Hello everyone, I’ve just finished my first month at the Data School and am very excited to start sharing with you what I’ve learned so far. In this very first blog, I want to talk about how to start creating visualisations. So, if you’re about to prepare for your application and don’t know where and how to start, I hope this blog will give you some ideas. (“I wish I could give this to you guys before you made your application” quoted from our lead coach Bethany).

First step is to try to answer the 4W’s. The “why”, “what”, “who” and “when.

  1. Why?

From the beginning, why did you choose this particular topic, what’s special about it or the motivation behind the content that you want to spread it to other people.

  1. What?

Think about the content you want to make and what type of dashboards would deliver that content the best, whether it is a single dashboard or a suite of dashboards? Whether it is exploratory (which lets your audience explore your dashboard however they like); or explanatory (which you will be the guidance to direct your audience’s attention to specific insights).

  1. Who?

Who are you creating this content for? Who is the main audience of this content? Whether they are professionals or just general public? Content made for general public should be easy to understand and the dashboards should be navigated more simply, in comparison to the content for people with more experience in Tableau.

  1. When?

When will this content to be used? Have a deadline for your project, plan carefully and don’t procrastinate.

After you have got the answers for all those W’s above, now is the time for building a dashboard.

Step 1: Know your data, get familiar with how the dataset looks, and determine if you will need to restructure it (Tableau favours dataset to be presented vertically rather than horizontally. So if you have a “wide” dataset, it is a good idea to pivot it so it will work better in Tableau). Then, double check to see if the data is correct, is it up to date, and how to handle the “null” values.

Step 2: Plan the structure of your dashboard. This can be done just simply drawing on the paper, which charts to use and where to put it on the dashboard so the important information will be clearly seen by the audience.

Step3: Build your dashboard. Now you have known all the steps to build a dashboard. But there are some common mistakes that people usually make especially those with less experience like us – the beginners 😊 what are they? I’ll tell you in my next blog.

Thank you for your time. See you soon.

Sammy Do
Author: Sammy Do

Data Analytics Consultant who loves visualising data and driving meaningful insights