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June 29, 2016

WTF Wednesday: Misconceptions About Muslim Population


This morning I was going through the backlog of Makeover Monday candidates that I have saved in Pocket and it’s quite an extensive list. So I thought I’d knock one off the list and start up #WTFWednesday for those of us that just can’t have enough Tableau in our lives.

For this makeover, I look back at this viz from The Guardian about the misconceptions about Muslims by Europeans. If you’d like to have a go at it, the data is here (XLS) and here (TDE).

What works well?

  • It’s neatly organised by the amount of misconception
  • Colors follow Guardian standards
  • Nice title that sets the story

What doesn’t work well?

  • When I first read it, I assumed the darker blue was the average guess, but that’s not the case. This should be made clearer.
  • Comparing countries could be made easier
  • Stacked bars with overlapping labels look very cluttered

I didn’t want to spend a lot of time on this so I decided to make a simple barbell chart sorted by the largest misconception. This was also the first time that I’ve put bar charts in tooltips, which works well for allowing the user to see the precise values.


  1. BTW, if you sort this by the percentage difference between actual and correct, the USA is second worse with a 93% discrepancy. It might make a useful secondary chart.

    1. Oooooh! Good one Steve!! I've created it here -