The Tableau Community provides many things to many people, both tangible and intangible. One of the greatest gifts I’ve received from the DataFam is the gift of feedback, something my partner in crime, Andy Cotgreave, mentioned in the lead up to last year’s IronViz competition.
Now, there are right and wrong ways to provide feedback, which is why I participated in Joshua Smith’s Feedback Loop a few years back. The Feedback Loop was a small group discussion framed around building visualizations and going through two feedback rounds, intentionally structured to improve how we give feedback. Nichole Klassen’s blog post, Lessons Learned from the Feedback Loop, reminded me that the Feedback Loop is still going strong! Today, she and Michelle Frayman run the program and her post points out some great lessons learned from participating.
The first, “Be Cautious About Providing Unsolicited Feedback,” can be very difficult in the age of Twitter! We’ve all been there: Someone posts a viz, and you have an immediate response and want to share. Stop! Make sure the author is actually looking for feedback before tweeting your opinion. And authors, if you do get unsolicited feedback, try giving the person providing feedback the benefit of the doubt and assume the best intentions.
One great example of unsolicited feedback going right was from Dorian Banutoiu and his blog, Call Center Dashboard in Tableau. Dorian participates in Real World Fake Data, and after posting his most recent submission, he got feedback from someone in the Call Center Operations business. While appreciating the beauty of the viz, Shazel Gomes pointed out that it wasn’t actionable and in some cases, irrelevant. Shazel took the time to provide other possible views that would have more value for the viz. Dorian engaged Shazel in a conversation, took the feedback into account, and updated the post with a second version of the viz.
“Surprise, surprise! The dashboard looks good but it’s irrelevant. There’s nothing more useless than a dashboard that isn’t actionable. Time to cry, right? Wrong! I started breaking down his comment and I realized how valuable it is. I like to think of myself that I’m good with Tableau, but my experience with Call Center data is a big fat 0 … With [Shazel’s feedback] in mind, I reworked the dashboard.” —Dorian Banutoui, Call Center Dashboard in Tableau
When it comes to feedback, keep in mind that a) no one knows absolutely everything, b) we all viz differently, and c) the answer to most things in the data viz world is “it depends.” So wait a beat, seek to understand and learn, and let’s keep the love flowing.
With that, enjoy Best of the Tableau Web with tips, tricks, inspiration and more produced by the Tableau community. Don’t forget to check out the list of blogs we follow for Best of the Tableau Web. If you don’t see yours on the list, we invite you to add it here.
Data Culture, Blueprint
Formatting, Design, Storytelling
Tips and Tricks
View last month’s Viz of the Day on Tableau Public gallery.