#FastFriday – 6 Minute Vizzes – 2nd Episode

Welcome back to the second episode in the #FastFriday series. 

If you never heard of it, give a look at the previous and first episode for context.

So, basically Ben Moss, Ravi Mistry and I – the three musketeers – are participating to this weekly challenge and awesome experiment, which I feel it is becoming a discovery about how the analysis of data and also the process of building things in Tableau works for us when we are under pressure (6 minutes vizzes).


How was this week?

So, our Chris Love, Tableau Zen Master, sent Ben a dataset called “FastFriday2”, a tableau file. From the name itself no clue… As last time, when was called “For Ben”. Then, Ben sent to me and Ravi this dataset. Ready, steady… and use snagit to capture! Here the video I uploaded on youtube if you want to watch me in the process of analysing and building.

6 minutes just fly away so fast and it is so intense to visualise something that makes sense: also make the choice (the right choice) in a couple of minutes is really hard.


What I really love of tableau are Measure Names and Measure Values fields. I do not need to drag all the fields into the view, I just double click on them and I see what I have in the dataset. This is just amazing!

Latitude and Longitude are available fields in this dataset, so I draw a map and I start playing with them. But then I think this: if I choose to do a map, then I have to take into account which measure I am going to choose and I have only a few minutes to figure out which measure tells a better story and/ or how to use the map in the viz…

So, even if a map is almost always the most appealing thing in Tableau, I choose to leave it and to focus on the measures I get. So, how to visualise in the best way measures? …Scatter plot is my answer!


So I start building a scatter plot choosing 2 measures randomly and dragging Institutions on details. I love it, so in that moment I decided to create 2 parameters (I think this is a fantastic blog post about parameters from Andy Kriebel, 12 user cases about parameters in Tableau) for the 2 axis (x axis parameter and y axis parameter). Probably, I was influenced from the workbook I was building during the day at work about dynamic dashboards… Do I have enough time? This is my fear… I gamble (again), this time with parameters and calculations. Risky! 🙂

I simply decide to include all the measures which I think can be interesting for the user and I make this kind of exploratory scatter plot showing all the different scores about Universities.

The trick here is that I create a string parameter for X axis and duplicate it, so Y axis will be the same. I love Tableau!

parameter string

Then I create the calculated fields to activate the parameters as following:

parameter calc

I can duplicate as well this calculated field for the Y axis – not forgetting to edit it substituting the X parameter with the Y parameter. I love even more Tableau!

And finally, dragging and dropping, and the magic is done…

Below the final visualisation arranged in a dashboard:



So, probably I would not change much in this viz. If I would have had more time, I would have probably worked on formatting and made the Title dinamic, as following:


The subtitle update with the X axis and Y axis parameters, highlighting which are the measures taken into account in the exploration! Parameters are so cool…

Here you can find the workbook.


So, what are we able to do in 6 minutes?

Enough, I would say, if the dataset is in a pretty good shape, if you manage to get an overview very quickly of your data – and believe me, with Tableau is quite easy thanks to Measure Names and Values – and if you succeed to make decisions (and the right decisions) very quickly.

I am quite happy of what I built in 6 minutes, I think I was more aware of the time compared to last week.

My question is now: will this experiment continue to be so interesting over time or will it become boring at a certain point?

I guess, we will discover that as well continuing these episodes. For now, it is a lot of fun that I am having with my awesome friends Ben and Ravi – I am really lucky to have both of them as colleagues and friends.

A presto!



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