Strengths Finder is a type of personality test designed to give individuals a sense of their core strengths. But it’s often used in organizations as a way to understand team dynamics and guide team structuring.
From an individual perspective it’s super easy to understand. If you ask someone who has taken the test to give you their top five strengths, they might be able to do that right from the top of their head.
Finding insights by looking at strengths from an organizational level, is a little bit harder.
Seeing strengths from a team perspective.
Helping your people play to their CliftonStrengths is the most time-effective way to improve their performance and engagement at work. Period.CliftonStrengths
Often times strengths finder will be used by managers, or whole organizations, to better understand team composition. This was the case for my last position, as every employee was required to go through a strengths finder assessment.
So let’s create a little story. Imagine a department manager who is ultimately responsible for around 20 employees. They decide to have each employee take the strengths finder assessment and report back the results.
Everybody did and reported back. So now they have 19 emails with each employees top five.
The problem with the traditional Excel matrix.
If you go to the Google looking for visualization approaches you are likely to stumble on some variation of Excel Matrix.
People down the left, Strengths across the top. Each strength sits within one of four domains. Each domain is color coded.
Now the Matrix effectively visualizes all the data. But it’s hard to read. Each person is only going to have 5 out of the 34 strengths, so the data is going to look…scattered.
So the matrix is going to be mostly white space, and that white space is going to show up in ways that look like patterns. But they’re not actually patterns.
Restructuring the data using Tableau Prep
I think we can do better if we use Tableau for this. Before jumping into Tableau I did a light restructure of the matrix I had. I only want one header row with the variable names, so I remove any extra table headers. To make visualizing the domains easier later, I change it from being all 0s and 1s, to using 0s and 1s, 2s, 3s, and 4s depending on the domain.
Then I used Tableau Prep to pivot the data so that each row represents a person and their skill.
Building out the visual components
The first thing we want to do is pull together an aggregate view with a simple bar chart. Then color code by domain. This is going to help our department manager see the broader context. Looking at the strengths of the full team, not just any individual.
Now we need a way to see individual strengths. Sometimes the simplest approach is the best approach. Playing around with the data a bit I ended up with this view. It’s really just a heat map table that looks sort of like a ph test strip.
Pulling it all together in a dashboard view
Now that we have the right components, we can pull it together in a dashboard view. I set this one up in letter portrait size. So if our department manager wants, it can be printed.
But this view will create a better conversation. We see the aggregate results on the right (for context). Then we get to see the individual results visualized by domain. Now we can really start talking about team dynamics.
See the final version in action.
Alright, so here is the prototype on Tableau Public. Please feel free to download and adapt to meet your own team needs.