How To: Game of Thrones Analysis Viz

I don't usually write "how to" posts because me no write so good and I would rather spend 20 hours making a viz than 1 hour writing about it. But after reading Chris Love's great post on Tableau "edge-cases" I decided that it might be helpful to explain how I created the Game of Thrones viz which is somewhat of an "edge-case". So hopefully this is helpful.

why even make this? get a hobby
Usually the reason I create a viz is because I want to tell a cool story with an interesting dataset. For me a viz is usually a bit of a chicken or the egg type of situation as in which comes first the data or the story? Do you have a cool data set and find the good story in there; like in this Trump tweets viz? Or do you have an interesting hypothesis and find the data; like in this White House gender pay gap viz? 

But sometimes I just want to make some stupid thing that looks cool. This is why I made the GOT viz. Actually, I drew this image below one day on the metro and then thought how could I make this into a viz:

how did you make this? seriously try golf
I have recently noticed that designers that I admire tend to work with simple shapes like circles and triangles. And I had done some custom circle stuff in Tableau before. But these were all pretty straightforward. The trick of this viz is the little doohickey, flipped up circle thing at the top left quadrant. It actually kind of looks like the profile of Wilson the volleyball, Tom Hanks' love interest in Cast Away.

Game of Thrones Analysis

Because Game of Thrones is back and awesome I created this viz about GOT characters and how often they are featured by episode. I am going to post next week how the spiral/Wilson volleyball viz was created in Tableau. Have a good weekend.

Makeover Monday Makover

Sonja Kuijpers of STUDIO TERP made this very beautiful and creative viz as part of the Andies (Kriebel and Cotgreave) Makeover Monday challenge. The challenge was to remake this viz displaying the age when millionaires became billionaires. What Sonja made was so unique and different that I immediately thought about how to create this in Tableau.

Which I did below. This version is not as clean as Sonja's obviously. But I am going to walk you through how I created this in Tableau. See details after the jump.

Scatter vs Jitter

So I have a client that wants to visualize two variables for a critical chart being sent to the entire company. Naturally, with two variables they were inclined to select a scatter plot. However, the relationship between these two variables is not important to the audience even though the variables are highly correlative. 

Another issue is that the inputs for these variables is based on an ordinal scale so some points have identical values. This means that some points can be stacked on top of one another. This makes it hard to get an accurate sense of the distribution of the points for each of these variables which is very important.

So these are the most important considerations when creating this chart:

  1. Needs to show the value of two discrete variables for a specific point
  2. Needs to show the relative distribution of all points
  3. The relationship between these two variables is not important
  4. Some points have identical values for both variables
  5. The audience for these charts is varied so a box-plot might be too complex
So given this information which chart would you recommend? Here is a mock up of the original chart my client made and my proposed solution with fake data in Tableau. 

I proposed a parallel coordinate jitter plot. This allows you to clearly see the distribution of the data and compare the value for the two variables on the same scale. It also subtly highlights the comparison of the two variables for the specific points with the connecting line which is of ancillary value. It also avoids stacking points. But the x-axis could be confusing since it is a randomized.

Which chart would be best? Please let me know your thoughts in the comments. Thank you.

Analyrical Presenation at DC TUG

I recently presented some new stuff I have been working on at the DC TUG event. Here is a link to my presentation. I discussed my Beatles analysis viz as well as comparison of Beatles' song sentiment with Tupacrap speeds, chord patterns, and the lyrical progression of Blackalicious's Alphabet Aerobics

Below is a slide from the deck. Here is my original sketch of the Beatles' viz and a comparison with the final visualization. Thank you Brittany Fong for the invite.