Dashboard Week - Day 4

by Michał Mioduchowski

Today, I embarked on a task to scrape a website database filled with tantalizing cocktail recipes. My objective was to swiftly set up a dashboard that could effectively present the plethora of information gleaned from the website. Leveraging Alteryx for web scraping, I delved into the intricate world of mixology data, encountering both challenges and innovative solutions along the way.

Web Scraping with Alteryx:
The crux of the endeavor lay in crafting an efficient workflow within Alteryx. Initially, I contemplated a strategy involving a series of batch macros to systematically download cocktail data. This method would entail fetching a single page containing a list of cocktails, then employing a batch macro to navigate through subsequent pages for comprehensive data extraction. Subsequently, individual cocktail pages would be scraped for detailed information. However, an alternative solution emerged that circumvented the need for macros, streamlining the process.

By devising calculations within Alteryx to generate URLs dynamically, I could automate the scraping of all webpages in one fell swoop. Initially targeting page IDs and subsequently extracting detailed information, this approach facilitated a seamless extraction process, minimizing complexity and maximizing efficiency.

Data Cleaning and Preparation:
With the raw data secured, the next phase entailed meticulous data cleaning. Utilizing regular expressions (Regex), I meticulously parsed through the downloaded HTML pages, extracting pertinent details with precision. This meticulous data preparation laid the groundwork for insightful analysis and visualization.

Scope and Presentation of Findings:
Given the project's temporal constraints, scoping the analysis was imperative. I delineated two distinct options for presenting the data, each tailored to offer valuable insights within the allotted timeframe.

Option one involved the creation of interactive Sankey charts within Tableau. These charts would facilitate a visual exploration of ingredient relationships, offering insights into the preferred pairings of ingredients across various drink categories and glass types.

Option two encompassed the development of exploratory dashboards using Power BI. These dashboards would empower users to select ingredients of interest, explore corresponding cocktail options, and delve into detailed instructions for crafting each concoction. This interactive interface promised a user-centric exploration of mixology data, fostering a deeper understanding of cocktail composition and preparation techniques.

In navigating the intricacies of web scraping and data analysis, today's endeavor underscored the importance of ingenuity and adaptability in maximizing insights within constrained timelines. Leveraging Alteryx's robust capabilities, I embarked on a journey into the realm of cocktails, emerging with actionable insights and compelling visualizations to tantalize the senses of cocktail enthusiasts and data aficionados alike.