Why Vizioneer?

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Atlanta, Georgia, United States
The "Vizioneer" comes from mashing two words that have shaped my world for most of my adult life - Engineer and [data] Visualizations (or Vizes to those who know what's up). Graduating from first from Oglethorpe University in Atlanta, followed by Georgia Tech with my Bachelors and Masters in Civil Engineering, all of which taught me to think through anything and everything - problem solving, "engineering" solutions, teaching to the "ah ha" moments - is what I love to do. In 2010 that investigative, engineering mindset intersected a job change and a plunge into the world of Data Analysis. In the search for the next great thing I stumbled on to a data visualization and dashboarding product called Tableau software and things just took off. So now I guess you could call me that engineer with the sweet data visualizations - or just "The Vizioneer" :)

In 2013, I joined the incredible team at Slalom, focusing on Tableau and it's been an amazing experience. Recently in 2014, I was honored and humbled to receive Tableau's highest recognition of being named a Tableau Zen Master. Follow along to see what happens next :)

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Day 1: How to make a Calendar in Tableau

So this one seems logical.  If you started tracking with the #Tableau30for30 project you've likely already seen this this snazzy dashboard/interactive calendar:

The first time I saw this was at Tableau Customer Conference 2013 in Washington DC.  It's simple yet really cool.  So how do you make something like this?

In it's most simple form, it's just bringing together dates in a number of different formats.  To start, you need data that has some dates.  For my purposes I simply went to Excel, entered 4/1/2014, and pulled down 30 rows to 4/30/2014.  Saved the file and popped open Tableau.

After connecting to my Excel file, I right click and drag the date field (mine is called "Date") to the columns shelf.

I'm given a number of options:

We're going to go through this a couple times, but be thoughtful as you do it.  We want to show the month at the top, so this time I'll select "MONTH(Date)".

We'll do the same right click and drag to columns, this time selecting "WEEKDAY(Date)".  This will give us the names of the days of the week.  To shorten these like I did, right click on one of them and hit format.  Under the Header tab, select "Dates" and choose your favorite (I went with "Abbreviation").

Next, right click and drag the Date field, this time to the rows shelf.  When the pop up comes, go with "WEEK(Date)".  This is going to give you a different row for each week of the month.  Since I don't care to see the labels, I'm going to right click the pill on the rows self and uncheck "show header" and hide them.

Lastly I'll right click and drag "Date" to the text shelf, and select "DAY(Date)" when it pops up.  

You should now have something that looks like this:

Right click one of the numbers in the pane and select "Format", and change as you see fit.  I've added borders to the cells and panes, hidden the word "date" at the top, centered text and changed fonts.  At this point it looks like this:

And wa-la.  A calendar.  You can use this as a filter (click a date and see what happened only on that date).  Or add data directly to the calendar (red-green color scale for bad/good days based on a metric).  The possibilities are endless.  

Like this one?  Leave a comment below. 

Many thanks!



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  2. Hi Nelson,
    I was able to make the calendar and your instructions were very helpful. How did you make the interactive calendar with events on each date at the top of the post?

  3. Hey Daniel -
    That’s a great question! On the example above I added in a little bit of complexity by bringing in some additional axes to give me more control over where the shapes and text were ultimately placed. I would encourage you to download the Tableau workbook and check it out for yourself, as I always find that to be the best way to learn. If that sparks any more questions please feel free to reach out to me with those as well.

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  5. Nelson - I downloaded the file and was able to create a new worksheet and emulate some of the calendar. But, I am not sure how to align DAY in one location (upper, left) and Name in another (middle, left). Is this something that you did in with the Dashboard as opposed to the Worksheet?

    1. Peter -
      The trick is done using a dual axis with two different axis ranges. To see what's going on, open up the workbook in Tableau and right click on each of the Sum(One) pills at the top, selecting 'Show Header' each time. This will show you how all of the aligning was done. Again,great question and I'm happy to help if you need it.

    2. How did you configure that "One" data field for the events? I cannot look at the data source or download the data to figure it out.

    3. I created a calculated field and simply put: 1

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  7. Thanks Nelson . I designed Our company calender based on your idea it was fun to design . I am new but start playing with data .

    1. Sumit - That's awesome to hear! I'm glad it's been helpful to you and really appreciate hearing about it. Good luck to you as you learn more and more about Tableau!

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  9. Is there a way to make this calendar dynamic? I would like to use this calendar to select a date range that then controls another chart. Any ideas on how to handle this? Btw, we are dealing with 5 years worth of calendars.

  10. Could you please create a video for this, I am unable to align them properly.

  11. To align the date in the top left or right: Show headers for both of the "SUM(ONE)" in the row column. This will show the axis on the left & right. You can either reverse the direction of them, or modify the range to get a custom location of the text. Good luck all.

  12. Hi,
    I have need to plot data on area chart but with Week numbers instead of Dates. Is this possible?

  13. Hi Nelson,Can you please send me the procedure of how to create the calendar in Tableau. My email id is mendeysai2@gmail.com