Blog

Queues and Utilization in Tableau: Part 1 – Queues

About once a week I see a post on the Tableau Forum that ends up being a queue or utilization problem. Let me give you some examples: I have work orders on each row with an open and (possibly) a close date on each row. I want to plot a chart showing dates and the number …

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US Tornadoes 1950 to 2011

  2011 was a bad year for tornadoes, and 2012 has started with some dangerous ones as well. I’ve been wanting to visualize them for a long time and finally found a source of clean data – the Tornado History Project which allows you to download data that was cleaned from the Storm Prediction Center. There …

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Blackjack Basic Strategy and Expected Outcomes

Following on from my post about where to play blackjack, here’s a basic strategy tester and strategy table built in Tableau. The idea is that if you play perfect strategy, you minimize the house advantage and your losses. By playing “with your gut”, you’re giving the house a massive advantage, especially if you’re not doubling …

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Where to Play Blackjack in Vegas

With the Tableau customer conference fast approaching I thought a blackjack visualization was appropriate. If you play blackjack using basic strategy (hitting, standing, doubling, etc. depending on the cards showing) you can minimize your losses over time. However, short of card counting or cheating, the house always has the advantage, although slight – typically in …

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Beer and Calories and Alcohol and Calories Per Alcohol and…

How many calories do you save by drinking light beer? Or perhaps the better question, if the alcohol content is lower in light beers, how many calories am I saving to get as drunk? This visualization answers that and more. The data is from Beer100.com and I’ve added lots of sort, coloring, highlight and filter …

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Book Review: Rapid Graphs with Tableau Software

Even though Tableau has been round for a number of years now, there is a dearth of books out there to guide new users. To get the most out of Tableau, you don’t want to approach chart making in the same way that you do in Excel. The videos and webinars that Tableau offers are great, …

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Slopegraphs in Tableau

In Tufte’s The Visual Display of Quantitative Information, and recently on his blog, he discusses the use of slopegraphs to show change over time. They are highly effective because you have both the text (the reader would likely want to know the individual values), the sorting, and the slope which allows you to understand the …

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Case Shiller House Price Index

Standard and Poor’s Case-Shiller index was released today with disappointing indications of a double-dip recession, at least for the housing market. This provided an excellent opportunity to visualize the data they make public. Below is the seasonally adjusted data for March 2011, going back over two decades. The index is set so that all cities …

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Exploring Data in a Single Chart

Chandoo’s excellent Excel and Data blog has a data challenge to win a Kindle. I’m not entering but thought I’d show what Tableau can do with just a few hours of work. The challenge was to create a single chart that showed the data story the best. Below is what I think works, but the …

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The US has 3 years of Oil in the ground: Oil exports, imports, and consumption

Many people are unaware of the massive amount of oil and refined petroleum that is shipped and consumed around the word. Every day, there are approximately 84 million barrels of oil used. Every day. 3.5 billion gallons, 5345 Olympic swimming pools, 13 Empire State Buildings. Quite unbelievable. To understand who is using the oil, where it’s coming from, and …

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