How do you explore data? What path do you take from opening a data set to publishing a dashboard? Do you go in a straight line or a squiggly path? These are some of the questions Tableau’s research team asks.

We believe people should not be forced down a straight line, but be able to explore the data, chasing hunches, in order to focus on the best articulation of the data. Knowing more about people’s behaviour helps us improve Tableau.

We want you to help us by getting involved in a special experiment next week. The research team is joining with Makeover Monday, our weekly exercise in reimagining stories with the same data, for a special advanced-logging week. Collecting multiple log files from people all exploring the data set will give us a unique perspective on people’s paths through the data.

We'll also be able to create animations of everyone’s explorations. Below is an example of the output we can collect. It shows my exploration of a data set on capital punishment in the US.

What we want to know is just how unique everyone’s path through the data is.

Does this sound good? We hope so!

In order to do the project, you will need to run Tableau with a special “advanced logging” flag. This creates more detailed logs than normal, and also captures a PNG of every view you make. You’ll then send us your logs, and we’ll take it from there!

Full details will be published on this blog on Saturday 19 November, ahead of next week’s Makeover Monday. So do stay tuned!

In case you're not yet familiar, head over to the Makeover Monday site for a quick primer on this community exercise. And check out our Pinterest board to see the 2,500+ makeovers submitted by 400+ people.

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working in Marketing analytics. Looking forward to get more data rich insights into analytics.


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