2014: a year of Gabby Young, Heavy Metal and Frozen

What was your favourite music of the year? I thought I’d take a data-driven look at my listening habits, by downloading my last.fm data. I’ve found 3 interesting stories:

My favourite album: Gabby Young and Other Animals

 

Click for bigger version
Click for bigger version

We saw Gabby Young at the excellent Just-So festival. What knocks me out is the enjoyment in her show and her recorded music. There is such joy in the recording that you can’t help but get carried away. Her voice is exquisite and carries me away.

Two things the data told me:

  • I had a crazy week in November when I listened to over 200 Gabby Young tracks.
  • The tracks I most listened to are I’ve Improved and Fear Of Flying. Here’s the videos:

Heavy Metal

In any given week I’ll be listening to classical, or pop, or even deep filthstep but one thread that has been consistent through my life is heavy metal. You can’t beat a good scream and thrash every now and then. My top metal bands of the year are below.

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Click for bigger

Conclusions?

Metallica remain the band I go back to the most. Check out that huge spike in August – 66 listens in one month. What’s interesting is that I got a little bit reobsessed with Anthrax in the same month – over 100 listens in one month. That was all about “Sounds of White Noise” – a favourite album from the 1990s and rediscovered and obsessed over in the Summer.

Meshuggah and Hatebreed make their appearance too as they were the only non-festival gigs I went to this year. Also the first heavy metal shows for, um, 20 years, I think.

Meshuggah!
Meshuggah!

The year of Frozen.

I’ve written on the Tableau Public blog before about the effect that Frozen has had on my music listens. The chart below is the cumulative listens of all bands in 2014. Frozen, Pink Floyd, Gabby Young and Lordes are at the top. Frozen dominates:

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Click for bigger

Let’s gloss over Frozen and focus on Pink Floyd.

Pink Floyd is number 2 most listened to for 2 reasons.

First of all, they released a great new album. I listened to it a lot when it came out in October.

The second reason is the spike in May. At this stage, we’d listened to so much Frozen I wanted to reset my kid’s music tastes! We listened to The Wall a lot – the kids like the talking voices. Here’s the same chart, highlighting Pink Floyd:

Click for bigger
Click for bigger

What did you listen to?

To make these charts, I scrobble all my music listens to last.fm. I then use Ben Foxall’s (@benjaminbenbenLastfmToCsv service to download all my data. Finally – I point Tableau to the data and explore away.

Magic and Data Visualisation: my favourite routine

Happy Christmas everyone! If you haven’t, go and read my latest Huffington Post columnn about two of my passions, “What links magic and data visualisation?“.

In the column, I link to lots of routines but I wanted to highlight Lennart Green’s TED talk in particular. I have watched this many many times – it’s mix of patter, sleight, misdirection is just perfect.

What’s your favourite routine? Or your favourite magician?

Quick tip: label ALL and HIGHLIGHTED marks in Tableau

ALL and HIGHLIGHT labels on one view. Scroll down for interactive view.
ALL and HIGHLIGHT labels on one view. Scroll down for interactive view.

A light bulb moment this morning. When you label marks in Tableau you can choose ALL or HIGHLIGHTED.  Sometimes you want to label the marks by default and highlight the labels when making some selection on another part of a dashboard. But you can’t by default – the “Marks to Label” option only allows one choice:

Label properties in Tableau
Label properties in Tableau

Can you work around this?

Yes – you can, with a dual axis chart. Duplicate the Measure on the Rows shelf and make it Dual Axis, with synchronised axes. In my example, I duplicated Profit:

Duplicate the mark on the Rows shelf
Duplicate the mark on the Rows shelf

Then I set one label to be All and the other to Highlighted:

two labels

Now you can build a dashboard which shows all Labels and has a highlight lable when you interact with other views in the dashboard.

Check out the interactive dashboard below to see it in action: