Data Viz Done Right

January 29, 2015

Emergency Makeover: Vaccination Rates at California Elementary Schools

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I'm growing more and more frustrated with the visualizations that are picked for Tableau's Viz of the Day. Why? Because I know from asking people that they assume Viz of the Day represents examples of best practices because Tableau promotes them. And I'm noticing more and more that there are fundamental visualization best practices being broken.

Consider this Viz of the Day from January 28, 2015.


What is incredibly ironic is that I saw this literally minutes after having talked about color blindness in a data viz class I was teaching. In the room was a colleague of mine, who is red-green color blind. I showed it to him and said "What do you see?" to which he responded "A bunch of brown dots."

I ran the map through the Vischeck color blindness simulator and low and behold, this is what you get:


Now can you understand why I'm getting so upset? Who picks VotD after all? Why aren't best practices part of the criteria? Does anyone know the criteria? Is there a criteria?

I downloaded the workbook and made a few simple adjustments to it.  Here's my version after about 15 minutes of TLC. I focused on color, sorting, tooltips and filtering.


Don't get me wrong; It's a huge honor to get chosen for VotD. I know I get excited every time one of my vizzes is chosen. But what I really want, and I think there are lots of other people with me, is for VotD to be an amazing gallery that everyone recognizes as the most outstanding work done with Tableau. Work that's designed well. Work that's visually appealing. Work that follows best practices. Work you'd want to emulate.

With the visibility that the Viz of the Day gallery has, am I asking for too much? If I am, please tell me. Explain to me why I'm off base. If you're in agreement with me, let your voice be heard.

1 comment :

  1. Here's another nice view of this same data set by the NY Times - http://www.datavizdoneright.com/2015/02/vaccinations.html

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