Viz Talk Live: Understanding Microsoft v. Apple

By Daniel Hom June 13, 2012
One of the best things about Tableau is that visualization is not just the end product, it is part of the process. This also means we can take vizes that are already constructed and play with them on the fly to quickly discover new ways to present the same data. In fact, we do this often at Tableau, evaluating our own visualizations in groups to brainstorm on how we can improve them. So we thought, why not take the discussion public?

Tableau customer Matt Lee generously allowed us to use his viz that compares Microsoft and Apple stock, in this pilot video. Here are some thoughts about this viz from myself and fellow Data Analyst, Lori Williams.

We've included the live (re-sized) viz below, but you can also view Matt's original viz here. Also, tell us what you like about the viz, and your suggestions for further improvement in our Viz Talk forums.


Submitted by Wim Van de Velde (not verified) on

nice job on the Apple vs Microsoft visualization.
A few quirks, though :
- the chart with '% Daily difference' is not showing %, but [new price/previous price] -1 (i.e. not *100). E.g. on April 25, AAPL went from 560 to 610 USD, which is 8.9%, not 0.089. Either the label or the scaling is wrong.
- Could it be that the chart ignores stock splits ? I find it hard to believe that Microsoft has had so many occurrences of about -50% change.
- It may be a matter of taste, but I find the vertical lines too heavy. One series hides the other ; perhaps just a marker would be work as well ?

Best regards,