The #Tableau10 Roadshow visited Washington DC yesterday to show off some of their latest data visualization product improvements. Besides a new Navigation bar and some new fatter fonts for usability there were a few other interesting new features highlighted. To help with some of the data munging exercises you can now do inner database joins and customize geographic territories. In addition, there is simplified access to more advanced analytics functions, as well as, mobile version of Tableau for the Google’s Android platform.
Besides seeing the new features there was a session on best visualizations of all time. The key takeaways were to make sure you use a viz that show overall trends and outliers, but make sure not to clutter with to much information in single viz. I have found a handful of key data points is the maximum for humans process. Start with a map if possible since it is an image that helps people put data in geographic context. Enable exploratory analytics since you never know all the questions your audience may ask. Finally package the visualizations as a story. Start with the situation or problem to be address by the data then the decision recommendations or actions taken. Finally what was the result of the analysis and recommended action. Or in short what I like to call the three Ds: Data, Decision, & Done!