You all know I love Tableau, yes? We’re cool with that…

… but…

There are times when I see Tableau guiding people to make less than ideal visualizations; situations where your have to grapple with the tool to get better results.  A good example may be found at the Tableau Public blog.  Here’s a screen capture.

There’s some great information here, but a lot of the impact is lost for two reasons:

1) Alaska and Hawaii

I’ve been griping about this since the release of Tableau 4.0, but this viz underscores the problem of always being “longitudinally correct”:  There’s no room for the information! (Damn that Pacific Ocean).  Alex Kerwin offers a solution to this here but it’s not built into the product and it requires some futzing (but it is very cool).

2) Default divergent colors

I’ve already railed about this in an earlier blog post but if you need a reminder, here’s a simulation of what this type of color combination looks like to a person who is color blind:

The solution?  Make Blue / Orange the default divergent palette.

And while I’m at it…

I really need dashboard-specific filters, but I’ve already begged/complained about that.

Maybe in Tableau 7?