A Glimpse of Short Term Rentals in Calgary Using Tableau

by Bryan Willis
Geovis Project Assignment @RyersonGeo, SA8905, Fall 2020

Project linkhttps://thebryanwillis.github.io/CalgaryShortTermRentals.html


Over the years, many homeowners have decided to turn their place of residence into short term rentals, allowing their place of residence to be rented out for short periods of time. Short term rentals have also seen an increase in popularity due to their better pricing when compared with hotels and the unique neighbourhood characteristics it provides. Although Calgary has not seen the increase of short term rentals as dramatics as that of Toronto and Vancouver, Calgary has continued to see growth in the short term rental supply. The City of Calgary defines a short term rental as a place of residence that provides temporary accommodation and lodging for up to 30 days and all short term rentals in Calgary must legally obtain a business license to run.

This interactive dashboard will aim to highlight some key components related to short term rentals in Calgary such as the locations, the license status, the composition of the housing type and licenses per month


The data used in this dashboard is based off of the Short Term Rentals data set which was acquired through the City of Calgary’s Open Data Portal.


  1. Data Cleaning – After downloading the data from the open data portal, the data needed to be cleaned for it to properly display the attributes we want. All rows containing NULL values were removed from the data set via MS Excel.
  2. Map Production – After importing the cleaned data into Tableau, we should quickly be able to create our map that shows where the locations of the short term rentals are. To do this, drag both the auto generated into the middle of the sheet which should automatically generate a map with the location points. To differentiate LICENSED and CANCELLED points, drag the License Status column into the ‘Color’ box.
  1. Monthly Line Graph – To produce the line graph that shows the number of licenses produced by month, drag into the COLUMN section at the top and right click on it and select MONTH. For the ROWS section, again use but right click on it after dragging and select MEASURE and COUNT. Lastly, drag License Status into the ‘Color’ box.
Finalized monthly line graph
  1. City Quadrant Table – To create this table, we first need to create a new column value for the city quadrant. Right click the white space under ‘Tables’ and click on ‘Create Calculated Field’ which will bring up a new window. In the new window input RIGHT([Address],2) into the blank space. This code will create a new field with the last two letters in the Address field which is the quadrant. Once this field is created, drag it into the ROW section and drag it again into the ROW but this time right clicking it and clicking on Measure and then Count. Finish off by dragging License Status to the ‘Color’ box.
Finalized City Quadrant Table
  1. Dwelling Type Pie Chart – For the pie chart, first right click on the ROW section and click ‘New Calculation’. In the box, type in avg(0) to create a new ‘Mark’. There should now be an AGG(avg(0)) section under “Marks’, make sure the dropdown is selected at ‘Pie’. Then drag the Type of Residence column into the ‘Angle’ and ‘Color’ boxes. To further compute the percentage for each dwelling type, right click on the angle tab with the Type of Residence column in it then go the ‘Quick Table calculation’ and finally ‘Percent of Total’ .
Finalized pie chart
  1. Dashboard Creation – Once the above steps are complete, a dashboard can be made with the pieces by combining all 4 sheets in the Dashboard tab.
Finalized dashboard with the 4 created components


The main limitations in this project comes from the data. Older licensing data is removed from the data set when the data set is updated daily by city staff. This presents the problem of not being able to compare full year to date data. As seen in the data set used in the dashboard, majority of the January data has already been removed from the data set with the except of January 26, 2020. Additionally, there were also quite a few entries in the data set that had null addresses which made it impossible to pinpoint where those addresses were. Lastly, as this data set is for 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic might have disrupted the amount of short term rentals being licensed due to both the city shifting priorities as well as more people staying home resulting in less vacant homes available for short term rentals.