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Visual Data Storytelling with Tableau, First edition

Book Description

Tell Insightful, Actionable Business Stories with Tableau, the World’s Leading Data Visualization Tool!

Visual Data Storytelling with Tableau brings together knowledge, context, and hands-on skills for telling powerful, actionable data stories with Tableau. This full-color guide shows how to organize data and structure analysis with storytelling in mind, embrace exploration and visual discovery, and articulate findings with rich data, carefully curated visualizations, and skillfully crafted narrative.

You don’t need any visualization experience. Each chapter illuminates key aspects of design practice and data visualization, and guides you step-by-step through applying them in Tableau. Through realistic examples and classroom-tested exercises, Professor Lindy Ryan helps you use Tableau to analyze data, visualize it, and help people connect more intuitively and emotionally with it.

Whether you’re an analyst, executive, student, instructor, or journalist, you won’t just master the tools: you’ll learn to craft data stories that make an immediate impact--and inspire action.

Learn how to:

  • Craft more powerful stories by blending data science, genre, and visual design
  • Ask the right questions upfront to plan data collection and analysis
  • Build storyboards and choose charts based on your message and audience
  • Direct audience attention to the points that matter most
  • Showcase your data stories in high-impact presentations
  • Integrate Tableau storytelling throughout your business communication
  • Explore case studies that show what to do--and what not to do
  • Discover visualization best practices, tricks, and hacks you can use with any tool
  • Includes coverage up through Tableau 10

Table of Contents

  1. Cover Page
  2. Title Page
  3. Copyright Page
  4. Dedication
  5. Contents at a Glance
  6. Contents
  7. About This E-Book
  8. Foreword
  9. Preface
  10. Acknowledgments
  11. About the Author
  12. 1 Storytelling in a Digital Era
    1. A Visual Revolution
    2. From Visualization to Visual Data Storytelling: An Evolution
    3. From Visual to Story: Bridging the Gap
    4. Summary
  13. 2 The Power of Visual Data Stories
    1. The Science of Storytelling
      1. The Brain on Stories
      2. The Human on Stories
    2. The Power of Stories
      1. The Classic Visualization Example
      2. Using Small Personal Data for Big Stories
      3. The Two-or-Four Season Debate
      4. Napoleon’s March
      5. Stories Outside of the Box
    3. Summary
  14. 3 Getting Started with Tableau
    1. Using Tableau
    2. Why Tableau?
    3. The Tableau Product Portfolio
      1. Tableau Server
      2. Tableau Desktop
      3. Tableau Online
      4. Tableau Public
    4. Getting Started
    5. Connecting to Data
      1. Connecting to Tables
      2. Live Versus Extract
      3. Connecting to Multiple Tables with Joins
    6. Basic Data Prep with Data Interpreter
    7. Navigating the Tableau Interface
      1. Menus and Toolbar
      2. Data Window
      3. Shelves and Cards
      4. Legends
    8. Understanding Dimensions and Measures
      1. Dimensions
      2. Measures
      3. Continuous and Discrete
    9. Summary
  15. 4 Importance of Context in Storytelling
    1. Context in Action
      1. Harry Potter: Hero or Menace?
      2. Ensuring Relevant Context
    2. Exploratory versus Explanatory Analysis
    3. Structuring Stories
      1. Story Plot
      2. Story Genre
    4. Audience Analysis for Storytelling
      1. Who
      2. What
      3. Why
      4. How
    5. Summary
  16. 5 Choosing the Right Visual
    1. The Bar Chart
      1. Tableau How-To: Bar Chart
    2. The Line Chart
      1. Tableau How-To: Line Chart
    3. The Pie and Donut Charts
      1. Tableau How-To: Pie and Donut Charts
    4. The Scatter Plot
      1. Tableau How-To: Scatter Plots
    5. The Packed Bubble Chart
      1. Tableau How-To: Packed Bubble Charts
    6. The Treemap
      1. Tableau How-To: Treemaps
    7. The Heat Map
      1. Tableau How-To: Heat Maps
    8. Maps
      1. Connecting to Geographic Data
      2. Assigning Geographic Roles
      3. Creating Geographic Hierarchies
      4. Proportional Symbol Maps
      5. Choropleth Map
    9. Summary
  17. 6 Curating Visuals for Your Audience
    1. Visual Design Building Blocks
    2. Color
      1. Stepped Color
      2. Reversed Color
    3. Color Effects
      1. Opacity
      2. Mark Borders
      3. Mark Halos
    4. The Truth about Red and Green
    5. Lines
      1. Formatting Grid Lines, Zero Lines, and Drop Lines
      2. Formatting Borders
    6. Formatting, Shading, and Banding
    7. Shapes
      1. Shape Marks Card
      2. Custom Shapes
    8. Summary
  18. 7 Preparing Data for Storytelling
    1. Basic Data Prep in Tableau: Data Interpreter
      1. Data Interpreter in Action
      2. Handling Nulls in Tableau
    2. Cleaning Messy Survey Data in Excel
      1. Step 1: Surface Cleaning
      2. Step 2: Creating a Numeric Copy
      3. Step 3: Creating the Meta Helper File
    3. Pivoting Data from Wide to Tall
    4. Reshaping Survey Data with Tableau 10
      1. Step 1: Creating Extracts
      2. Step 2: Joining Data Sources
    5. Summary
  19. 8 Storyboarding Frame by Frame
    1. Understanding Stories in Tableau
      1. Individual Visualizations (Sheets)
      2. Dashboards
      3. Story Points
    2. The Storyboarding Process
      1. Planning Your Story’s Purpose
      2. Storyboarding Your Data Story
    3. Building a Story
      1. Making Meta Meaningful
      2. Visualizing Survey Demographics
      3. Act One: Demographic Dashboard and Key Question
      4. Act Two: Questioning Character Aggression
      5. Act Three: The Reveal
    4. Summary
  20. 9 Advanced Storytelling Charts
    1. Timelines
    2. Bar-in-Bar Charts
    3. Likert Visualizations
      1. 100% Stacked Bar Chart
      2. Divergent Stacked Bar Chart
    4. Lollipop Charts
      1. Labeled Lollipops
    5. Word Clouds
    6. Summary
  21. 10 Closing Thoughts
    1. Five Steps to Visual Data Storytelling
      1. Step 1. Find Data That Supports Your Story
      2. Step 2. Layer Information for Understanding
      3. Step 3. Design to Reveal
      4. Step 4. Beware the False Reveal
      5. Step 5. Tell It Fast
    2. The Important Role of Feedback
    3. Ongoing Learning
      1. Teach Yourself: External Resources
      2. Companion Materials to This Text
  22. Index