7 Replies Latest reply on Jan 20, 2018 3:16 AM by Andrew Cassy

    Rookie after Rank advice...

    Andrew Cassy

      Hi. I've finally polished my first proper Viz, after many hours frustration getting to grips with the tool (and my poorly formed data)....


      My biggest issue is that it is not particularly impactful wrt attempting to answer the self imposed question




      Constructive suggestions for ways to highlight the top ranked districts per relevant data thread would be most welcome.



      Subject to time and expanding & maintaining the data set (all currently manual as no current ONS data on Neighbourhood Development Plans is available to my knowledge) I hope to make further enhancements as i develop my Tableau & Data Viz skills to add:

      1. a detailed Parish sheet with interative input for population and planning allocations

      2. Local Authority Local Plan key data as these are refreshed

      3. a references page with sources of data and acknowledgements

      4. improved impact of this first District level summary

      5. extending the scope of local authorities as their data becomes available.


      Thanks for reading this far


        • 1. Re: Rookie after Rank advice...
          Michael Hesser

          Hi Andrew!

          I'm going to give you a few first-impressions, with the first one being a big WELCOME to the community. I think you'll find a lot of knowledgeable people here happy to lend a hand (hopefully I'll fall into at least one of those categories).


          • Ask yourself if you are clearly answering the question you've posed (or confirm you are allowing the user to answer it). I'm going to assume that NDP's are associated with color, but I didn't see a color key. You might consider adding one so it's clear what they mean
          • One of the first thing I noticed as I played around with the map was that it seemed to be slow, sometimes taking me 3 seconds before all the parishes are filled and the ToolTip appears. This could be network traffic; it could be because Tableau's maps are simply not as fast for the UK; it could be because you are using a non-standard map (like custom polygons?); or you may be doing a lot of calculations behind the scenes. If it's the latter, is it possible to reduce the number of calculations to increase performance time?
          • The map appears too small to me. It could just be because I have a larger screen (not sure). If you get this concern from others, it seems like you could easily increase the map size by 25%. This might also speed performance. Note: once I downloaded your viz, it was MUCH faster on my computer, so this could just be chalked up to network speed.
          • The District bar chart font was too large: they overlapped and made them illegible (at least to my old eyes). Perhaps it looks fine on your monitor? If not, consider giving this guy more room by moving to the Standard view (it DOES mean the user will need to scroll)
          • The bar chart also seemed to lack a title. I see on the top left there is "Districts" and "Parishes". Was this the title to the bar chart that somehow scooted over to the left side of my screen? When I looked at the downloaded version, they were still on the left side... just not sure what they mean to convey.
          • You might consider renaming your title "District sub-totals ranked by..." to "District sub-totals ranked by:". I know this just sounds picky (it is), but whenever I see "..." I assume something is cut off. I kept trying to figure out what the rest of the title was!
          • Like the district bar chart, the sub-total ranking had a font that overlapped numbers, leaving much of it difficult to read. This is exacerbated because you increase the font with smaller numbers. Consider moving to the Standard layout. If you're feeling like you don't have enough room, remember you aren't limited to a regular sheet: you can expand your usable screen vertically and allow your user to scroll down for more viz details. It isn't a perfect solution, but I've seen many vizzes where it works very well!
          • I think you can make a more impactful sub-total chart by using a heat map rather than changing the font size, but you tell me:


               Which word is the outlier?


          • Last but not least, I think your graphs will pop a little if you add a subtle background color


          This is awesome work, Andrew! And welcome to the community!

          • 2. Re: Rookie after Rank advice...
            Andrew Cassy



            Hello and thank you for taking the time to assess and report back.


            Yes I had taken my eye off the ball wrt user experience and performance which I shall take on board all your comments. I was distracted getting to grips with the tool and forgot about the Public potentially using it with no contextual background to help them.


