By day, I design Tableau dashboards for clients. This means I’m often creating financial dashboards (some of these are mine), or healthcare dashboards (like readmissions and restraints compliance), or marketing dashboards. I love the analysis and creativity that comes with my job!
But in off-hours I like to push the envelope a little. Quick, do a Google search for “Tableau literary analysis”. Anything? “Tableau Textual Analysis”?
But why not? The text of any work of literature is data! And it can be visualized!
So, I turned Tableau loose on the text of the Greek New Testament. This text has been analyzed by scholars and theologians for the past 2000 years. And textual analysis is nothing new. Masoretes were counting and recording the use of each word in the Hebrew Scriptures as early the 5th century. But the opportunity to actually visualize this type of analysis and perform real-time data discovery in a visual way is new.
And so, I present: An Invitation to Explore the Text of the Greek New Testament. This dashboard is merely an invitation to the casual user to begin to explore the patterns of use and frequency of some of more commonly used words in the New Testament. It barely scratches the surface of what could be done. And yet, it opens a world of visual discovery. Each word has its own story – how various authors used it, how often and how frequently.
A couple of notes about the dashboard:
- “A word cloud?” visualization purists everywhere groaned. “Yes! And in Greek or English,” I responded confidently (though inwardly I had a mustard-seed of doubt). Remember this is an invitation to a casual user to begin exploring the text. It is the starting place for deeper analysis, not the deeper analysis itself. And it is a user interface (try typing ancient Greek into the search boxes of some of the best Bible software out there and let me know if you like it).
- “You took up that much space with instructions!” the design experts shouted. “Don’t judge,” I begged, “until you’ve tried it.”