Data Viz Done Right

December 18, 2017

Makeover Monday: State by State Temperature Change

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We're at week 51 of the 2017 edition of Makeover Monday and this is my 900th blog post. Feel like quite a nice number. This week we put a dataset of 176 million temperature readings around the world onto an Exasol database, which you can access yourself here. The original viz to makeover was nothing short of outstanding.

Temperature anomalies arranged by country 1900 - 2016.

What works well?

  • The animation makes the viz pulsate.
  • Organizing the countries by region then alphabetically within each region.
  • Including space between the regions
  • Animating the global temperature over time as the years increment in the viz.
  • Great choice of colors

What could be improved?

  • The bars all go out from the center including the negatives. I would expect negative bars to go in the opposite direction of the positives.
  • Align all of the countries to the same edge. The center alignment doesn't work for me.

My Goals

  • Create something similar to the original (e.g., a starburst chart) but do it for each US State.
  • Use similar color coding as the original; that is, show the variance to the 1951-1980 average temperature.
  • Practice a trellis chart. I struggle with these, especially when using dates, as the table calcs get quite messy.
  • Include a 10-year moving average on the sparkline that updates when you hover over a State.
  • Start the starburst chart at 12 o'clock.

This all worked great, so I created an aggregated extract and all hell broke loose. When I tried to view my viz, I got this exceedingly unhelpful error message.


Guess what it shows when I click on Show Details...EXACTLY the same message. Dumb. A Google search turns up this KB article which is just as unhelpful. I went through all of the options outlined to resolve the problem and none of them worked. I give up!

So this week, all you get is an image. If you want to interact with it, download the workbook here. Note that this will require you to login to the Exasol database. Anyway, I'm frustrated. I get annoyed when the simplest of things like creating an aggregated extract break EVERYTHING.

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