Re-engineering Tableau Vizzes — How I built My Interactive Résumé Through Viz Re-engineering
I’ve heard some of the best #datafam Tabeau experts talk about getting to where they are today through seeing a viz and trying to recreate or re-engineer it. Essentially, their imaginations begin to work backwards to think of how to create the viz.
I have run away from this concept of re-engineering for a very long time, but after several runs, I am here to say that re-engineering might be the best way to become that Tableau expert that you strongly desire. Or an expert in anything at all.
To re-engineer means to re-design or re-create something. This method allows you to get into the original creator’s head and expand the capacity or possibility of what your brain cells can do.
For the longest time, I’m always impressed when I see people create interactive résumé for themselves because I think that it makes one stand out effortlessly from a pool of job-seeking candidates. In my opinion, it shows that you might have something extra. I say this because after my master’s degree when I was job hunting, I felt the need to do something different, something beyond the norm, that would interest the recruiter in taking a second look at me. Having a virtual interactive résumé created with Tableau seemed like a superpower I desired to have. Additionally, I thought it looked excellent for a Tableau Developer jobseeker. Recently, I resolved that wanted to create my own interactive résumé by May 2022.
The question now is, was I successful???
To my surprise, I was very successful. Please take a look at my superb résumé below. You can also interact with it via my Tableau Portfolio.
Does the picture amaze you? Does it feel like something you’d like to do?
I was amazed when I saw that Tableau could do this. But don’t panic. If I can create mine, you can do the same. It’s simple, I promise. Even though it weren’t, that’s precisely why I’m here; to walk you through it.
This article aims to make the creation of a virtual résumé using Tableau not feel like a daunting task. It took me a while to create mine, mainly because it felt like too big a task and something only Tableau ambassadors, authors, or visionaries could make. I am here to guide you and give you the basics if you have ever felt like you wanted to create one.
Here are a few guidelines that would help:
- Have an actual Word doc or PDF résumé. A pre-existing résumé in this format would make the work much more manageable. In addition to this, have other basic information like likes and dislikes, interests, etc. This information will come in handy if you want to add it to your viz.
- Search for other people’s captivating yet simple interactive résumé that you like on Tableau Public. These résumés will form the foundation of your own, so they must captivate you when you see them. For me, the following résumé easily caught my attention:
- Dzifa Amexo: https://public.tableau.com/app/profile/dzifa.amexo/viz/DzifaAmexoInteractiveResume/DzifaAmexoInteractiveResume
- Emily De Padua: https://public.tableau.com/app/profile/emily.de.padua/viz/EmilyDePaduaInteractiveResume/Resume
- Alisha Dhillon: https://public.tableau.com/app/profile/alisha7755/viz/AlishaDhillon-Resume/AlishaCV
3. Dig into the data of these résumés after downloading the Tableau workbook version. This step aims to help you understand how to start collating your data.
I learned during this step that with Tableau, you could download the data source and scrutinize it as you please. Note that you can find the designer’s calculated values in the downloaded file. So you might need to figure out which columns these values are to enable you to filter out them while scrutinizing the data.
Knowing calculated values is easy:
In Picture 1, notice that the highlighted column has an equation sign in front of it. This means that this column was calculated. When the data is downloaded it will not be excluded. Although you can’t access the creator’s data source page like picture 1 below, you can view the data from the data pane and download the CSV/excel version of it.
Picture 2 shows how the column in picture 1 will appear in the data pane. From here you can determine what is calculated or not.
4. Understand the rows and columns of each data point and begin building yours. Try to understand the purpose of each datapoint entered and make yours accordingly or however you deem fit. The goal is not to copy but to use this as a benchmark for your data.
When scrutinizing the data sources, note that all creators might not use the same format of data gathering. I remember studying Emily’s work and noticed that Emily had a different data set for almost all her activities. This method of data collation worked well for her, but Dzifa and Alisha had one, and their results were still spectacular. I went with creating just one data set. The goal is to find what works for you and use it.
5. Create a unique template for your résumé. For this step, paper and pen worked well for me. After studying the three visual résumés, I decided to sketch out mine. It was a combination of a few idea snippets I got from the ones I looked at, plus a few other ideas in my head. If you get opinions from other people’s work, please give them credit.
6. At this point, you can start building your résumé. If you experience a roadblock, take a break or return to the résumé that inspired you to create the cause of the roadblock. Play around with the viz and try to see how it works. I often found myself too scared to play around with the viz because I did not want to mess up such perfection. If this happens, you have two solutions:
Ctrl +Z when you do something outrageous or delete the messed up file completely, download another version. It wouldn’t cost you a cent, so why not.
This stage requires a lot of back and forth. While working on mine, I reloaded the data multiple times because each time I came across something I felt needed to be changed, I went back to my excel sheet, corrected my entry and edited my data connection.
For this project, the integrity and accuracy of the data collected are primarily in your hands. Hence, you can collate appropriate or misappropriate data for this project.
7. When you feel like you have created your best work, share the link with any of your friends in the #datafam community and ask them for feedback. The community is super friendly and they will be more than happy to help. Nicole Klassen (@nicoleklassen12) and Dzifa Amexo (@datadzif) were my go-to people for this. I was pleasantly surprised when they critically scrutinized and gave very detailed feedback.
Following the above steps will help you take small steps to make your résumé. You can also reach out and pick my brain if you decide to jump on this project.
If you have gotten to this point, I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I loved scribbling it together.
I intend to publish more of these as I work on personal Tableau projects so if you want to tag along, follow me here and on my social media pages. I am currently doing a #100DaysTableauingWithChisom challenge, you can tag along and follow me on Twitter to keep up with my growth.
In the meantime,
Check one of my past articles here.
Chill, take a sip of your favourite drink and keep Tableauing. Till next time. Bye!!