Category Archives: Uncategorized

The British are coming! At least to #Data16

Otherwise known as the Viz which shows who is going out to the Tableau Conference 2016 #data16 on the British Airways flight BA191 on Saturday 5th November.

A few weeks ago I tweeted out to see who was on my flight –

ba191-tweet

I got quite a few replies and it looks like there are about 25 of us going and it got me thinking to how many of the community on the flight will know of each other but not actually met each other.  So what better place than a 10hr flight to meet someone new and discuss all things Tableau?

So I set up a Google Form, which populates a Google Sheet to capture the details of who is flying (You can complete the form which is embedded below if you are on our flight)

 

I then downloaded a seat map of the aircraft which flies the route – a BA 787-900 series with four classes, First, Club, World Traveller Plus and World Traveller.

boeing-787-9_seatmap

Finally I mapped the coordinates, something I first did at easyJet, blended with the Google data and I now have an interactive seat plan where you can see who you will be sitting next to or where that member of the community is that you always wanted to talk to but were too afraid to ask!

The great thing with the Tableau Public Google Sheet connector is that it refreshes daily, so it will update automatically, which is great for the dashboard which I also built using device designer for the first time as feel that the Mobile experience is the best for viewing this.

The final touch is that you can go back in and change your form, should you decide to move seats.

The dashboard can be viewed by clicking the image below

img_4463

How to prepare people for a live Tableau Viz Safety demonstration

Ok so we are all back from the Tableau Conference which was amazing and I need to complete my post on that later today.

In the meantime, I thought I would share this video excert from my #data15 presentation.

It is 90 seconds long and shows the lengths that we go to when preparing to show Live Tableau demonstrations.

Watch out for Tom supporting the demonstration in the aisle and also my sincere apologies to the Lady just in front of Tom whose reaction is priceless (If anyone knows who she is I will send her an apologetic goody bag in the post!)

I hope you enjoy this – turn the sound up 😀

Virgin Atlantic Flight VS43 landing gear problems – updated

In December 2014, Virgin flight VS43 from London Gatwick to Las Vegas encountered a hydraulic failure on take off.  I built a viz to show the path that the aircraft took, its holding pattern and impact on Gatwick operations specifically for easyJet.

The Air Accident Investigation Branch have just published their findings into the incident AAIB VS43 investigation and as quite a few of the UK Tableau community, including a large chunk of the Information Lab are about to fly out to the Tableau Conference #data15 in Vegas on this very flight, I thought it was a good time to revisit and improve the viz based on some feedback I got at the time, specifically from Andy Kriebel and Ben Jones.

Enhancements I have made include –

  • Using the storypoints formatting tools in 9 to change the story colours to match the corporate colours of Virgin Atlantic (the colour picker tool is fantastic for this)
  • Included some photographs of the aircraft, as well as the landing gear problem it had
  • Made the maps consistent which I used across the whole viz
  • Condensed the story points descriptions
  • Fixed a colour issue which was bugging me for the easyJet paths
  • Updated the annotations with the details from the actual AAIB investigation
  • Included a link to the final AAIB report
  • Utilised the increased number of rows in Tableau Public to 10m rows to allow me to include every Gatwick flight for the day to be followed
  • Tidied up the last storypoint where you can follow the aircraft on its journey, making the pages slider more applicable – this is still best viewed on Desktop with the full pages functionality.

Hopefully we will have a great and uneventful flight out this weekend.

Looking forward to seeing a lot of you at conference and don’t forget to come and see my presentation on Wednesday at 10:15am #easyjetdata

Click the image below to take you to the full visualisation on Tableau Public

VS43 image

Prelude to #data14: how the Tableau community enriched my conference experience

Welcome to my first ever blog post.

I have to pay thanks to @paulbanoub and @emily1852 for finally persuading me to put my thoughts down on paper and share them with you. I am going to start, with my thoughts and review of the Tableau customer conference #data14 which took place during September 2014 in Tableau’s hometown of Seattle.

Firstly though, who am I?

Well in a follow up blog, I will go into this in detail, but in my current role I lead a BI centre of excellence, focussing on our Tableau enterprise deployment whilst educating our business on visualisation rules, guidelines and providing best practices.

Now the reason for the prelude.

