My Favorite Tableau Viz: Push the Ball Up the Hill


My Favorite Tableau Viz: Push the Ball Up the Hill

by Brad Fair

Credit for this viz goes directly to InterWorks EU Managing Director Mel Stephenson, who taught me that a great viz should include an aspect of psychology, as well.

So, someone recently asked me what’s the most interesting viz I’ve seen, and there’s one that stands out in particular – not because it’s terribly visually appealing, but because the psychology that goes into it.

It’s a simple chart of the sum of sales over time. Only, instead of being ordered by time, like you normally would, it’s ordered by sum of sales.

This creates a chart that looks like a hill, going from the bottom-left to the top-right. And in the current month, you put a circle on top of the hill. So, this becomes a game: basically, push the ball up the hill.

The reason I like this is because salespeople tend to be a pretty competitive group, very ambitious. It allows them to see where they’ve been in the past, where they are currently and where they need to go so that this is the best month ever.

More About the Author

Brad Fair

Solutions Architect
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