Tableau Dataviz: Kickstarter

Kickstarter has been making waves in recent months as the premier place for crowd funding.  Projects range from big to small, from purely entertainment to potentially life changing. There’s a lot to love about this dream factory.

However, there’s been controversy as well.  All projects are not always what they appear and some remain skeptical that lofty claims will not match what is delivered.  On top of that, Kickstarter is far from a “for sure” thing, leaving many dreamers to find alternative funding when they fail to gather the attention of the crowds.  In an effort to provide greater transparency and insight, Kickstarter has released data that is updated daily regarding the many campaigns that have been run on the site.

The stats as released are in 3 simple, but separate text tables.  This is how we find most data on-site with clients, available, but in a poor format for generating insight.  Looking at even one category requires opening up the 3 tables and scrolling around to do the comparison.  To improve it, we had to do some data preparation and use the data reshaping tool before unleashing Tableau on it.  We pulled the data into Excel, normalized the field values (putting them all in dollars instead of in thousands or millions), and transformed into a format that would be easier to utilize in Tableau.  In the end, we ended up with two datasets (one overview and one with details about success or failure) and used data blending to combine them.

Hopefully this Viz helps you gain a little bit of insight into how Kickstarter works and whether or not that project you’re eyeing (or launching) will pull through:


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Ben Bausili

Principal | Analytics Practice Lead