Layering data for custom Tableau visualizations

Layering data for custom Tableau visualizations

This post outlines a method that has been shared before in the Tableau community. I was initially introduced to it by Noah Salvaterra’s Chord Diagram a while back. 

I am going to walk you through a layering technique, which allows use, and re-use of a single axis in Tableau. This can be done at different levels of granularity, different fields entirely or completely synchronized throughout, thus it can adapt pretty well to various use cases. Need to create a dual-axis in a single axis? This technique can enable this for us (as long as you need the same mark type that is). 

So What? With this technique you can build more detailed and very customized visualizations directly within Tableau (without the need for extensive data prep).

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More options for your Tableau Sankey Diagram

More options for your Tableau Sankey Diagram

A quick look around Tableau Public can often lead you to a Sankey diagram at some point. I can only speak from my experience, but the majority of these visuals (including mine thus far) leverage the sigmoid function. This technique has been posted about and presented on (including by me) quite a few times across the Tableau community, I first found it on Jeff Shaffer’s Blog and this has of course morphed many times and ways, for example, some of the great work done by Olivier Catherin to build a Sankey leveraging polygons (also found on Jeff’s Blog).

Not so recently, Tableau came out with some improved dashboard spacing capabilities in version 10.4. I had been awaiting this feature for a while and could not wait to update some of my Tableau Public work in order to take advantage of it (granted it took me a while to do so). Now we can get rid of those annoying spaces which have been forced into our (tiled) visuals to date.

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Great Arcs in Tableau by Chris DeMartini

Great Arcs in Tableau by Chris DeMartini

This is one of many posts on the subject of Great Arcs which ultimately lead us to the re-make of the 1983 cult classic Wargames in Tableau. I encourage you to read the whole series of posts by the wider team in addition to this one.

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The New Fabulous Mapbox Studio Tutorial - Making a more Accessible Map

The New Fabulous Mapbox Studio Tutorial -  Making a more Accessible Map

Here is an example of how beautiful your new maps can be.  This one was designed to be a background map that was elegant and provided an alternate to just the black, white, and that other one that no one uses, that come pre-designed in Tableau.   Check it out live and zoom in and out.  Notice the color gradations as you zoom in close.  Those would have taken forever to get right in Classic, not to mention how amazingly smooth it is to zoom in and out and pan around.  This is a map Ferrari!

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Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy Mapbox Maps and Layers in Tableau 9.2

Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy Mapbox  Maps and Layers in Tableau 9.2

One of the features that I am most excited about in 9.2 is the ability to add Mapbox map layers from the UI in Tableau instead of having to deal with all the .tms hackery!  If you are a beta tester for 9.2 and are publishing to Tableau Public, this is already available to you to use!  Ready to check out how easy it is now?  I’m going to use my Skyfall themed map to show off how easy it is to add multiple layers, and then we will create a “bog normal view swapper” (a very technical term that Allan Walker seems to use a lot).This will allow the user to change the maps and layers in the background of your published workbook.

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Radial Trees in Tableau by Chris DeMartini

Radial Trees in Tableau by Chris DeMartini

This is an incremental post to navigating your family tree from a few months back. This builds off of that visualization technique to manipulate the tree into a radial view. Also, as with the original, the tree is 100% dynamic and you can reset each node in the tree as the root node, toggle between tree views as well as change the API you are analyzing.

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Time to Get Hopping with Jump Plot by Chris DeMartini and Tom VanBuskirk

Time to Get Hopping with Jump Plot by Chris DeMartini and Tom VanBuskirk

In preparation for the upcoming Think Data Thursday, "I didn't know that was Tablossible", this post introduces a novel graph type referred to as the “Jump Plot”. Jump Plot is the brainchild of Tom VanBuskirk and was first implemented by Chris DeMartini using Tableau. This post is a combined effort from Tom and Chris. There are pieces of this post describing the benefits that Jump Plot provides, however additional details regarding the graph type and all it can offer can be found atjumpplot.com. In short, the Jump Plot provides a new way to visualize event data, with a focus on sequence distributions and bottlenecks. 

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Give that Tableau Workbook a Makeover with "Find and Replace Gone Wild!"

Give that Tableau Workbook a Makeover with "Find and Replace Gone Wild!"

So here is the use case.  Lets say your corporate font just got changed from Arial to Segoe UI.  Or, you are just plain tired of having to format your Quick Filters, turn on and off your those pesky tooltip buttons, or want all your field labels to always be hot pink with glitter.  I am still waiting for the glitter feature in Tableau by the way.... hint hint.  You could spend a day changing  your workbooks, yawn!  If you are lucky you have a corporate Sugar Daddy who will buy you Power Tools, an amazing product, do that.  But if not, you can get similar results from DIY Find and Replace in your favorite text editor.  I use Notepad ++ on a PC or Sublime Text on a Mac

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