• Nisa Marques

You’ve got mail… Data Chain Mail

Since I have stumbled in Tableau and its amazing community it is hard not to have fun with data. This collaborative community of extraordinary people is always celebrating knowledge, inspiring one another and revolutionizing the data visualization limits. An incredible encouragement for one to push its own boundaries, adventure in new fields and meet amazing people along the way.

Last year, inspired by the Dear Data and Dear Data Two projects, Britney Fong organized the Data Chain. An initiative that consists of a group of international data enthusiasts who want to know more about each other through sharing a weeks’ worth of their own data. Each month the ‘vizpals’ collect data related to a set theme, transform it into a visualization and create wonderful postcards.

It is a fun project that not only allows us to know more about someone that more often than not is an ocean apart from us but also makes us realise about patterns in our daily life that we might be unaware of. Also gives us the chance to improve our drawing and data visualization skills. All in all, a great project that everyone should try.

Since I joined, I have created postcards about food, music, things I say and, love. I was able to draw world maps, reindeers, spider charts and trees. I even tried to make an interactive postcard in January, by using transparencies sewed together by a poor needlework (apologies Aaron Romeo!). Nonetheless, a real insight into the limitations of a spider chart and another lesson learned.

Last month, with Love as the topic I had to surpass the “how can I quantify Love?” barrier and decided to approach it by comparing written love with verbal love. Within the written love I integrated the times I have written the word Love in e-mails, notes and texts or have sent a ‘love emoji’ vs alternative words or emoji. On the other hand, the verbal love only contained the times I said the word Love vs synonym words. After collecting a week’s worth of data, it became evident that my love is directly proportional to the weekend approach!


Firstly I created the filled hearts with paint.net (as I couldn’t use interactive filling shapes with my layout), uploaded the background image to tableau and used the background image coordinates to place the hearts for the corresponding day side by side. Finally to give a more realistic feeling I used a vintage colour for my dashboard and a postcard banner with a first class stamp.

A postcard that was really fun to do!

#Data #tableau

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