My first IronViz entry

On the first minutes of Sunday I posted my first IronViz entry on Tableau Public. And it was very exciting to do so, even if I am not eligible to compete.

The European Visual Travel Guide

For those that are new to Tableau jargon, IronViz is a competition that Tableau runs in both of its major conferences: Europe and US. It is an adaptation from the TV Show IronChef and follow the same premisses: 3 contestants (that are pre-selected in feeder events) are challenged to viz (instead of cook) live and the visualization that is selected by both judges and audience is crowned the winner.

Although I am doing Tableau for 3-4 years I never thought I would be able to create those jaw dropping visualizations that most of IronViz contestants are able to build. Well, this year I wanted to change this and decided to create a visualization two days before the deadline. And all became much easier because I had exactly what I wanted to do: a visualization that could show the distances among Europe’s major cities. And I wanted to viz it like I did on a previous MakeoverMonday entry related to exports of Irish whiskey.

With that in mind I googled to find the dataset and, as lucky was on my side, I found a very nice one. After collecting the data using Google Sheets html table import features, I was able to connect to Tableau and start to shape the data the way I needed. Again I was using my Tableau ETL techniques.

It took around 4 hours from collecting the data to have the viz ready. This fact alone already made me very happy. The breakdown of the time taken to build the viz was:

  • 1 hour of data preparation (collecting, Tableau ETL and last adjustments on Excel)
  • 1h30 to build the viz. The design is a small multiples with maps but I wasn’t able to sort out how to split the view via Table Calculations so I’ve decided to build 8 sheets that contained 5 countries each and move on. If I was able to get the calculations right I would have saved at least 30 min here.
  • 1h30 to format and final polishing. In special I had to do several adjustments as Tableau Public in general fails to reproduce 100% of what we see on Tableau Desktop

I hope others like me can feel encouraged to enter the competition even if they are not allowed to. It is fun to use Tableau and it is fun to showcase your talents in very popular event such the IronViz feeders. Maybe because I could not compete it allowed me to viz without the pressure of having it perfect. As soon as I got what I envision at the begging I was good to wrap it up and share with the community.



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