11 Replies Latest reply on Dec 16, 2012 1:45 PM by Tamas Foldi

    Forums Digest Weekly #4

    Shawn Wallwork





      Contemplative, meditative, possibly even enlightening; much as the solutions provided by our Zen Masters this week:

      Here’s one of Joe Mako’s more instructive posts. Also, when Joe posts, “This is a new situation I have not seen before,” I’m instantly interested. This week Joe won the storytelling with data contest with a demonstration of what I think is the optimal way to visualize Likert scale results. I will be using this often, thanks Joe.

      Jonathan Drummey was very active on the forums this week. Sarah A found Jonathan’s responses to her question both helpful & correct. Jonathan provided a work-around for Alex Kerin to deal with data blending and some date friction he was having. Most folks probably don’t think Zen Masters have questions of their own, but they do from time to time. Here’s an open question of Jonathan’s that hasn't been answered yet. Anybody got any ideas? By the end of the week it seems Jonathan found it impossible to keep up the pace and asked for some help from his friends. We were happy to oblige.

      Richard Leeke had a bit of a connection problem this week so he was more quiet than usual. Also most of his posts of late have been over on the Beta 8 forum, which I promised myself not to link to since it’s a closed forum. But best intentions and all … a discussion of the newly revealed Tableau API.

      This brings me to Ryan Robitaille, who is heavy on Twitter, light on these forums (so far) and has an in-the-weeds tech heavy blog well worth bookmarking. (Just be ready for lots of Bigfoot and Metallica references! And what was that ‘Pants’ tweet all about?)

      Featured Forum Folks (not the usual suspects)

      When someone posts that their expertise is ‘almost everything’ I’m a bit skeptical. But in the case of this week’s featured forum contributor I’ve come to believe he’s just telling the truth. Tamas Foldi is the go-to-guy for, well, all things, but especially hacky-things and geeky-things. And he has colleagues that do pretty cool stuff too. Köszönöm Tamas!

      Week’s Most Prolific

      I don’t have access to Tableau’s forum stats (can I Dustin? ) but the number one forum contributor this week in both frequency and quality of response was Alex Kerin (though Jonathan was in the race until Friday). A sampling of Alex wisdom: Dealing with overlapping marks (follow links to his blog), counting Trues, here is a calculation he got bonus points on, and finally a bit of hackery (that won’t work next year). Alex always fun reading your tersely-worded replies, especially since Jonathan’s got you covered if need be.

      Week’s Shout Out

      Ok, so this whole thing is one big shout out, but I want to give Urban Mapping a special shout out; they did me a solid this week, and I want to return the favor (thanks guys). Ian posted a generous offer to give you a free test drive of their mapping layers and satellite imagery. He also mentions their hackyourmap.com site. And just in case you missed FDW #1, here’s my bit of map hacking. If you do maps in Tableau, give these a bit of a play, and do post anything you find useful.

      Week’s Newcomer Tip

      (Or my humblebrag, thanks for that Elissa.) Last week I asked my wife of 25+ years to read the FDW and let me know what she thought. When she finished she asked: “So where’s your stuff? You didn’t answer any question? What have you been doing all these nights I’ve been a Tableau widow?!” OK, she didn’t exactly say that, but something close. So this week I’m including one of my more insightful, brilliant (but more likely just run-of-the-mill) solutions. This is for you dear. Luv U!

      Odds & Ends

      Here are a few posts that just didn’t fit anywhere else but are worth checking out:  Catherine Rivier’s solution for showing/hiding worksheet, Zach Leber’s work-around for misshapen data, and some performance info from Tim Latendress.

      Think Data Thursday

      Tracy Fitzgerald just posted this week's TDT topic and registration page. Topic: "We will be discussing some functions that are commonly done in Excel and how to do them in Tableau." Sounds good. It's this Thursday at 11:00 a.m. Pacific.

      Week’s Featured Conversation

      Most weeks someone will post an innocent question that leads to a philosophical discussion between some of the forum (and/or industry) heavy-weights. This week was no exception. This thread started with a question about moving Grand Totals to the top, which Johan Sivertsen & Joe Mako provided answers for. But then Chris Gerrard jumped in and took the thread in a whole other direction. I love these sorts of threads. Newcomer or old-hand, feel free to jump in and share your thoughts, the more the merrier.


      Note to Forum Friends

      Realize that solving problems, answering your questions and demonstrating our skills, is tantamount to catnip for us Tableau Forum regulars. So please feed this beast with your questions and feedback. Most importantly, we want to know we actually answered your question, we solved your particular problem, we moved you along the path toward a more complete understanding of the way of Tableau. If we did good by you, just let us know. That’s all we need, really. Thanks.


      Enjoy your week. Comments, suggestions, criticisms always welcomed.




      PS: Next week I'm featuring Best Tableau Employee responses, so send me your favorites, wallworkshawn at gmail.com Thx.