This week, I was tasked with using 911 call data to create visualizations. After looking through the data, I saw that the statistics of noise complaints produced some valuable information and could lead to learning more. With Tableau, I was able to make very interesting visualizations that told the story of how noise complaints in Seattle show which places are the noisiest at which times of the year. I started by making a map visualization, which placed all the 911 reports on a map of Seattle. From there, I narrowed it down to only noise complaints, and then changed the data points by making their size bigger or smaller, according to the number of reports, and their colors different, based on their district. This ended up showing which neighborhoods had the most noise complaints, one of which was unsurprisingly the U-district.

The bigger dots show the largest number of complaints in a single area.

After this, I tried to convey more information about which districts were the noisiest by making a bar chart of the number of noise complaints by district. This provided a scale to the map, and gave exact numbers of complaints. Finally, I tied this data to a graph that broke up the numbers of complaints by month, which showed which months were more noisy than others. It was interesting to see that the summer had the most complaints, with July being at the top. This is most likely due to fireworks and Forth of July celebrations. Overall, my visualizations show where noise pollution is the best or worst in Seattle, and when it is the best or worst.

This bar chart gives a month by month breakdown of noise complaints.


I really enjoyed this task because it allowed me to explore using Tableau, which I think is a very cool and powerful tool to make amazing data visualizations. It allowed me to make the data so much more comprehensible, and really makes telling a story with the data a breeze. The ability to break up the different aspects and automatically add different parts of the data to the visualization and change how it looks, such as through color or size, makes conveying information very interesting. I especially liked how easy it is to filter the data, because it made narrowing down the 911 data to just noise complaints simpler than deleting all the other data.

In The Future

I can see myself using Tableau in the future in many different ways. One way I’m sure I’ll use it is in a future school project. Because it is so easy to make data visual, Tableau could be especially useful when presenting a project’s findings or giving statistics on why something is happening and needs to be dealt with. I could also see using this in a future job, when I need to show a progress report or something of that nature. Through Tableau, I could make any data more legible to many different people, and can use this to convey information I have learned more elegantly than simply saying it.

One clap, two clap, three clap, forty?

By clapping more or less, you can signal to us which stories really stand out.