A short tale of… data vizes. It’s about Tableau, R, and Shiny. How to prepare/build an existing and well-known Tableau visualization with R and provide web analysis interactivity. Will be using the raw data from the sample workbook named “Regional” that comes with Tableau Desktop. The following image below is a snapshot of the visualization that we will try to reproduce with R. You can also view and interact with this visualization on my Tableau Public profile page -> http://tabsoft.co/22IOMjD

Tableau_SATScore


You can download a copy of the dataset in CSV format available here on Dropbox

Let’s start by recreating the same visualization (static) with R. Open RStudio, copy and paste the following R code and run it.

The output will produce the following, a nice simple static plot… of course with no interactivity!
Rplot01

Then comes Shiny by RStudio which is a web application framework for R that turns your analyses into interactive web applications. Check out the Getting Started Guide for all the details.

Shiny apps have two important components:

  • a user-interface script (ui.R) which controls the layout and appearance of your app
  • a server script (server.R) which contains the instructions needed to build the app
  • You can actually run the app locally in RStudio by copying the following 2 R scripts

    I have published this app on Shiny for you to explore and interact with https://sfrechette.shinyapps.io/college_admissions

    shinyapps.io-college_admissions

    So from Tableau to R and Shiny we have *almost the same data visualization and interactivity
    *I am using the ggvis package and it seems impossible to add a horizontal line to a plot for the average score… feature apparently not available yet!

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