image‘Tableau Public’ is a free analytics and “business intelligence” software that can help anyone analyze and visualize their data, including literary data (Tableau). By importing and organizing the data first in an Excel spreadsheet (XLSX.), users can easily navigate between the database creating different types of charts, maps plotting latitude and longitude, graphs, bar graphs, pie charts, and many other different types of interactive visualizations.

In relations to Gallant, her works has been translated and published 48 times, into 6 different languages: French, Italian, German, Swedish, Spanish and Chinese. This is not a coincidence because her stories are much based in Europe and North America, with globalized concepts like life after war, marriage and children, refugees, questioning memory and displacement, a new life and depictions of the past.

Why is translating her works important? How are works systematically selected to be translated? What similarities or ideas these translated publications have in common? Using the spreadsheet professor Colette provided earlier during the semester, we can use the Tableau software in order to find some relations and correspondence between the translations. For instance:

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  • The most published and translated story is “Overhead in a Balloon”. It was published 6 times in total and translated to 4 languages.
  • The most translated language is French, 26 out of 48 total published translations.
  • 20 of the French published translations were published in Paris and only 6 in Canada.


What makes Gallant’s works translatable? Perhaps concepts and ideas of cosmopolitanism and the shared global values in her writings can be recognized across cultures, making her writing cross-cultural. Using Tableau, we can identify similarities and year gaps between translated publications and the countries it was published in. As a methodological technique, the digitization of the data in visual form can help users like Scholars and researchers find similarities, gaps, and differences in the works published.

With a simple data spreadsheet dragged into Tableau, we can organize the information and create mapping tools that shows us the year intervals in which Gallant’s works have been translated, the gaps between them, and where in the world have her works been translated.

In contrary, we can use the simple Microsoft Excel software to allocate the data in the spreadsheet, but it will take longer time to navigate between them and group them together. The visualization of the data in Tableau creates more insight by allowing users to use different kinds of customized representations in their data, like Pie Charts and Bar graphs with specific axes labeling, encodings, and colours. Nonetheless, Excel is based more so on graphing tools and mathematical calculations. It also allows users to create visual data but not as coherent as Tableau, because Tableau on the other hand is a user friendly based software that specializes in creating visuals and interactive data.

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Tableau’s Interface

As a digitized research methodology, Tableau is a useful tool to visualize and organize data, perhaps slightly different than the usual non-digitized literary criticism and methods or even programs like Microsoft Excel. Users can easily create readable analytical information that allows user-friendly data analysis, grouping attributes or functions together thus generating useful interpretations and powerful information from basic data.


Works Cited

“Tableau Software.” Tableau Public. Web. 24 Mar. 2017.