Once you have selected your visualization, you can load the data into Tableau the way I showed you in the Community Project video of Module 4. But before you jump into making your visualization, consider the prompts that the #MakeoverMonday hosts suggest:
- What works well on the original, and what doesn’t? Just because a viz is a candidate for a makeover doesn’t mean it is inherently bad; there can be good things about it, so what can you find redeeming about the original?
- How can you make it better? I’ve added emphasis here on the “better” because I’ve seen many attempts at makeovers which honestly make the visualization worse because they have not paid attention to the best practice like “Keep It Simple” and “Use color purposefully” – don’t forget what you’ve learned in the course! A packed bubble chart is almost never a better choice than a bar chart, and a chart with 7 or more different colors on it is pretty much always unreadable (these are design principles that the next course dives into further). When you make your visualization, make sure you can actually understand it, and maybe even ask a friend if they understand it (remember to “Get feedback early and often”) as a gut check to make sure you haven’t made matters worse than they were to begin with.
When you are finished, it’s time to post your hard work on Twitter for the community to see and share in the insights with you! Here are the steps to remember when you post to Twitter (you will be graded on these):
- Include a screenshot with your Tweet: It is much easier for people to see your viz if you include a picture and don’t make them click through to Tableau Public. Many people won’t click through, and that’s ok. If you try to force them, they will lose interest entirely. (Remember, the auto-generated preview of the link made by Twitter does NOT COUNT! You can tell the difference by clicking the image – if it goes to Tableau Public, it is not the required screenshot!
- Also, if you participate in the #MakeoverMonday project beyond this course, your viz will only be eligible to be selected as a favorite only if it’s posted on Twitter, and only if there is a picture in the tweet
- For this submission, do not use the real #MakeoverMonday hashtag because it complicates matters for the hosts as they go through submissions for the current week’s dataset. Instead, use our own #MakeoverMondayCoursera hashtag for this assignment.
- Include the year and the week number of the data set you’ve chosen, e.g. 2019 Week 15.
- Use a URL shortener on the link to your viz: You need to include a link to your viz, but tweets must be less than 280 characters, so using a shortener like bit.ly gives you a lot more room to…
- Be descriptive: Tell people what your viz is about in just a sentence or two at most. Great place for a key takeaway or something new you learned about.
Your final submission should consist of two links:
- Direct link to the viz on your Tableau Public profile
- Direct link to the tweet wherein you posted your viz for the community to see
Good luck, and happy vizzing!
To help guide you as you embark on this journey, here are some key things to remember from the rest of the course (you will not be graded on these):
Be patient with yourself!
Use the right chart for the right purpose, e.g. if you are trending something over time, use a line chart and not a string of pie charts.
Remember my 5 favorite best practices:
- Know your audience – for whom are you making this viz?
- Know your data – be sure to read the source article and do a little data exploration to make sure nothing is missing or that there aren’t weird spelling errors in the data that would affect the output. If the data is dirty, you’ll have to clean it yourself, and check your work!!!
- Use color purposefully – Start with just a basic grey and then add color as you need it. And don’t be afraid of white space!
- Less is more, and simpler is usually better – Declutter by getting rid of unnecessary axes and gridlines. Use the right amount of instructive text.
- Get feedback early and often – it’s totally ok to ask someone else if they understand the message you’re trying to convey.