Before I talk about this year’s conference, I need to set the scene by going back 12 months, to #TCC13, which took place in Washington.  Now that conference also took place in September and my organisation had purchased our first Tableau licence in May 2013.  This mean’t that I firstly didn’t have a lot of time to explore the tool and even less time to persuade my senior management of the merits of attending a software conference on the other side of the Atlantic.  Because of the work we were able to achieve with Tableau in such a short space of time, they were very receptive to the benefits of trying to accelerate our learning as well as understand from the Customer stories what other users were able to do, especially those within the same field as my organisation. Now originally, we planned on sending four people to attend in 2013.  Upon reviewing the agenda, speakers and schedule, I realised what a tough job selecting sessions would be and in the end after the equivalent of two days solid, came up with a plan for all of us, which was a mix of technical, leadership and customer stories for us all to attend. Then, in August, the decision was made to just send me.  So again I had to revisit the agenda and try and cherry pick what I thought would be the best sessions to attend which would allow me to answer my organisations questions. So with ticket booked, I realised that I would be attending a conference (my first in any field) in which over 2,000 customers would be attending, 3,500 miles away from home where I knew nobody. As part of our BI programme, we work with one of the big four consulting firms.  Now they have their BI HIVE (Highly Immersive Visual Environment) in Washington and arranged for me to visit this, as well as put me in touch with a few of their guys who were running the stand in the expo hall.  So that was at least one contact I had.  Our BI data architect also used to work for a large Bank, and put me in touch with their crack Tableau team, whom I had briefly met at a Stephen Few data visualisation workshop earlier in the year (I will cover this in a follow up blog post).  So I emailed the guys and asked if we could perhaps meet for lunch or dinner to talk through our various experiences.  Finally, our Tableau sales rep was able to set up a meeting with a similar business from the States, who I could meet with at the conference and share experiences. So that was two definite meetings and a couple of guys with an email address! The other person who I knew was going was @_tombrown_, owner of theinformationlab, who were Tableau’s partner of the year in 2013.  We had one of his consultants in to support us with building initial dashboards and had also spoken about further licence purchases. Now how was I going to try and engage with the remaining 1,996 attendees?  Well, social media sprang to mind.  When I went on our honeymoon, I really engaged with our resort prior to going through Twitter, which helped me to meet some other couple who were there at the same time as us, as well as get some extras and freebies from the resort, which seemed like a win to me. Twitter wasn’t a platform I used much though.  I rarely posted and mainly followed celebrities to see what they were up to.  But through using tweet deck and and having a search for Tableau and the conference hashtag #tcc13, I was able to find a few people that seemed to be posting a lot and also going to the conference. So when I arrived, I was in this big town and decided to go for a burger in the hotel sports bar and thought I would see who was about by tweeting my view. IMG_0652

Within minutes, I had people responding on both twitter and walking up to the table, where minutes before it was empty, I soon had Andy Cotgreave, Tableau’s social media manager, Susan Baier owner of Audience Audit and the aforementioned Tom Brown and some of his team.  After a few beers and a few additions to the table (well tables as we started overflowing!) a young quiet chap came and sat next to me, Andy said have a chat as he was British as well, and this turned out to be the infamous Matt Francis who was also at his first US conference and told me he was a little star struck to be sitting at a table with so many Tableau Zens and legends.  I had no idea what he was going on about and to be honest thought he was a bit nuts, putting these ‘data geeks’ up on a level with celebrities (what would I know fast forwarding 12 months), but it turned out with had Michael Cristiani, Greg (the Lewandog) Lewandowski, Chuck Hooper and Craig Bloodworth to name but a few sitting around the table.  What we discussed and I learned that night, helped to shape the conference and also start to formulate an understanding of the Tableau community and how I wanted to become a part of it as well as discover how much these guys wanted to share – at absolutely no cost, just through the joys of giving stuff back. The conference turned out to be a personal triumph.  I learned a lot.  I watched how other customers used Tableau, especially those in my organisation’s field, and took that back to help develop our Tableau programme. I briefly got to meet the other two guys  – who also appeared bonkers, presenting on stage in High Viz jackets and Hard Hats!  I thought this was supposed to be a software conference? IMG_0699 These turned out to be Peter Gilks and Carl Allchin, a couple of guys I would end up interacting with a lot and taking influence from their blogs.

 Most of the week was spent with the people I mentioned above, I also used the twitter feed a lot, to see what was going on and also to feed the competitive nature in me to try and work my way up the leaderboard – although Matt Francis had the lead on that one.

 tcc

This was also my view for the keynote – something I had never experienced before, fast forward 12 months and my view was very different.  I live tweeted and gained a lot of followers and when I returned, I changed my twitter focus, deleting most of the people I followed and using it instead to help with my Tableau and data visualisation journey.  Do not underestimate how powerful this can be in making contacts and understanding what is hot – the challenging part can be finding the time to read all the updates from people you are following.

My next post will be all about this years conference and will be up within the next week.