Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Creativity Tip Sheet

Found this awesome Creativity Tip Sheet from the folks at Unstuck. Love their website and all the resources that they provide!

More and more there is this convergence of the creatives and the data folks. The best data visualizations are definitely a result of data + design.

Hope this tip sheet will inspire creativity in you, especially, when you're feeling stuck. Enjoy!

Friday, August 16, 2013


I don't know if it's me, but it seems like data visualization is becoming a very popular space. One way to do that is through the use of infographics.

While most infographics are static, there's definitely an opportunity to make interactive infographics with the varitety of tools that are available.

I came across this infographic that shares the "10 Rules That Make An Infographic Cool, Effective and Viral." Found it to be helpful and just wanted to pass it along. Enjoy!

Information + Story + Design = Infographics

How To Create A Unique Infographic?
How To Create A Unique Infographic?

Friday, August 9, 2013

The Social Media Viz Champion is ...

Wow, didn't even think it was possible, but I actually won the Crowd Favorite in the Tableau Social Media Viz Contest! Thank you to all who checked out my twitter feed viz and for those of you who voted for me!! Really appreciate it!

Be sure to check out all the amazing entries ... so much creativity and talent.  Keep on doing incredible work!! :)

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

twitter feed v2

One of the wonderful things about Tableau is that you can always find a new way to do something. Even though I already submitted my entry for the Social Media data viz contest, I wanted to use waffle charts that I found here. I modified the waffle charts slightly - it's fun to try using circles instead of squares just to give it a different look.

Waffle charts aka square pie charts work well for summary information, but the downside is that they take up a lot of space on the screen. The hardest part was being able to provide a global filter across multiple data sources. And I found out that the only way to really do it is to use a parameter which does require both data sources to have a common field.

Big props to Jesse Gebhardt for the help with getting the parameter option to work with these waffle charts! And for providing the template for creating waffle charts in Tableau.

This viz breaks down the four groups (Apps, Buffer, Social, and Web) by weekday %. Thought it'd be interesting to show this view. What do you think?

* For more context on this data viz, refer back to the previous blog post.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

twitter feed metrics

Tableau is holding another viz contest, this time using any type of social media data. Since I've been tweeting a lot more lately, I thought it'd be very interesting to analyze my own tweets and of course, to enter the contest. :) Twitter makes it super easy to download an archive of all of your tweets (you can request this archive in the settings of your twitter account).

Once I downloaded the data, I ended up grouping my tweets into four main categories:
  1. Apps - iOS & Android apps such as Flipboard, Zite, YouTube, etc. 
  2. Buffer - One of my favorite sites for spacing out your tweets according to a set schedule. I've been using it quite frequently (http://bufferapp.com).
  3. Social - Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest
  4. Web - Websites that I let tweet for me, the majority of them were done via a "Share button."
Some interesting pieces of data that I found after analyzing my tweets:
  • I have a total of 4,540 tweets since I began using twitter in August 2010.
  • 22% of my tweets are actually retweets of other peoples' tweets! What can I say ... I like to tweet what others have shared ... over 1/4 of the time.
  • My top three ways of sharing my tweets is through the "Share button" via websites, Zite (a great app for curating content!), and Buffer. I enjoy using Buffer because you can setup a schedule of tweets and you can analyze its popularity very easily.
  • The day I tweet the most during a week has been Tuesday followed by Thursday, Friday, Wednesday, Monday, Saturday, and Sunday. Of course I tweet more during the work week than the weekends! I'm also in front of a computer much more often on the weekdays vs the weekends.
  • 38% of my tweets on Tuesday have come from the Web category - majority via the Share button.
  • The month I have tweeted the most is April 2013 ... that's when I tweeted almost 400 times! That's an average of over 13 tweets per day. Wow!
  • When my tweets have originated from twitter, I've used Twitter for Android the most (since it's so convenient on my phone), followed by Twitter.com (webpage), and Twitter for iPad.
Check out my twitter feed viz below for more details. 

Instructions: Click on any item to filter for more detail. You can select multiple items by holding down Ctrl while clicking. To return to the original screen, just click on the same item again. You can find more data by hovering over items in the various charts/visualizations.

Thursday, July 25, 2013


It's quite amazing to see the explosion of data + design. Everywhere you look, data is now being communicated in a visual way. The most common occurrence of this intersection of data + design occurs with infographics.

One infographic that is able to communicate a wealth of information in a visual way is the 2014 US Federal Budget from Visual.ly:

Friday, May 10, 2013

Things I Learned From Mom

Haven't updated this blog in awhile, but I figured I might as well share the slide deck that I came up with for my Mom.

Hope y'all will take the time to honor and to thank your Mothers this weekend! :)

And while you're at it, be sure to check out Haiku Deck - a great app to create slide decks! And to set your story free!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Photoshop CS6 Cheat Sheet

Even though Photoshop doesn't seem related to data, you'd be surprised by the reach and breadth of Photoshop.  Especially with the growing fascination of infographics, Photoshop and Illustrator are useful tools for any data analyst.

I'll admit that they are programs I am still trying to learn better.  When I stumbled across this Photoshop CS6 Cheat Sheet from Zerolag.com, I made sure to save a copy.

Hope it'll be useful for you too!

Photoshop CS6 Shortcut CheatSheet - Tags

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Viz Makeover

With the release of Tableau 8, there are a host of new features including brand-new visualizations. I took one of my old visualizations and revamped it with things you can only do in version 8.

Here's a summary of the things I changed from my original U.S. Unemployment Rate Viz:

  • Decided to pull the latest unemployment data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (data is up to Feb 2013). 
  • Utilized a treemap to show the Unemployment Rate % by state (from 2000-2012). Treemaps are an effective way to show many slices of information!
  • Tried using the new packed bubbles visualization to display the U.S. annual unemployment rate (avg) from 2000-2012. It's a catchy way to show information although it can be a bit tricky to use since it may or may not be more effective than your standard bar chart. I'll let you decide. :)
  • Floating containers everywhere! Added text to guide the user on how to use the map as a filter, put color legends closer to the visualizations, and put the slider for Feb 2013 Unemployment Rate % closer to the map itself. It's really nice to not have to line up all the filters/legends on the right side.
  • Kept the colors consistent on each visualization - using the Red-Blue diverging theme. With the ability to put color legends anywhere on the dashboard, it makes it much easier to see which legend corresponds to which visualization.
  • Adding multiple labels to visualizations like on the treemap. It's so helpful to not be restricted to just one label like before. You can add as many labels as you want! And Tableau is smart enough to know how much to display depending on your screen size.
There are so many more features in Tableau 8. It's definitely worth taking a look. One great new feature I need to learn more about is the Javascript API. It's going to allow people to really be creative! The possibilities are endless! Can't wait to see what others create using this new API.