For day 4 of Dashboard week, we were given a different task yet again. Today involved sourcing our own data from API’s. We had to sign up for an account, choose a topic and then read their documentation to download the Event information that we needed through Alteryx, to produce our dashboards. As usual there was a spanner thrown in. Steve, the big boss needed some other things done urgently, so we didn’t get started until 1:30pm. Luckily, I think we’re getting used to the time constraints more now as we scoped our dashboards out and planned ‘must have’ features vs ‘nice to have extra’s’.

I decided to investigate Hobart, Tasmania for mine. I don’t know much about Hobart and I’m heading there for a long weekend next month, so I thought it might be nice to see what’s on down there in a variety of categories. The data returned from eventful was good, with lat and long locations already included for us along with links to thumbnail images for the different events. I was lucky enough to find some ‘vizspiration’ early on at this site. I’ve never used dynamic images before so thought this might be a good way to try them out.

The dataset seemed quite simple, and I had my layout mapped out and functionality working quite early today:

We were talking about ‘requirements creep’ the other day, and it’s funny that in these projects that always happens too. Once you get to a point, you then discover new area’s that would improve the dashboard a lot. I realised that I didn’t have the Categories of all the events, and also had the idea to use the google API to retrieve the star rating of each venue. The other thing I’d like to do is turn my Alteryx workflow into a dynamic app. It would only take a few steps to allow the user to input the location and radius that they want to search themselves, to collect the data and display the viz.

One challenge was to retrieve the categories of the events, they were not returned with the standard API call so I did it in a 2 step process with Alteryx. First I had to query to get all the available categories. Then I had to use these to call the Events once per category. (The other alternative to this that I could see was to query every single event ID with a category field which would have been much more overhead) I think the reason that they have this structure is because Events can be in multiple categories, so the API call is querying how they must store the data themselves rather than a summarised view of it.

Now I had the Categories, but thought I could leave the ratings for if I had enough time at the end. I got my dashboard up and running, with most time spent on Actions and Highlights again to almost done:

Then with a few alignment and formatting iterations it’s finished up here:


As mentioned, there’s always more to do. The next features I would add with time are:

  • Google ratings
  • A ‘reset all filters’ button
  • Options to sort the categories alphabetically or by highest ratings
  • Better suited custom map and icons
  • Maybe even multiple views for if there are lots of events and it’s all cluttered vs if there are only a few events / categories.

Let me know if you have any other suggestions as I’d love to improve it at some point and finalise the Alteryx Workflow to run it as a dynamic app for any location and search radius.


Blake Stroh
Author: Blake Stroh