Tuesday, December 28, 2010


Starting in 2011, I'm making a mission out of creating tiny charts and dashboards. I'm exhausted from constantly looking at big, ugly charts and dashboards that fill up the screen but are mostly filled with whitespace and other useless junk. Keep reading below the viz to see more info.

In the two examples above: The Multigrain dashboard uses a calculated field and a parameter to change the Level of Detail (LOD) for the visual. This is *not* recommended at high data volumes as it will be quite slow. However, you should see decent performance at 5k to 5m records, depending on your data source. The nasty non-optimal calculation looks like this:

CASE [Select Granularity]
WHEN "Level 1" THEN [Prod Type1]+", "+[Segment]
WHEN "Level 2" THEN [Prod Type1]+", "+[Segment]+", "
+[Prod Type2]
WHEN "Level 3" THEN [Prod Type1]+", "+[Segment]+", "
+[Prod Type2]+", "+[Prod Type3]
+", "+[Prod Type4]+", "+[Customer Name]
WHEN "Level 4 - Warning!" THEN [Prod Type1]+", "+[Segment]
+", "+[Prod Type2]+", "+[Prod Type3]+", "+[Prod Type4]+", "
+[Customer Name]+", "+str([Order Id])+", "+str([Line Id])

I guess the good news here is that Moore's Law will keep catching up with this kind of lazy, non-performant analytics! :)

The second example, Quadriplot, came to me in a fitful waking state. I wanted to see how small I could make a 4-up dashboard without losing usability. It's debatable as to how successful I was. Nonetheless, the salient points to this dashboard are:

  • The use of discrete Tableau Actions
  • The use of the new 6.0 table calculations to show totals at the bottom


Ellie Fields said...

Alan, I love these miniplots. By the way Oprah asked you to be on the show, it means blowing your cover and a free copy of miniplots for every audience member. You in?

northwestcoder said...

my cover was blown months and months ago... :)