Sunday, 8 September 2019

Ofcom's media nations report: Bar chart epic fail

As a designer of interactive visualisations you have great power and great responsibility to stop the user from doing stupid things. Whoever put Ofcom's media nations report together on Power BI, left the option to the user to tick plotting the responses to multiple questions, with the percentages going well above 100%. I'm not familiar enough with Power BI to know if this is the fault of the software rather than the designer.
And the magic setting producing the magic plot (one of the questions only has answers for 2018-2019

Sunday, 11 August 2019

A sneak preview of the second Tableau Server Users Group meetup in London

Last month was the second  London Tableau server users group meetup. Jonathan MacDonald went through a long list of tips and tricks for server users and administrators, a few I knew already but also an awful lot that I didn't.

I won't go through all of them, as I wasn't writing them down, or snapping a pic for every single one. I did take the following two pics though. The first trick is that you can append filters to the URL:
and the second one is that you can access an xml containing the server status again through a URL

Friday, 9 August 2019

Extracting the list of coordinates for geographic role 'airport' out of Tableau

Don't they say a picture is a thousand words? All you have to do is navigate to 
C:\Program Files\Tableau\Tableau Public 2019.2\local\data
(modify appropriately for Tableau desktop). Copy the airport tableau source and the GEOCODING database into another folder, drag and drop the tds on tableau and voila, you have the airports and their coordinates! You can even export them to csv for general purpose use.

Sunday, 30 June 2019

Workarounds for getting new 2019.3 features in earlier versions

The 2019.3 beta is out and here's the list of new features. It's nice of Tableau to automate some of the things that could be done with workarounds in previous versions. If you like the new features but are stuck in an old version, or if you are a new kid wanting to know how things were done in ye olden days, follow the links below:
Distance between two points as a calculation
Working with data in UK national grid projected coordinates (haven't tried this script in TabPy to see how slow it would be, worked fine as a standalone python script for data preprocessing)
Pdf subscriptions (courtesy of Interworks)

Sunday, 17 February 2019

Tableau public 2019.1 allows for powerpoint export

You will have noticed, dear reader, that a lot of the images I use in the blog are screenshots of the workbook while it's being edited in Tableau Public, before publishing. Tableau has spared a thought for those like me, and from the latest version allows me to export to PowerPoint even before publishing to Tableau Public.

So from this :
we go to this:
It is basically a powerpoint with the image exports of the sheets, but still quite handy! As a general rule when I want to put Tableau visualisations into powerpoint I observe two rules:
  1. Export the view and legend(s) separately into separate png files, so that the legend does not become diminutively small
  2. When resizing the inserted png file, make sure I keep the aspect ratio of the original.

Tuesday, 25 December 2018

Managing the monthly Flow allocation using a scheduled ftp file grab

Running a flow for every new file in the FTP repository is eating away my monthly allowance
Therefore since I'm not interested in real time monitoring, a more efficient approach is to only fetch files once a day. Note that the ftp directory list gives a body on which we can run a 'foreach' loop, to then only select the wanted files whose filenames satisfy the condition.
If you got this far, Merry Xmas!!!