Data Visualization (of My World)

Hey Everybody!

I am Devi, a grad student at the University of Texas at Dallas, super — determined to find a job that gets me excited. right after I graduate this Dec. This past summer I interned in the Bay Area as a Product Management Intern and also realized the value of a being a data-driven Product Manager. That’s the reason why I chose Data Visualization as my last subject, before I graduate from my beloved UTD.

I thought I will share what I learn in my class (with respect to each tool), as blog posts with you guys. We just got completed with Tableau. This blog post will give you a nice introduction to the world of Data Visualization by exploring data from my world.

POST 1 — Tableau: In this very first part of data visualization (of my world) series, we are going to explore my reading habits.

So I decided to use Tableau to look through my personal data points (inspired by Dear Data!). I am a bibliophile so thought I will do an analysis over the books that I have read the in the past two spring and summer (Spring 2015, Summer 2015, Spring 2016 and Spring 2016) semesters. The data points that I collected here was the title name, check out date, category and source name. This was really fun project for me to work on. So as soon as I got all the information on my Excel sheet (thanks to email loan receipts from these libraries), I connected it to Tableau and the amateur sleuth (Yes, I was a huge Nancy Drew fan as a kid!) in me got down right to work.

I have uploaded the story board I created on Tableau Public, have a look at it:

Some interesting facts:

· I tried keeping the categorization as general as I could and brought them to 10 categories, which are:

Children’s Lit, Comics, Fiction, Life, Management, Product, Running, Subject, Swimming, Weight

· Firstly, I wanted to figure out the top 3 categories — I am big on living life big and love reading books that help you do just that. The second was comics (must be due to the sheer fact that they are very easy to read), the third was product (ever since my summer internship I have been reading a lot of cool books out there relevant to Product Management)

· Next up, I have represented my different book sources through the semesters — spring 2015, summer 2015 and Spring 2016 was from UTD McDermott library as I was here, summer 2016 was exclusively from Sunnyvale Public library and Kindle was when I was travelling (airports especially!)

· I used a table to easily spot categories with least number of books — This will be Children’s Lit, swimming and running. They signify a phase of my life where I had the time to indulge in a lot of new things

· Tree maps are the best in case you want to use color and form to represent two quantitative data

· Filters are hands down one of my favorite features in Tableau. It is the easiest way to notice trends and patterns. So thanks to filters feature, I could clearly differentiate what was happening in each of these semesters!

Spring 15 — The nerdy kid just arrives at grad school and borrows nothing but subject relevant books from the Library!

Summer 15 — My first summer at UTD was so memorable for so many reasons! That was when I got into two new activities — running and swimming, I found it so much fun to read books on these topics as I was just an excited newbie! I read all kinds of books because well that is what summers are for right! Thanks to Gretchen Rubin’s Better than Before, I discovered the joy of reading Children’s lit (I ABSOLUTELY FELL IN LOVE WITH WALK TWO MOONS!). It was summer and I also read a lot of weight loss books (to complement the running and swimming of course). My books remind me what a memorable summer 15 it was.

Spring 2016 — Well, well it is the start of a brand new year with brand new things! I am all about living a fulfilling life and being imaginative + creative, with some career related aspiration (what with summer intern search happening!). Hence the big Life, Fiction and a relatively smaller subject bubble.

Sumer 2016 — My Summers are always action — packed! This one at California was all the more action packed .Spurt in Product category (courtesy my product management internship) along with Comics (thanks to my long commute that included bike, caltrain and shuttle rides!). This was summer which meant I had to read a little of everything (Life, Management, fiction, weight loss). What is interesting is that I read a lot of management related to personal finance (for the first time) as I interned at a FinTech (fancy word for Financial Technology) firm in the Bay Area. I loved Sunnyvale library and I also won their summer reading challenge!

My big conclusion: The books you reach out to at every part of your life are a direct reflection of where you are and who you want to be! The journey of self-exploration is a never-ending and exciting one too — thanks to all these books — your faithful companions helping you in this very special journey of Life! As a final thought, Books are truly portable magic as my favorite bookmark claims!

Image Courtesy: