I’ve been using Tableau for almost five years now…it’s a cool tool for us data geeks!
Tableau allows you to create excellent professional looking visualizations for all your data. While the full version would be expensive for any of us individually to afford, lucky for us it also has a free version, called Tableau Public. Free software does come with drawbacks…Tableau Public does allow other individuals access to your data sets…so make sure that whatever you are using it for does not divulge inappropriate information (ie client names/address/contact information).
Here’s a link to my Tableau Public profile. https://public.tableau.com/profile/ deb.weitzenkamp . While, you will quickly be able to identify that the visualizations I’ve created aren’t that spectacular by any means, it will give you an idea of how you might use it in Extension. I use it every year to show our impact splash of Applejack. We collect zip codes from Applejack participants, and Tableau has a built in function to plot it to the actual outlines of each zip code, and to shade it for density of records. While it isn’t a complete data set as we don’t ever get 100% of the people in attendance to give us their zip code…probably closer to 20%…but a sampling. It is however a very quick way to see what type of participation you have in Extension programming in your accountability region….and to visualize if you are offering programming in a uniform way across your accountability region.
Another key feature of Tableau is that it comes with a lot of government data sets. If you are looking at how your data compares to census data, you can overlay census data. Geographic data, census data, or USGS data sets. In addition you can connect to your own data sources like Fitbit, Twitter, Facebook etc.
Similar to my 2015 Youth Livestock Project Participation Viz, I would be an advocate for a statewide Nebraska Extension Impact Tableau dataset, so we could quickly, and conveniently share with stakeholders what type of programming was occurring in each county (contributions by all educators/assistants to a Google form with programming area, year/date, zip code of offering, and number of participants) would be something that could be embedded on our webpages. Wouldn’t that be a cool, efficient use of Extension time/financial resources!
Check it out by signing up for an account. Enjoy!!!!