Data Viz Done Right

October 14, 2011

Practicing what I preach – A self-critique

3 comments

Back in August I critiqued and improved a viz created with Many Eyes.  Some of my comments included:

  1. The map incorporates both color and size, which are set based on the measures picked on the right.
  2. Brushing a State(s) in any chart highlights the State(s) on the other charts.
  3. Hovering over a bubble or bar reveals the details of the stats chosen.  The stats update based on the selections made.
  4. I’m able to use the color scale consistently through all of the charts.

Now that I have learned how to use simple state polygons in Tableau, I realized that what I previously created was unnecessarily complex.  Here’s take 2:

I made a few easy to implement improvements:

  1. States are now polygons instead of bubbles
  2. The option to choose a size has been removed as it no longer would add any value
  3. The table on the right is now shows only the top and bottom 10 (I learned how to do this today via a discussion on the Tableau Forum that, not surprisingly, included a sample workbook for the solution from Joe Mako)

I also didn’t lose this set of functionality:

  1. Brushing a State(s) in any chart highlights the State(s) on the other charts.
  2. Hovering over a state or bar reveals the details of the stats chosen.  The stats update based on the selections made.
  3. The color scale is consistent through all of the charts.

In the end, I’ve reduced the viz from four charts to two and made it much easier to interpret the results.

See, I can practice what I preach and I love learning something new everyday.

3 comments :

  1. It looks great and is very clear, but 7% of American males will have trouble with it as they cannot distinguish between red and green (I've been on a soap box about this for awhile now). I would suggest using the blue / orange "colorblind-friendly" divergent color palette.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Nice work as always andy - birth rate is per 1000 ? may want to add the ratio/scale etc... rate per 1000 - Hope all is well

    ReplyDelete
  3. I couldn't agree more about the colors. Funny enough, I started with the orange/blue pallet and changed it to red/green. Not sure why I did this...duh!

    I changed a workbook we use at work to the orange/blue pallet and people like it so much better. They aren't color blind, but the difference are easier to see for sure.

    I'd switch this viz back, but then that would be cheating.

    ReplyDelete