Data Visualization Project

Data Visualization Project Instructions


If you’ll be working on your own computer, request a student license for Tableau at



Your objective is to use analytical tools to understand and improve business performance and to present your analysis using effective data visualizations in a dashboard format.



FoodiesNW sells specialty food items to customers around the world.  Increasing competition and costs are cutting into the company’s profits.  FoodiesNW’s CEO has contacted you and asked you to design a prototype dashboard that can identify potential problems and opportunities and improve the company’s performance and profitability.  You will:

  • identify one question or problem you would like to analyze for FoodiesNW.
  • create a dashboard in Tableau that includes 3-4 related items that address the problem. You’re allow to add or change FoodiesNW data if that’s helpful.
  • write a memo to the CEO describing your dashboard and why it’s useful

You will also be invited to show your dashboard during the last class (the Viz-a-thon.)

Before you create your dashboard, explore the data in Excel or Tableau,


Identify a question or problem you would like to address and that would be interesting and informative to the CEO of Foodies NW.  Begin by exploring the data available:

  • Sort the data. Remember that you can sort using multiple sort levels. Can you see any patterns, trends, or relationships?
  • Subtotal the data using various categories. Do any large or small amounts or differences stand out?
  • Graph the data using a variety of elements and chart types.
  • Look at over time to see trends. Are there any peaks and lows? Is there any time of year during which values are highest or lowest?
  • Pivot the data to see totals, counts, or averages of various categories. Are there any highs? Are there any lows that need to be addressed?
  • You can also try what-if analyses, to see what would happen if, for example, quantities or prices changed, or you can do statistical analysis to evaluate the significance of relationships you have identified.


Upload your memo as a Word or PDF file to the Assignments area in D2L under the following name:  Lastname_Firstname_Dashboard.  Your memo should include:

Screenshot.  Copy and paste a screenshot of your dashboard.  If your dashboard elements don’t have easily visible titles, please label them in your Word document or by hand.  Print this page in color if possible and bring it to class to share on 7/18.

Question/problem.  Describe the general question or problem your system is addressing.  Your problem can be general—such as: increasing sales or reducing costs, or narrow—such as determining which countries or products to drop or promote.  All of the sheets should address this problem.

Dashboard elements.  Give each element on your dashboard a descriptive title, and a number (1, 2, 3, 4), and a very brief description of the element and how it’s useful

Summary.  A brief and clear summary of how the dashboard as a whole addresses the problem you’ve described above and of what you’ve learned from your results.




Here are snippets of some of FoodiesNW data:








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