What better way to start this blog than by saying "Hello, World!". And, with the new Google Sheets and auto-viz refresh features in Tableau 10, I though this would be a fantastic opportunity to build my first auto-refreshing viz!
So who is also saying 'Hello, World'? I turned to twitter to find out.
Getting the data
The great thing about Google Sheets is sheer number of ways you can get live web-based data into them. My three (current) favourites are IFTTT recipes, Import.io APIs, and Google Sheets import functions. for this project I decided to set up and IFTTT recipe that would add a new line to a Google Sheets every time someone tweeted #helloworld. One big consideration when using IFTTT to collect tweets: after 2000 tweets IFTTT starts a new spreadsheet. This means that unless you do some copy/pasting, your viz will only auto-update until it reaches 2000 lines of data.
Connecting to Google sheets
In Tableau 10 this is straight forward, find Google Sheets under 'Connect To A Server' > you are promoted to enter your Google credentials > access all your Google Sheets. If you have 2-step Verification set up (like I do), then you will be promoted to authenticate each time you connect to Tableau. To find out more about your Google account settings check out your Google 'my account' tab.
Once you have connected to your data it's back to Tableau's data-prep pane like normal. (As IFTTT doesn't give you column headers, I had to go back into my data set and add them in, then reconnect).
Now for the exciting part – auto-refresh!
When you publish from Google Sheets you are prompted if you would like to 'keep my data in sync with Google Sheets and embed my Google Credentials', you know you want to so tick that box!
If you forgot to tick the 'sync' box, you can always update this option under 'Edit Details' on the published viz page.
Last cool feature, if something goes wrong, or if you really need to update the viz asap, you can request an update. When you are logged into Tableau Public, go to the published viz > 'Edit Details' > Request Update (it's in the bottom right hand corner.
So who is saying "Hello, world"?
As of writing this well over 150 people have tweeted out #helloworld. What are they "Hello, world-ing" to? Heaps of different things! From sunrises, to starting Python; from chipper Monday-morning people to night owl Olympics watchers; From deep thoughts to cute photos, there are a lot of things you can say "Hello, world" to.
So here's my shout out to the universe:
With my second post out - I've officially said "Hello, world!", and I've stopped updating this viz :)