How to Deconstruct WorkoutWednesdays

As a new Tableau user, I am constantly amazed by these complex visualizations created each time humpday rolls around. 🐪 🐪 🐪

To develop my Tableau muscles I took WorkoutWednesday (WoW) all the way back to the beginning, early 2017. This blog is a way of explaining my approach to dissolving the viz, validating my processes of building it back up, and collecting a set of tips to save along the way and share with you!

Who doesn’t love an easy to remember tip? 💡

Coming from a computer science background, I am constantly having difficulty distinguishing Tableau from a programing language like R, C, or java. While there are some similarities, I find myself seeing more and more differences between the two tools. And so, these workouts not only pose a challenge for my mind 🤔but they're also helping me fall in love with the nuances of Tableau. 💕📊

My Strategy 🤓

In this first post, I want to acknowledge the strategy I am taking to delving into these workouts. I'll apply this process to WoW challenges in future posts.

My WoW novice status makes understanding the initial visualization quite daunting. Therefore, learning how to break it down into comprehensible chunks definitely takes some practice.

Working alongside Robert and playing around myself, has helped me formulate an approach to take when looking at these insane visualizations:

  1. Figure out what is being represented horizontally whether it be headers or axes. This informs me as to what pills are on the columns shelf.

  2. Then, figure out what is being displayed vertically, headers or axes? This lets me know what pills to place on the rows shelf.

  3. Next, figure out the Marks Card. What "mark" is currently being shown? How might I update the marks card to get closer to the WoW viz.

  4. Are there any filters used in this viz I should add to the Filter Card?

  5. Finally, try to tackle “the extra thing.”

For many beginners, the entire WoW is a challenge – at least it is for me - but for many professionals, this “extra element” is what separates the knowledgeable from the experts!

The approach above allows me to quickly build the structure, get the right marks on the screen, and then spend more time on the tricky details of the WoW. Having a set process I can revise as I go along and having a knowledgeable mentor has served me well so far!

In Conclusion

I’ll keep you posted as I continue to learn and explore more about Tableau.

Stay tuned for my next post where I will dive into the first WoW from way back.

If you'd like to connect you can find me at LinkedIn.