tools that make working with Tableau even easier.

I did a bunch of research and compiled a massive list of Tableau tools that will help you work with Tableau more efficiently every single day.

In this article, you will learn about:

  1. 20 different tools to make Tableau even more useful
  2. What each of the tools is and how they can be used
  3. Helpful links for you to research more as needed

The guide is split up into 3 parts:

Part 1: Tableau Desktop Tools
Part 2: Tableau Server Tools
Part 3: Third Party Tools & Apps

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Getting Started with Tableau Web Data Connectors

Tableau web data connectors is one of the biggest shortcuts I’ve seen in a while. It was just added in Tableau 9.1 and it’s a game changer if you work with data found on the web.

I’m a big fan of short cuts. Most people are.

Here’s the thing

Taking a shortcut can save you lots of time, but can also hurt you in the long run if you aren’t smart about it. I did a bunch of research and have compiled all of my notes to show you the short cuts and still giving some background information so you know what’s going on behind the scenes (which is important!)

In this guide, you’ll learn:

  1. How to get started with Tableau Web Data Connectors
  2. How to share your Tableau Web Data Connectors with the world
  3. A short cut to get data from pretty much any website into Tableau

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5 Mistakes to Avoid as a Tableau Beginner

Tableau is a great tool for quickly looking at your data, but it requires a different way of thinking about your data and visualizations. Many people are used to working a certain way with specific tools and then can’t quite figure out how to use Tableau in the same way.

Biggest Tableau Mistakes and How to Avoid them
Biggest Tableau Mistakes and How to Avoid them – we’re here for you Michelle 🙂

Here’s a list of five mistakes that you can avoid when getting started with Tableau so you don’t waste time or get frustrated.

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