Posted by John David Sant

August 24, 2020

12:32

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Track Personal Finances with this Tableau Dashboard

As COVID-19 continues to affect millions of people around the world, many are taking a closer look at their finances. Mint.com and the Mint app can help with this as it allows you to connect to all of your accounts in one place to stay on top of your money. The one drawback (especially in the app) is the data visualization. The data visualizations consist of donut charts, bar charts and text tables and do not facilitate any type of comparison whether that is year-over-year or month-over-month.

Connecting to the transactional Mint data in Tableau allows the creation of more impactful visualizations to stay on top of your money. At the end of this post, you can download the sample dashboard that was created and then switch out the data source with your transactional data.

I will be using a fake dataset that contains John Smith’s transactions over the past year and a half. John Smith is a Business Analyst who works in the city, and he is interested in knowing how his spending has changed this year due to the global pandemic. Fortunately, he still holds a job. He now works from home and has been spending a lot less money at restaurants and on take-out.

The main questions that he would like answered from the dashboard are the following:

  1. What are my income, expenses, and net income on a MTD or YTD basis?
  2. How have my income, expenses, and net income changed YoY?
  3. How has my spending changed over time?
  4. What are my highest and lowest spending categories?
  5. Which spending categories have changed the most YoY?

The finished dashboard can be found HERE . Note that after connecting to your data, you might need to tweak it to suit your needs. For example, there is a category in Mint called “Hide from Budget & Trends”. I use this category to classify any duplicate transactions that might occur in my transactional data. In Tableau, you would need to add category as a data source filter and exclude the “Hide from Budget & Trends” category.

 

Connect to your own Mint data

You can follow the steps below to connect the finished Tableau dashboard to your own Mint.com data.

  1. Download your transactional data from Mint.com
    1. Go to Mint.com and sign-in to your account
    2. Click on the TRANSACTIONS tab
    3. Scroll down to the bottom and click on the Export all transactions. This will download a csv  file that will be the data source for Tableau. This will be in your Downloads directory
  2. Download the finished Tableau dashboard
    1. Go to the Personal Finance Dashboard here
    2. Click on the Download button at the bottom of the dashboard. This will download the Personal Finance Dashboard using MINT data.twbx file
    3. Open the file
  3. Connect your transactional data to the Tableau file
      1. If you have the Tableau file open, click on the Data menu > Sample Transactional Data > Edit Data Source
      2. In the canvas area, click on the drop-down arrow on the “Sample Transactional Data” table and click Remove
      3. In the Connections section on the left, click on the drop-down arrow on the “Sample Transactional Data” and click Edit Connection
      4. Navigate to and click on the csv file you downloaded. This will be in the Downloads directory if you did not relocate it
      5. Click on the “Personal Finance Dashboard” tab below
      6. Make any adjustments to the Tableau file such as implementing data source filters, creating aliases etc.

    And there you have it! Now you can start exploring this incredibly insightful dashboard and get answers for those important questions about your finances.

    At Unilytics one of our core specializations is assisting SMBs with business intelligence strategies that will facilitate data driven decision making. We provide a full range of business intelligence services including: helping you evaluate and select the right tools, creating an advanced BI reporting system, and providing ongoing assistance and support. Let us know how we can help you.

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