“Witty Title for First Blog”

It’s 2:10 am PST on December 29th and I’m starting my very first blog post in relation to data visualization.  I will my try my best to keep succinct and coherent in this late (early?) time of day, so please excuse any coherency issues.

Around September of this year, I was privileged to be able to attend the Tableau Customer Conference.  My very first grown-up conference may I add. As overwhelming and enjoyable as the conference was, the thing that left a lasting impression and inspired me to start this blogging endeavor was the presentation ‘Porn, Pokemon, and Pop Culture’ by Jewel Loree, Paint by Numbers, and VizWiz.  They were able to draw out the fun side of data mining and visualization by challenging the Tableau users to use data scraping tools and techniques to create presentations on things we would be interested in.  They reminded us that although we use these tools for our jobs (as most individuals in the presentation were in data reporting roles), it was also available outside of work and we have the freedom to let our data-geek side show with an interactive, story-telling tool. As someone who has only recently gotten into the data visualization realm, it was really awe-inspiring to see the passion and creativity from these three innovators. With the information they gave me, and a little push from a good friend (check out her blog here!), I was able to present this humble little blog.

Now, enough of this mushy lovefest of an origin story I’m creating let’s get down to the data!  I’ve spent DAYS trying to come up with some data that was not only simple to find, but something I was interested in presenting.  What I have found, is that there is not a single perfect data set that is formatted perfectly AND interesting.  It’s either one or the other. 😀  After days of searching, I found one suitable enough for me to present, that also piqued my interest of the supernatural. Thanks to the National UFO Reporting Center, I’m able to offer you a quick glimpse of some of the possible signs that we are not alone in this universe.  It’s a simple couple graphs, but I wanted to present something more than number of sightings across the U.S.  Hopefully you find the type of sightings as interesting as I did.  Since these are self-reported statistics, there’s a bit of a disconnect with the sighting shapes and the underlying commentary associated with each sighting, but hopefully the data is “out of this world” enough that it makes up for it.

There’s TONS of underlying data so I started with the past three months (Oct 2014 – Dec 2014).  When I have another day off, I’ll possibly go back and add in the previous years.  The data goes back to the 1800’s so it might take a lot more effort than it’s worth :D.

Hopefully you find the data as fun as I did.  Let me know in the comment section down below what you thought (good or otherwise).  Give me a Like or Share this post and help get me motivated to post consistently.  You can also check out the Tableau CommunityJewel Loree, Paint by Numbers, VizWiz, or Courtney Nisay and get lost in the data visualization genius.

UPDATE: It has been brought to my attention that the interactivity of the dashboard is not working. I’m researching on how to fix the embedded HTML, but in the meantime, you can access the dashboard at my Tableau Public Site HERE. I apologize for having you leave the site. 😀

UFO Sightings