            As for the calc’s and performance issue - my data is around 50mb which is rather large Shapefiles for the uk boundaries. I should be able to cut out the 90% of councils I am not currently working on. I was also unsure whether to blend or join, so went with the latter as relatively easy to do for a newbie to Tableau.


            Watch this space for updates over the coming weeks


            Kindest regards



            • 3. Re: Rookie after Rank advice...
              Christy Bennink

              Hi Andrew!


              First, I want to say welcome to the community and this is a good effort for your first proper Viz.  I hope my feedback will help you along. 


              • The sheets for Number of Districts, Parishes, and NDP’s are sized in such a way they are cut off by the map and the text is missed entirely.  A great way to fix this is to remove the container and place the sheets separately on the dashboard.  Then, if you re-size your map, the sheets will re-size with it.  Keep in mind, you might have to change the font size on NDP’s as it has that extra line for percentage. You can also create a separate sheet just for percentage as well.  You don’t want users to miss that information because they can’t see it.
              • I agree that the color legend needs to exist to make sense of them on both the map and the District bar chart.   I downloaded the workbook and I see the colors are related to the status of the NDP so you might just include that legend somewhere on the dashboard.  It just helps avoid questions from end-users.
              • I agree that you need to title the District Bar Chart just to give it some context.  Otherwise, you will have end-users asking you to explain it. 
              • I do agree that you can make the sub-total chart more impactful with a heat map (or highlight table) rather than color-coding and changing the Font size.  Think about what would draw your attention to take action to improve or investigate something further. Large text is sometimes hard to see, but a block of color is harder to ignore or gloss over.
              • Finally, look at dashboard actions to increase the interactivity.  For example, have a user click on a particular district to see its ranking by all of the elements.  This may not be something you’ve investigated yet, but it really has an impact on users when they can click on one thing and see everything in a dashboard change.

              Again, great job on this first Viz.  I know it’s hard when you are learning something new and your data has limitations, but just keep going and you will have those extra items soon.


              Don’t be afraid to ask questions on the Forums, they really do help.  

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              • 4. Re: Rookie after Rank advice...
                Andrew Cassy

                Hello Christy


                I too agree with your observations and suggestions. I had spent so much time fiddling and trying different approaches I needed to just get something out to gauge what I had achieved so far.


                I am grateful for the pointers and encouragement


                Onwards and upwards- watch this space



                • 5. Re: Rookie after Rank advice...
                  Andrew Cassy

                  Having taken onboard some of the initial comments I am now in need of some help in fine tuning the revised workbook v5b



                  What I would now like to do is to distill the ranked District list into discrete shorter summary 'Top 3' box per rank category to show 1st / 2nd / 3rd ranked District as per the sub-total table, hope that makes sense


                  i.e. for Rank by # Records (i.e. Parishes, on the top row) = 1st - Mid Suffolk,  2nd - North Norfolk, 3rd - South Norfolk

                  then another summary box for Rank by Max Hectares to show 1st - Kings Lynn, 2nd - Breckland, 3rd - North Norfolk,

                  etc... across the top strip below the title


                  I may still include the full table of Rankings further down the dashboard or in a separate story tab when I've figured out how to convert that into a heat map as suggested.




                  • 6. Re: Rookie after Rank advice...
                    Peter Walker

                    Hey Andrew,


                    I'll add another welcome, and well done on the viz. I don't have many ideas for improvement, but I would question whether having the action on the map set to Hover is the correct interaction here. Select might make the whole viz a bit quicker, to the comment posted above.


                    I like the idea of a rank table - in fact, I'd go as far as to say it should replace the Parishes data table as it currently stands. The full numbers (while interesting to some) are more difficult to digest than a rank would be.


                    Great start!


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                    • 7. Re: Rookie after Rank advice...
                      Andrew Cassy

                      Thank you Peter   Yes I was trying to do too much, whereas less can say more by keeping it simple and focused. I am much happier with the result changes.



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