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Jonathan Drummey
248 followers -
Most of my posts are http://twitter.com/jonathandrummey or http://drawingwithnumbers.artisart.org.
Most of my posts are http://twitter.com/jonathandrummey or http://drawingwithnumbers.artisart.org.

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Jonathan Drummey commented on a post on Blogger.
Great post, Keith! Tableau v9 adds an alternative point&click method for this kind of restructuring with the new Pivot feature, here's a quick example I did for a less complicated issue: http://community.tableau.com/message/399746#399746. In the case of dates we can do the pivot and then turn on densification to do the counts, so it still doesn't save us all the headaches we might want, unfortunately.

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Jonathan Drummey commented on a post on Blogger.
Nice! I especially like the Filter Action to do a drill-in-place and avoid the problems with mixing hierarchies and table calcs.

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Jonathan Drummey commented on a post on Blogger.
Nice work, Dan! Check out http://drawingwithnumbers.artisart.org/older-but-still-useful-conditional-formatting/ for other examples of use cases for this trick. (Aligning labels differently, mixing up text & numbers in the same crosstab, using a dual axis to have background & foreground color formatting, etc.

One important note here is that when we're using the "multiple axis crosstab" technique Tableau can end up issuing a lot more queries to the data source, which can make worksheets & dashboards built with this quite slow. Sometimes it's better to build a scaffold source and then blend back to that, Joe Mako had a demo of one in his #data14  Flowing with Tableau talk and there are a few others on the Tableau forums.

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Jonathan Drummey commented on a post on Blogger.
Hi Keith,

Thanks for exploring area charts!  I've got a few comments on the "Beyond Two Measures" section. You wrote "However, starting from the third measure in Tableau they begin to stack (undesirable)."

You can turn off mark stacking for any view using Analysis->Stack Marks->Off.

"And in Tableau after two measures it is no longer possible to synchronize the axes."

This isn't completely accurate. You can put more than two measures on the same axis with by using Measure Values,  and they will all use the same Marks Card. For example, the Dual-Axis Transparent view could be created using Measure Values on Rows, Measure Names on Color, and using Analysis->Stack Marks->Off. If I'm going to plot marks using the same mark type and same type of axis, then I'll pretty much always use Measure Values & Measure Names to get there, that way I can save the dual axis option for whatever else I might want to add to the view.

Also, to get really deep into Tableau's design we can synchronize axes for both measures and dimensions. It's not the measure/dimension distinction that matters, but the continuous/discrete distinction. We use two continuous (green) pills to create a dual axis and that axis can be synchronized when both pills have the same data type, the pills can be dimensions or measures or both.

I played around with unstacked area charts at one point and found that the views didn't work well because a) the transparency and color overlay made the view too busy and if I turned transparency off I'd end up with hidden data, b) when people see area charts or streamgraphs they expect mark stacking to be happening so they were misled, and c) the hovering over the marks got a little weird because of the z-order of the marks.

"In other tools, beyond two layers, most charts will simply become too busy."

So true!

I like how your chart came out, I might experiment with how skinny bars looked instead of lines as a background, and whether three moving average measures might tell a different story than the trend lines, but I don't have anything I would add to it.

Jonathan

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David Foster Wallace's 2005 Kenyon commencement speech…I find it to be about humility in a DFW-sort-of-way.

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