This is a pretty exciting week, for we will make one dashboard each day and write a blog about it. Today’s mission is to find a suitable API, web scrapes it, clean and prepare the data, and make a dashboard to visualize it.

The reason I chose The Meal DB is I like cooking when I am not working with data. Food can cure my stomach, as well as my soul. Also, the data set rich in different data types, which allow me to have a good story. Here is my Viz for day1:

My dashboard story:

What will you prepare for your dinner? Before you start preparing your dinner, check the fridge to see if you are well prepared. There are different dieting habits in different continents and countries. For example, people on the American and European continents both like to eat butter, and they also have common favor for garlic and eggs. Garlic is the most popular common food in every continent, and pepper is popular in Asia and Africa. Interestingly, America and Asia frequently use sugar; however, when you click on them separately, you will find that the Americans use sugar to make desserts while Asians apply it into dishes.

If you need to prepare for your weekly grocery list, the chart can give you a hint. You can select the Top N to see more basic ingredients for your cuisine. If you already have them, you can check the rest of the dashboard, and it will give you a better idea of what meal you can prepare and how to prepare for it.

Assume you are a Japanese. Please select the Asia continent and choose Japanese. You may already have the chicken and wondering how to cook it for tonight. On the left and bellow the selection, you can choose various ingredients to cook with. Finally, you think the chicken with garlic will suit, so you can click it and check the meals you can have on the right. Hover over it, you can see the meal’s picture, and you can choose whatever you like. Should you think the ‘Chicken Karage’ a good idea? Just click it, and you can see the recipe in the tooltip, and you also can follow the video on the bottom to prepare your dinner step by step. Now you can have a decent and suitable dishes for your dinner!

The way to approach the data using Alteryx:

My Alteryx workflow for preparing the data is quite simple, for the API didn’t need a key to download. Please find it below:

At first, I create a table that allows me to List all meals by the first letter. Then I used parse tools to parse them. After that, I did some cleaning and case converting to get the data prepared for data visualization and output it as a hyper file.

The main techniques I used in the workflow are:
  1. Create a ‘Text Box’ that contains ‘a’ and ‘z’ in different columns. Then generate a column using the ‘Generate Rows‘ tool to get a to z.
  2. I used the ‘Cross tab’ 2 times and ‘Transpose’ once in order to parse the ingredient and measure separately.
  3. For preparing the URL suitable for embedding the Youtube video into Tableau, I used the ‘Formula‘ tool to replace the original format into a suitable format: ‘<Text>.’

That is the Dashboard and the Alteryx workflow I made today. Please find my dashboard on Tableau Public: What Would You Prepare for Dinner? Advice is always welcome!





Leona Lai
Author: Leona Lai