Data Viz Done Right

January 14, 2019

Makeover Monday: Workers Making Minimum Wage or Less in America

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For Makeover Monday week 3, the Community is making over the viz below from Business Insider. I had bookmarked this data set back in 2016 and stumbled across it again over the weekend. I was then able to get more data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics for 2002-2017. Win!


What works well?

  • Maps are easy to understand
  • Positioning of Alaska and Hawaii in the available space
  • Including notes about the data in the footer
  • Simple, effective title
  • Using a single color gradient; a diverging palette would not be appropriate

What could be improved?

  • Ranges are not the same size
  • Smaller States are nearly impossible to compare; this is a good use case for a hex or tile map
  • No context for good vs. bad

What I did

  • Looked at the data over time
  • Included a comparison to the US average for context
  • Included all States for context
  • Allowed the user to highlight the State they are interested in
  • Included labels on the ends to the lines to show change over the entire period

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