Sunday, July 25, 2010

Visualizing your data with Tableau Public

As I've written before, I have a passion for data and oftentimes, particularly with large amounts of data, visualizing it is an extremely important part of understanding it.

As part of my computer ratings, I've created performance charts for awhile now and they are very useful in being able to see how a team has performed and any trends there may be.  You can see examples from my 2010 Superbowl Preview or BCS Championship Preview.

I've created these using Google Charts using a series of scripts to extract the data from my ratings system and format it into the appropriate URLs, but after learning about Tableau Public I've been wanting to give it a shot to see if it was easier or offered other benefits and with summer arriving finally had a chance to.

I created the charts for a few teams from last years college football season and the process was very straight-forward.  All I had to do was to create a CSV file of my data, import it into Tableau Public Desktop, then with a little drag and drop and configuration, create the charts.  It is then simple to publish to the web.  Here it is (click the image to get a full screen version):

This was definitely a lot easier than what I've been doing before.  As the 2010 football seasons start, I'll be trying it out more and seeing what else I can do with it and hopefully automate the generation of the charts as much as I have with Google.  Give it a try yourself!

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