With a baseline established for our discussion, we now consider how Tableau is being used by the new authors and data artists. The title or moniker data artist has become in vogue over recent times, we will focus on Tableau desktop users who author business related content (Worksheets and Dashboards) for content consumers. At the conclusion of Part I, I asked if this new wave of desktop users followed the old rules noted below.
1. Do not be accidental - Think before dragging and dropping anything which was lacking in Pollock's
"action painting" method. What question(s) are you answering and for
what kind of content consumer?
2. Have a message - Let the data do the talking. The goal is not to become a "chartoonist" but to think visually - Tableau's Show Me options helps to render the message clearly. There are others charts that the author can create. Do not waste your time trying to be cool.
3. Keep it simple - Brevity is rewarded. Test your content with a colleague(s). If they have to stare at your work like a Tableau/Pollock story you have failed.
4. Provide context - Well designed visualizations include and are not limited to correlation, trends over time and distribution. Do your data sources include critical information for a complete and compelling story? Example - perhaps population or data samples from economic sources is needed.
5. Use design fundamentals - Less is always best. Do not abuse color. Do not try to be cool....that is not the goal. Like a good resume, white space is key to the creation of any visual that is to be understood in seconds. If you are building a worksheet that is destined for dashboard, think about the use of labels, filters of any type and the use of font size.
Now lets look at some examples: