Tableau join with calculated field

I recently ran into a problem with a join: I had two tables with "customer class" IDs in them, but I needed the description - which was only available for the customer subclass. In a rush, I joined the tables on customer class and filtered the subclass descriptions to one description per customer class. I... Continue Reading →

Looking for a…platypus?

Everyone understands the phrase “looking for a unicorn.” Are you that BI engineer with great people skills? “You’re a unicorn!” Are you a data scientist with a talent for visualization? “You’re a unicorn!” But everyone’s really looking for a platypus, that odd combination of duck, beaver, and otter. While looking for a new position last... Continue Reading →

Interview with Dave Doyle, City of Seattle’s former Open Data Manager

City governments have accumulated enormous amounts of data, and up until the last decade, accessing it was a challenge, even for those working in city governments. With more information going digital, many cities now share datasets publicly. The potential civic benefits are huge: greater government transparency and trust, better-informed decision-making, large-scale efficiencies, and more.  Seattle... Continue Reading →

When the next big one hits Seattle

When the next big earthquake hits Seattle, chances are we'll be out and about, whether at work, school, or an evening event. There are over a thousand reinforced brick buildings in Seattle that the city is targeting for retrofitting. Which buildings, where, and how risky are they? Here they are, courtesy of the city Constructions... Continue Reading →

Visualizing Bikes and Beer in Bend

Our family leaves Seattle for Bend, Oregon every year to dry out, mountain bike, and enjoy the local breweries. What would our last vacation look like as a visualization? I wondered. I cobbled together some of our rides and brewery locations in Tableau Public to see how play felt in the tool I use at... Continue Reading →

Life by the Numbers

After coffee, I take on the morning’s math problem: figuring out the insulin needed for my kid's breakfast. So much for total carbs, minus amount spilled and not eaten, plus replacement carbs eaten, minus some for gym class in the morning... Life is all about numbers when you’re living with Type 1 diabetes (T1D). Type... Continue Reading →

Hilarious Real Life Graphs

If you haven't run across Matt Shirley yet, stop and take a look! His daily, hand-drawn graphs are brilliantly simple. They distill emotionally ambiguous situations like the Sunday blues into minimal charts that everyone instantly "gets."   Sibling relationships become a Ven diagram,   and the life cycle of socks a scatter plot...of sorts!  ... Continue Reading →

Fighting Racism with Visualization

How do you confront something pervasive yet ignored or invisible till experienced? W.E.B. Du Bois is best known for his civil rights work and scholarship, but his pioneering data visualizations around race inequity are drawing more attention as visualization becomes a profession. His visualizations for the 1900 Exposition in Paris are stunningly artistic, minimalist, and... Continue Reading →

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