Data Viz Done Right

January 16, 2018

Makeover Monday: Rank of Income Distribution in the United States | North Dakota vs. The Rest

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Yesterday Sean Miller posted this beautiful viz for Makeover Monday week 3 on the data.world discussion.


So this morning, since I had the Data Schoolers give Power BI a whirl with the Makeover Monday data, I thought I'd try to rebuild his viz in PBI. It took a pretty long time and there were tons of needless hurdles:

  1. I had to manually color each line to grey. I can't use a group or set to color by.
  2. There's no way to use a parameter type of object to highlight a chosen state; thus in my viz I've manually chosen North Dakota to match Sean's viz.
  3. To make the rank start at the top, you have to create a calculation that makes the axis negative; you can't reverse the axis.
  4. I couldn't move the North Dakota line to the front. I found a couple of blog posts that recommended techniques, but none of them worked.
  5. Creating a rank calculation is a monumental pain in the ass.

I persevered and got something built. I don't love it, but I'm learning more each time I use PBI about it's strengths and weaknesses. I still stand by my previous statement that Power BI IS NOT a data analysis tool; it's a dashboarding tool, that's it.

With that, here's my re-make of Sean's viz.

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