For the August to September 2020 period, the #IronQuest theme was Myths, Mystery & Magic. Given everything that has been going on this year, I decided to go with a more lighthearted theme for a refreshing change.

Little did I know how popular this topic would be!

We received a total of 54 submissions for this round making it the second-most popular round in #IronQuest history! What’s more, 49% of entrants were first-time #IronQuest participants.

The 2020 Iron Viz feeder took place in July (since the last round of #IronQuest) so I was interested to see what impact (if any) this had on the number of #IronQuest participants who had entered an Iron Viz feeder in the past. For the previous #IronQuest round (Quantified Self), only 20% of participants stated they had entered an Iron Viz feeder before. For Myths, Mystery & Magic, this was up to 47%! I hope this is as a result of more #IronQuest participants taking the plunge and entering Iron Viz. The single Iron Viz feeder this year had a record number of entries; 371 to be exact! I hope we see his trends continue into Iron Viz 2021!

I was privileged to join forces with Sam Parsons this month! Sam is a Lead Data Visualisation Developer at Dyson Technology Limited, based in the UK. He is passionate about data design, building data communities and feedback. He co-leads the South West England Tableau User Group and has recently started a new initiative for community feedback, #datafamfeedback. Sam is part of the #MentoringMeetup program and enjoys spending his own time to think about data design and uses Tableau Public to practice his skills. He writes about design principles on his blog; Sam’s Tableau Public portfolio is filled with impressive, well-designed vizzes and it was an honour to have him on the project this month.

Thank you, Sam for your help and contributions to the project!


Due to the high volume of entries this month, Sam and I were unable to cover all of the vizzes where feedback had been requested on our feedback call.

In the essence of time we prioritised feedback for first time entrants or those who have been using Tableau for only a short period of time.

You can listen to our feedback here:

Sam and I spent a record 3 hours and 40 minutes reviewing vizzes this month!! We honestly don’t expect you to watch the whole video!

We reviewed the vizzes in alphabetical order (by authors first name) to make it easier to jump straight to the feedback for your viz.

In this video we cover vizzes by the following authors:

Aparna Shastry
Ashish Chopra
Avinash Reddy Munnangi
Daisy Jones
Daria Gordina
Dawson McMahon
Duy Le Nguyen
Jacqui Moore
Jasmine Lim
Jason Hu
John Whitmer
Jon Cusack
Kaan Pekel
Michael Summons
Pawan Sachdeva
Prithak Kumar Bhattacharyya
Rajavel Selvaraj Ganesan
Renga S
Satoshi Ganeko
Shreya Vinodh
Vignesh Suresh
Will Sutton

Sam and I have also gathered some written feedback to those who requested it (for vizzes we didn’t cover in the call). If you requested feedback and your name isn’t listed above, look out for this in your inbox soon.

Thank you so much for your support, Sam!

If you have not received feedback and would still like your viz to be reviewed, please let me know.

Viz Highlights

I am always surprised in the diversity of entries we receive for each round. This month was no exception. Participants really made the topic their own by visualising data on everything from fairy tales, to TV shows to local myths and legends.

Here are a few of my favourite entries. Click on the viz images to view the originals on Tableau Public.

First up, I fully anticipated we would receive a Bigfoot viz and this ‘Viz of the Day’ by Eve Thomas did not disappoint! In this viz, Eve applies a simple pink, grey and black colour palette and a clean, modern design to tell the story of Bigfoot sightings in the US. She begins the story by presenting a map showing the location of reports of Bigfoot sightings over the years, followed by some more detailed analysis on when and where the sightings were most common.

We received a few vizzes about local myths and legends, many of which I was not familiar with previously. One that caught my attention was ‘The Yowie Map of Australia’ by Frederic Fery. The Yowie is a creature of the Australian outback, similar to Bigfoot. Frederic even embedded some ‘real’ Yowie sounds in his viz, recorded by his son on a camping trip to the outback. Scary stuff!

It was no surprise we received a number of UFO vizzes this month either.

While most of the vizzes examined at the number of UFO sightings reported in the US and when/where they occurred, Gary Collins focused his attention on November 7, 2016 when, between 6PM and 7PM, there were 195 reports of UFO sightings on the West Coast of the US. The reason for this is explained in Gary’s viz but I’ll leave that for you to go and check out.

Aside from the beautiful, custom Mapbox map and the simple design, I really like the way Gary focused his attention on a single data point and made the story behind it the topic of his visualisation.

While we are on the topic of the mysteries of the sky, Satoshi Ganeko was recognised with a ‘Viz of the Day’ for this beautiful viz entitled ‘Constellation: Stars weaving stories in the sky’. In this viz, Satoshi drew the star constellations in Tableau, complete with a rotating globe!

