martedì 15 maggio 2018

Viz in Tooltip: advice on use and visual value

The first time I sat in front of my laptop with Tableau 10.5 installed, more than any other thing I was impatient to try a new feature that I waited for a long time: Viz in tooltip! 

As my colleagues know, I'm just obsessed with design and I always try to customize my viz the more I can. Viz in tooltip gave me this opportunity. What are they? Essentially a chart inside another chart. Obviously they can have a wider range of use. For me viz in tooltip means to have a new power in my hands. The power to simplify and make my viz clean and neat, adding details without any limitation to my creativity. How I used this feature in the first months of its life? Let's see! 

You can click on the screenshot to see the interactive viz and try all the tooltips.


The first work in wich I used viz in tooltips was a visualization about italian universities. I analysed courses and subjects in every italian university from north to south. Fist and maybe most obviuos use for a chart in a chart: add more details to save space in the dashboard. This is what I did with the first of two different viz in tooltip in the viz.

For every university I add the number of courses and the icons of the different subjects in the tooltip. Less space to use in the dashboard means more cleanliness. 

Second idea. I would like to customize the tooltip for every single city in my dataset. Maybe with a picture of the city...or what else? How much time I needed to find and save all that pictures in my tableau repository to use them as shapes? A lot of time I presume. So that's the second use for my viz in tooltip. 

I created a sheet in which I mapped the italian cities, using a shapefile downloaded from Istat. No more pictures, but maps! 

Here's another example of this use case: mapping the bloom of cherry blossom in Japan. 


Sometimes it's possible to save time with maps. Other time a picture of your dimension is exactly what you need to make you tooltip catchy. This was the case of the following viz, that try to ask the question "how much money big companies make in 1 second?" Nothing is bettere than its logo to make a company recognizable. Logo and text, a simple tooltip to give more informations to the public.

Maybe the most common use, really useful also in executive dashboards, is to put a different chart in the tooltip, to give a new point of view to the final user. For example visualize a trend from a single value, to understand how (and when) the total  number printed in the dashboard was built. Also in this case adding details means at the same time save space. 

That's what I did for the visualization below, in which I visualised the story of the Winter Olympic games. When and how the countries reached their medals? The trend in the tooltip can answer the question!


Going ahead with my work and practicing with this feature, I started to create tooltip more and more complex. One of the main trick I absolutely like is to have lines that I can use as a sort of frame in my tooltip.

In the example below I used 3 different sheet in my tooltip. The first one with the movie poster, the second with informations about rating. And what about the third? It was only a sheet with a fake measure to create a bar. Exactly the line that I needed for my tooltip:

I find it pretty nice to customize the tooltip, also with different colours based on a specific dimension. Here's other tooltip made with the same trick:


Recently I geocoded all the beaches that won a blue flag in Italy this year. Mapped all the points my only issue was to give to the users the name of the beach and other informations more specific about the location. As I always done also with the previous Tableau releases, I added these informations in the tooltip. But in a nicer manner.

A beach and a big umbrella to give the impression of a zoom and of a postcard in a postcard. 

See you soon for another viz in tooltip 

and a new blog post!

Filippo Mastroianni was born on March 14, 1988 in Milan. Data Analyst and Consultant for The Information Lab Italy, approaches the data-driven world from a humanistic background. He graduates with a thesis on Data Journalism and discovered his great passion for Data Visualization. Since 2016 he regularly collaborates with Il Sole 24 Ore. Author of several Viz of the Day, he is currently Tableau Ambassador and Tableau Featured Author.

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