Toolbox Newsletter, Issue XIV

Dec. 1, 2020

Want to Build a COVID-19 Dashboard? We’ll Show You How …
I had not used Tableau Public and Tableau Desktop in half a decade. But with the COVID-19 outbreak, I saw an opportunity to teach my UIC advanced data journalism students how to build a dashboard of COVID-19 data and share it on the web, similar to what states, hospitals and news organizations do.

So I started to play with the software on my own and took a training with IRE over the summer. The result: my class built filtered COVID-19 dashboards over two class periods this semester (see below).

View the interactive dashboard

Tableau has mobile responsive design now, so the dashboards shift to a vertical presence on your phone and tablet. The filters allow you to focus on a specific county, state, city, date, country, etc. It’s a powerful visualization tool, and you can learn how to use it in less than 35 minutes in the video below.

In this two-part playlist, I walk you through how to build graphics and a filtered dashboard in Tableau Public and Tableau Desktop. You’re given a dataset to work with so you can build the dashboard featured in the video. You also get a handout with step-by-step instructions to build and publish.

Fun With Search Tools

You can do all sorts of fun things with Google search, even play Pac-Man. In this 11-minute video, I show you all kinds of search shortcuts and hacks you can do with search, Google Sheets and Docs. You get a tipsheet too. Score!

Around the Web …

This site is an absolute gem and a must-bookmark: Library of Congress: Newspaper Navigator: Photos lets you search 1.56 million historic newspaper photos for free.

In Quotes …

"We will not be intimidated. The news is not propaganda. It is not something to be manipulated, distorted or censored. Recent events have only strengthened our resolve to continue giving the public the truth in line with the strict guidelines of our Code of Ethics."

--Maria Ressa, Rappler and SPJ Fellow of the Society


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