July is all about Storytelling

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Posted by Ben Joneson July 2, 2014

Themes Galore

It's been one year since we started running monthly themes on the Tableau Public blog. In that year, we shined the monthly spotlight on authors, data, social data, design, stats, year in review, data blogging, data journalism, sports vizzes, tips & tricks, and most recently, quantified self.

Last month we took a break from monthly themes to launch Tableau Public 8.2 for Windows and Mac. With Tableau Public 8.2 comes Story Points, the impetus for our theme this month: Storytelling.

Story Points is here

Story Points is the new game-changing feature that comes with Tableau 8.2. It provides Tableau Public authors with the ability to string together visualizations and dashboards into a narrative arc. Why would they want to do that? To provide their audience with a series of thoughts that can be followed in a clear and compelling way: namely, in a data story. You'll start noticing story points tiles across the top of vizzes, like this one by CNBC's John Schoen (click to see an interactive version):

As we focus on Storytelling this month, here's what we have in store for you:

Storytelling Month Line-Up

  • Check out the new "Stories" gallery on our site to see what authors are creating with this new feature.
  • The 3rd and Final Iron Viz feed-in contest is the Storytelling Viz Contest, and submissions will be accepted until 7/21 at 12am PT
  • Our Viz of the Day page will feature Story Points vizzes as often as possible, such as yesterday's winner on Maine's Aging Population that was published by the Bangor Daily News
  • Our own Tara Walker will give some Story sizing tips to help you design your first Story
  • We'll feature guest blog posts from some names you'll recognize, including Matt Francis, who will share some thoughts on this new feature
  • We'll lay out some basic story "types" to help inspire you to make good use of this new feature.
  • An extra treat! Video recordings of the 2014 Tapestry Conference presentations will be posted on the Tapestry blog, like this one on visualizing "big numbers" by Jon Schwabish

How can you get involved?

The real purpose for our blog is to engage in a dialog with the community of Tableau Public authors. If you have an idea or suggestion for a Storytelling blog post, email us at tableaupublic@tableausoftware.com. If you make use of our Story Points feature, be sure to tweet a link to @tableau using the hashtag #showandtell.

We'll be on the lookout for great examples, and you might find your work showcased as the Viz of the Day and on our Stories gallery. Of course, we encourage you to submit your work to our Storytelling Viz Contest before the deadline on the 21st. No entry is too basic - the real power of data storytelling is in the message.

We're looking forward to seeing what story you have to tell.