My Other DataViz Kid

My Other DataViz Kid


Last August, I wrote a post about teaching my daughter, Penny (now 6 years old), about dataviz.  I tracked her soccer goals for the summer season because 1) she is really good and 2) because that’s what Data Dads do.  I built a viz in Tableau and I had Penny draw her version (which is framed in my office).  Maybe we’ll do another with her softball stats this year because somehow I got roped into assistant coaching.

My other daughter, Zoe, wanted to create a viz at the same time.  I didn’t have any good ideas and I didn’t think she was ready.  Kids are all different.  I have learned to not push this one too much.  I try not to anyway, but no one is perfect.

Zoe will be 8 years old in July.  She came home from school last week with a bunch of charts and graphs!  My favorite was this genius cookie tally mark chart.  Good on you Mrs. Erickson!  I now had the perfect opportunity with her.

I was pretty impressed.  She had a good title, awesome icons and labels for separate and equal spaces to track her tally marks, a great legend, and it was even sorted in descending order (for now). I found out later that she circled Sugar Cookies because they were her favorite.

I asked her if she wanted me to get some more votes for her, but she doesn’t like all the attention.  I told her a few people wanted to vote after seeing my tweet. She told me to take it off the Internet, but she counted each and every one.  I let it die down a few days.

 Making Progress

She decided on her own to bring the chart to an Easter Sunday get-together with family to get some more tally marks.  I decided to push it a little bit.  I told her we should work on a viz for it.  She was lukewarm on the idea, but didn’t say no.

I got the laptop and came and sat next to her.  I thought we could build a Google form so we could feed the results into Tableau.  I thought it would be fun for her to check the viz every day and see how many people voted.

We started building the Google form, but I screwed up when I  asked if we should add any cookie options.  We settled on adding ‘Oreos’ and ‘Jelly Filled’ ( I didn’t argue).  I tried to add an ‘Other’ option, but she got mad.  I realized later that she wanted to continue to track her version on paper so she could show her teacher.  She got some more photos for her chart and I take full-credit for the Dad-Fail on that one.

Zoe helped me pick the colors, header image, sort the answers alphabetically, and even did a little of the mouse/keyboard work on the Google Form.  Tableau Public will refresh the data behind the visualization daily.

Take a second to make your selection.

We briefly discussed colors/design after this, but I could tell she was done for the night.  I tweeted out the form and I was surprised by the response.  We got about 35 votes in the first hour and about 75 by the time Zoe went to bed.  She started questioning whether or not I put it on the Internet (remember she doesn’t like the attention).  I said it is just my friends voting, which is the truth – don’t judge!

Thank you to everyone who voted – you made her day.

As much as she didn’t like the idea of being on the Internet, I saw her little smile when I told her how many people voted. I saw it again when she came looking for an update as soon as she woke up the next day and again when she got home from school.  At the time I am writing this, she had 271 votes in about a day.  Nice job #dataviz community! I am blown away!

Building the viz

I knew Zoe wouldn’t have the patience to design the whole viz.  So I created a quick basic bar chart and we talked about her favorite colors and whether there should be icons for the cookies.  The answer was yes to have icons — duh Dad!

I created the viz about 50% of the way while she was sleeping.  The next day when she was a little fresher, we finalized the design and made sure she was happy.  I showed her how to drag and drop like a boss too.  Here are some photos of her vizzing:

And now, the moment you’ve been waiting for…

Here is Zoe’s Cookie Survey viz!

Voting is still open.  You can check back along with Zoe for the updated results.

4 thoughts on “My Other DataViz Kid

  1. Debbie Crahen

    Wow! This is a super project! I hope you get to show your class Zoe!!! Great team work; it’s always fun with a partner!!! Love you!

    1. Adam Crahen

      Already to her teacher. 👍🏻

    1. Adam Crahen

      Thank you!

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