On a recent Tableau project with one of my clients we partnered with ETR, a digital design firm in New York, to design initial UI/UX concepts. One of the best ideas to come out of this process was a novel (at least to me) approach to the heat map. Instead of the typical gradations between 2 colors – typically red and green – the design included 3 discrete groupings with a neutral color and one bold color to highlight exceptions. The result was a nice clean look along with an effective contrast to focus the viewers attention on what's most important (the core goal of any data viz).
This is the Tableau version of the concept in action. I also added other Tableau tricks I like such as using parameters to create dynamic dimensions and metrics, and clicking on action filters to reveal more detailed info. Maybe a little dated now since the draft happened a few weeks ago, but I'm using 30+ years of NFL draft data to show how teams, positions, and conferences have fared in each round.
If you're interested in a tutorial of how I did it, I posted a walkthrough on my site: http://www.dangastineau.com/post/tableau-heatmap-nfldraft
Tableau Version: 10.2
Original Author: Dan Gastineau