The Data

I was recently searching Data.gov‘s catalogue of public dataset and stumbled upon a record of every deceased veteran (active & retired) in Missouri and their burial information. Then I found a file for each state and I got very excited. You see, I get excited when  I get a large dataset – the larger the better. As the dataset gets bigger, the more fascinating stories are hidden within the data. And therein lies the beauty of Tableau. It is designed to make data discovery easy and intuitive.

I’ve been working on this dashboard since Tableau 9.3 Beta. I used this to test the Union function. Each state was its own csv file. After downloading each of the 51 files (50 states and 1 combined territory file) I merged them into one massive (500MB+) excel workbook.

So I started on the project back in February. but knew this dataset would be very interesting and I wanted to maximize its reach so I decided to sit on it until around Memorial Day.

Well here we are and may I present my to you my Tableau dashboard to “Honor the Fallen”

Enjoy!

Click here for the interactive view!

Honor The Fallen

The Guts

With this dashboard there’s nothing extremely technical or hack-y. Ever since completing my entry the Iron Viz contest, I’ve been placing a bigger emphasis on the design of my dashboards. It’s something that doesn’t come naturally for me, I have to work at it.

I’ve participating in #MakeoverMonday with Andy Kriebel and Andy Cotgreave and the rest of the AMAZING twitter community. With each week’s challenge, I’ve been using it as more as way to gain design skills.

Having said that, I feel this design is very strong and I’m proud. I had some great feedback from Ben Jones. He helped me focus my efforts on the color palette. When I sent him a earlier draft, he mentioned that I should see if it’s possible to consolidate my color palette. After looking at it and massaging it I was able to get my color choices to 2 (down from 4).

My wife, Rachel, also played a role in the design of this dashboard. When she first looked at it, she asked me to consider choosing some different fonts than I was currently using. I was using Courier New throughout the dashboard andshe mentioned it would be good to use a serif font for titles and stick with Courier New for the context. And similar to our relationship, she was right 😉

I hope you enjoyed this dashboard and learned a little about our country’s deceased veterans.

Until next time!

Download the Raw Data

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