I used to read Choose Your Own Adventure books when I was a child and I always wanted to write one. Specifically, I wanted to write an electronic version. When I was 10 or 11 (back in the early ’90s!), I remember trying to create one using Basic. My dad told me that I shouldn’t try to hard-code all the text as strings and instead store it in a file. Turns out he was right!
Fast forward a few years and I get the thought that maybe I could create a Choose Your Own Adventure dashboard in Tableau. It seemed like a possibility, but there were definitely some hurdles. For one thing, how could you have a choice that would reveal an entirely new set of choices when you selected it – without allowing the user/reader the option of changing their mind and selecting something else? After all, sheets that trigger action filters, parameters, and quick filters are all still there once you make a selection. Don’t like the outcome of the story? Just make another selection. (Granted, I’d keep my finger in the pages of the physical Choose Your Own Adventure books to go back and find alternate endings.) But that’s not the way I wanted the dashboard to work.
I love pushing the limits with Tableau! A few months ago I started playing around with all the possibilities available using Sheet Swapping. If Sheet Swapping on Steroids was what got a ball player kicked out of the league, then this dashboard is what turned Steve Rogers into Captain America. But even more, this dashboard is a shout-out to many of the wonderful individuals in the Tableau community – which is the best out there!
Stay tuned for a post or two that goes into “how it works” but for now, have fun:
Edit: I think I’ve got the error that resulted in an intermittent blank page resolved. (Hope so, at least). There were a few other things I fixed too… who knows what I broke along the way…