Dashboard Week – Day 1: Melbourne City Council Customer Service Requests

The first day of Dashboard Week is finally here. We’ve been hearing about this week from past cohorts and trainers since the beginning of training. Now that it’s here I’m feeling more ready than I thought I would to make some clean informative dashboards in quick succession. I’m sure I’ll learn a lot over this week and solidify a lot of the skills that I’ve picked up in training. There are a few things that I want to focus on this week.

  • Timeboxing: This one is obvious. If I need to make a dashboard every day, I’m going to need to use my time well and come up with a bit of a plan each morning to ensure that I’m able to finish everything in reasonable time.
  • Formatting: This somewhat goes hand in hand with timeboxing, but I’d like to be able to dedicate a decent amount of time to formatting each dashboard.
  • Design: Keep the designs simple and clean, but also purposeful.
  • Solidifying knowledge: Just because I’m time constrained, that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t apply some of the more advanced techniques I’ve picked up over training, when they are suitable.

The Dashboard

Today we covered a dataset of customer service requests from the Melbourne city council. The dataset was clean so didn’t require much work in Alteryx. I wanted to add supplementary spatial data to visualise where the requests were coming from. A lot of the data was from an “unknown” location. Instead of filtering out this data from the map, I decided to add a circle on the map separated from all the other suburbs which would be used to filter the data and easily compare the unknown suburb data to the rest. I added this in Alteryx.

Finally, we have the dashboard. I wanted to make something that allowed for easy exploration of the data over a few different columns; Suburb, Report Type, Date and weekday. I start off with some BAN’s to see how many requests in total there are, as well as how many are in progress and yet to be addressed. I then have 4 charts to explore each the columns I wanted to explore.

The main thing that ended up sticking out to me is that the weekend had very few requests for any mixture of suburb and report type, while Monday was almost always the day where there were the most requests.

I think the most likely reason for this is that a lot of problems go unreported on the weekend until someone finally reports it on Monday. I decided to drill down deeper into this to get an understanding of the problems that are most likely to occur on a weekend, among them were Sports and Playground facilities and Graffiti.

The fact that these types of problems go unreported until Monday was relatively surprising to me, especially for sports and playground facilities. However, it is possible that people don’t immediately know who to call about these problems and are too busy enjoying their weekend to investigate it. One thing that could help this lack of reporting on weekends is to make the contact details more available, potential on signs around playground and sports facilities, this way someone might be more likely to call on a weekend and get the process started earlier.


You can explore the dashboard further on my Tableau public profile.