by clicking on the page. A slider will appear, allowing you to adjust your zoom level. Return to the original size by clicking on the page again.
the page around when zoomed in by dragging it.
the zoom using the slider on the top right.
by clicking on the zoomed-in page.
by entering text in the search field and click on "In This Issue" or "All Issues" to search the current issue or the archive of back issues respectively.
by clicking on thumbnails to select pages, and then press the print button.
this publication and page.
displays a table of sections with thumbnails and descriptions.
displays thumbnails of every page in the issue. Click on a page to jump.
allows you to browse through every available issue.
GCN : January 2015
life Services, and that when we talked with them found it was due to Deepwa- ter Horizon and British Petroleum.” After the Deepwater Horizon drilling platform exploded and burned in the Gulf of Mexico in April 2010, eventu- ally leaking nearly 5 million barrels of oil from a ruptured well head, owner British Petroleum agreed to pay billions of dollars to people who claimed they had been damaged by the spill. The Fish and Wildlife oversees that part of the program involved with natural resource damage assessments and reparations. DEEPWATER HORIZON CASE However, British Petroleum was holding up some payments out of concern that various agencies were putting question- able costs into reimbursement requests. Once the problem was highlighted with a Tableau analysis, BP got agreement for the requests to be validated before they paid. While acknowledging that dashboards and visualization tools have been used in the government space for some years, Christine Carmichael, head of market- ing, government and education for Tab- leau Software nonetheless claims Tab- leau goes further in terms of the intuitive interplay users have with the data. “If you go back to the Boston example, think of the city having just experienced a nor’easter and now has 196 potholes that need fixing,” she said. “A year ago the mayor would have known he had 196 potholes, but then wouldhavehadtogotoITtogettothe next level of where they were and how bad, and it could have taken days or weeks to get a response. With Tableau, the mayor can ask questions like that and get a response in real time.” Teri Caswell, a senior associate with Hassett Willis & Company, works with government agencies to help them un- derstand how operational, financial and performance data can influence deci- sion-making. She’s currently working with first responder organizations such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency in a proof of concept program to see how rapid analysis of data can help it determine how things are progressing at disaster sites. There are lots of tools that can do great visualizations and paint great pic- tures, she said, but there are few that can produce different visualizations with different data as quickly as Tableau can. She said it also allows her to work more closely even with clients who still prefer traditional methods of presenting data, such as spreadsheets and matrixes or text-based reports with visuals inserted in them. With them, the “pretty Tableau pic- tures” are a bit of a hook that at least makes clients inclined to look at the vi- sualizations, she admitted, but the real advantage is the ability it gives her to respond quickly and confidently to the iterative questions people ask her. “Tableau means that, when I give a report and that next question is asked, instead of the usual ‘Let me get back to you with that’ I can immediately change a parameter or identify something that changes the visualization or numbers on the matrix,” she said. “At the least, I can tell them they don’t have the data to get the answer, and point them to what data they need.” However, according to DOI’s Glenn, the days of traditional methods of analy- sis and reporting are coming to an end. “ The days of communicating with stat- ic spreadsheets or printed statements in reports are over,” he said. “ The next phase is where we are deal- ing with large databases that might con- tain the answer, and the ability to drill down and sort, sift, analyze and manip- ulate data that exposes the answer no matter what the question is, is definitely the next step.” • Tableau Software, the company behind the data visualization application, includes four separate products that together form a complete visualization platform. • Tableau Desktop enables users to interact with Tableau to build their analyses. • Tableau Server allows users to share and collaborate with the Tableau documents they’ve created. • Tableau Online is the cloud hosted version. • Tableau Public is a free product that lets anyone who has downloaded the desktop environment to publish their data vizualizations to the web. The last feature is what Christine Carmichael, head of marketing, government and education for Tableau Software, tagged as “the YouTube of data.” The products are based on two technologies developed by the company VizQL, which translates drag and drop actions users perform onscreen into database queries and then converts the response graphically, and a data engine that enables rapid, ad hoc analysis of large volumes data. Tableau also has over 40 different connectors for most of the data repositories seen in the government and private sectors and integrates with existing systems and security architectures. Legs of the tableau 32 GCN JANUARY 2015 • GCN.COM CASE STUDY VISUALIZATION 0115gcn_031-032.indd 32 1/12/15 3:11 PM
November and December 2014