If you would like to find out more about how Satoshi achieved this, he wrote a blog series on his approach.

On a more sombre note, Fred Najjar and Soha Elghany collaborated on a viz covering the aftermath of the August 2020 ammonium nitrate explosion in Beirut, Lebanon.

Their viz covers the impact radius of the explosion, a timeline of events before and after the event, as well as a history of ammonium nitrate explosions around the world. The entire piece is presented beautifully with attention to paid to every detail and is completed with a call-to-action at the end.

Finally, I would like to give a special mention to my co-host, Sam Parsons. Sam published an incredible visualisation for this round, focusing on the 12 Labours of Heracles. Sam designed all of the imagery in this piece himself!

This visualisation is particularly wide so I am unable to show it in it’s original form. Below are three sections of the viz, shown individually for ease. I encourage you to view the viz on Tableau Public to experience it in it’s full glory.

The Submissions

THANK YOU to everyone who submitted entries for taking the time to create and share your work! Also, a big thank you to Sam for being a fantastic co-host.

All of the entries are posted below in alphabetical order by first name (note: the placement of some vizzes have been adjusted slightly for ease of viewing).

If you tweeted your viz or thought you submitted one via the Google Form but don’t see it here, let me know and I’ll work to include any additional entries ASAP.

Please click on the links provided to view the visualizations on Tableau Public. Show your support for the participants by favouriting the vizzes you like the most.

From left to right:

Adam Mico | Cobra Kai: Choose your Dojo

Aparna Shastry |Stranger Things

Ashish Chopra | Roopkund: The Skeleton Lake

Avinash Reddy Munnangi | History of Harry Potter

Christopher Marland | Visualising the Scottish Witch Hunt

Daisy Jones | Derren Brown

Daria Gordina | Jinn: The smokeless fire spirits of Islam

Dawson McMahon | Dragon Ball Power Level Comparisons: Goku vs. Everybody

Duy Le Nguyen | Legend of the God Turtle in Vietnam

Eve Thomas | UFO: Are we actually alone?

Eve Thomas | Bigfoot Sightings

Gary Collins | The busiest 60 minutes for UFO sightings in a decade

Jason Hu | UFO Sightings in the US

Frederic Fery | The Yowie Map of Australia

Jacqui Moore | The Isabella Stewart Gardner Heist

Fred Najjar and Soha Elghany | The Day Lebannon Changed

Jasmine Lim | Descendants of the Dragons

Darragh Murray | The VVitch Tryals of Salem

John Whitmer | Agatha Christie: History’s Most Prolific Mystery Author

Kaan Pekel | Agatha Christie’s Murderers: Usage of their Murder Weapons & Poisons

Jon Cusack | The Plot to Kill JFK

Katie Kilroy | The Magic Behind Playing Cards

Lisa Rapp | Themes and Motifs in Grimms’ Fairy Tales

Kate Schaub | The History of the Grinch

Michelle Frayman | Magic The Gathering

Kelvin Tang | Monsters, Ghosts and Creatures from British Isles

Luigi Cicciari | Character Mentions in The Odyssey

Kimly Scott | Are We Alone?

Pawan Sachdeva | Elements of Superheroes

Nimisha Philip | Merlin the Magician

Mateusz Karmalski | Supernatural: The Kills So Far

Michael Simmons | Space Invaders – UFO Sightings 1969-2019

Renga S | Haunted Places in the United States

Rajavel Selvaraj Ganesan | Daily Prophet – Harry Potter

Pradeep Kumar G | Marvel Comic Characters

Riddhi Thakkar | Mystery of the Bermuda Triangle

Sam Hurrell | The Geography of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld

Prithak Kumar Bhattacharyya | The Spooky States of America

Priyanka Dobhal | The Disappearance of Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan

Rob Radburn | Scotland’s History of Witch-Hunting

Ryan Lowers | Family Tree of the Norse Gods

Sarah Bartlett | The Myths & Legends Haunting Britain

Satoshi Ganeko | Constellation : Stars weaving stories in the sky

Shangruff | Lets BUST some Mythconceptions

Shaistha Ali Khan | MYTH – FGM IS NOT ANYMORE

Vignesh Suresh | Artificial Intelligence: The Road To The Future

Shravani | The Worlds Longest Epic Poem

Takafumi Shukuya | Harry Potter Spells

Shreya Vinodh | The Journey of Little Red

Simon Rowe | The Movies are Magic

Will Sutton | Arthurian Legend

Whitney Wood | The Harry Potter Experience

Zach Bowders | Jones

The next round of Iron Quest is already well under way! This month we are focusing on mobile-first dashboard design. Read more and find out how to enter here.

Follow the hashtag #IronQuest on Twitter and LinkedIn and check out the Iron Quest section on my blog for more info.

Thanks for reading.