Make time to exercise your data skills with Workout Wednesday

Have you participated in a community-led data project? Dive into one Tableau Public author’s recent experience— and learn why they think you should get involved.

Want to stay in tip-top Tableau shape? Workout Wednesday is for you! Led by Ann Jackson and Luke Stanke and with Lorna Eden and Curtis Harris as contributors, this project provides weekly challenges that push participants to recreate an existing Tableau visualization. Workout Wednesday began offering these weekly challenges in 2017— check out their Challenge Tracker and you'll find a long list of ways to break a sweat.

Presented by Ann, the 2019 Week 14 challenge was to recreate a line chart that dynamically highlights and compares subcategories while also revealing their monthly averages:

Click to view the viz, then download to experience its full interactivity

Here’s how Yuta Sakai (Network and Traffic Data Analyst from Osaka, Japan) tackled the Week 14 challenge:

We got in touch with Yuta to find out more about his experience. Yuta says that Workout Wednesday has transformed how he’s learned Tableau and hopes his story will inspire others— no matter their skill level— to get involved!

Let's Talk Workout Wednesday

How long have you been using Tableau Public?

Tableau employee Kaori Tanaka (KT) introduced me to Tableau Public in 2018 during a JEDI Bootcamp. In this bootcamp, KT encouraged us to get involved with Makeover Monday. As I shared my Makeover Monday submissions on Twitter, I started to see a hashtag #WorkoutWednesday. After doing some research about Workout Wednesday, I knew I had to try it. I’ve been challenging myself to do Makeover Monday and Workout Wednesday each week. I’ve grown so much— and now, vizzing is one of my hobbies!

What has been your all-time favorite Workout Wednesday challenge?

My favorite challenge has been the 2019 Week 6 challenge. One problem I routinely face is visualizing both summary and detail in a single viz. This visualization gives a clear solution to this problem. Thanks to Workout Wednesday, I have another great chart type in my toolbelt! Take a look below (and try to recreate it!).

Click to view interactive version

What was your biggest obstacle with the Week 14 challenge, and how did you overcome it?

This was a really busy week and I didn’t think I had time for vizzing. But I didn’t want to give up on my goal to complete each Makeover Monday and Workout Wednesday challenge! Rather than giving up, I used the Week 14 challenge as an opportunity to prioritize what I wanted to learn and to test my speed. I asked myself, “What are the essential parts of this week’s challenge?” and “What could I improve on?” I then focused my efforts on those areas. Ultimately, I spent less time on getting the colors right and more time perfecting the interactivity with set actions.

Workout Wednesday challenges can be difficult and time-consuming! I encourage everyone to find ways to customize how you tackle the challenges so you can learn. Even if you don’t think your viz will meet all the challenge requirements, finish it!

What advice would you give to those getting started with Workout Wednesday?

As I said earlier, Workout Wednesday challenges can be very difficult. But don’t worry! If you can't finish it yourself, you can always download the original workbook. And if you can't understand how to recreate something from the original workbook, you can ask the Tableau Community! Reach out on Twitter or try out the User Forums— you’ll get your questions answered.

What is the best music to listen to while vizzing?

I love Ringo Sheena! I can really concentrate when I’m listening to her music, so I often listen to her when I’m making visualizations.

Say hello to Yuta! Are you following him on Tableau Public yet?

Ready to bulk up your Tableau skills? Be like Yuta and set a Workout Wednesday goal that works for you! These weekly challenges can be difficult— it’s not called Workout Wednesday for nothing! But as with any workout plan, you can customize your goals to match your learning style, skill level, and available time.

Once you have your goal, get started with the 2019 Week 14 challenge and stay in shape with the latest challenges. Tweet out your progress using #WorkoutWednesday2019, and check out the hashtag to see how others complete the challenges! Need more guidance? Tableau Public author Nat Rchr shared her steps to solving Week 14 in both English and French. You can also download the original workbook and reverse-engineer your solution.