My Tableau heroes this week are @Jeff Rice and Tracy Fitzgerald. Jeff for taking the time to demo a way to animate the hurricane viz, a technique I was able to adapt for this viz. And Tracy for sponsoring the tdt and getting Jeff to come talk to us. Thanks Jeff & Tracy!
The assignment for this viz was to visualize sales over time and territory. The data shows sale counts for three years for a door-to-door sales crew. The client wanted to know if the crew 'exhausted' a neighborhood and then had to move on, constantly having to expand into new territory to keep sales up. Or was the crew able to re-visit fertile ZIP Codes again and again. So this is the viz I came up with:
I used the Page Shelf to animate the sales over time for both the map and the bar charts. The lines on the map are where Jeff gave me a hand. By changing them from line marks to circle marks (counter-intuitive, as Jeff mentioned) I was able to use the history trails to draw the lines over time. The lines themselves are the AVG(Latitude) & AVG(Longitude) for all ZIP Codes with at least one sale for that month. This gives a decent representation of the center of the sales effort, and more importantly shows any big moves into new territory (the long yellow-orange line moving south for instance). This average trick was another one I picked up on the forums, unfortunately I couldn't find the original post, so I can't give a shout-out/thanks for that one.
Improvements: The one thing I'm not completely happy with is that the labels on the bar charts don't remain visible throughout, even though the bars do. If anyone could figure out how to over-come this without messing up the way the map displays, I sure would be grateful. Also I wasn't able to work out the averages to be weighted averages based on number of sales per zip.
Other than that, I'm happy with the way it turned out, and more importantly so is my client.
EDIT: I've now attached the latest version of this viz (Sales Territory Over Time 9-16-10a), which includes Richard's improvements. At first I was concerned that Richard's solution wouldn't scale well, but as long as I keep the dashboard size within a narrow range, it works just fine.
EDIT #2: Sales Territory Over Time Ver2 is a trial of the idea of making the marks persistent. Unfortunately it covers up the lines too much.
EDIT #3: Sales Territory Over Time Ver3 implements a solution to Richard's concerns over the misleading nature of using a running total with marks that are not persistent. (More comments below.)