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.
Awesome chart by my 7yr old, Zoe! I’m looking at you excel users! pic.twitter.com/iC3KRe9iER
— Adam Crahen (@acrahen) April 11, 2017
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.
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.