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August 10, 2016

The Data School Gym - Sorting a Dimension Member to the Top


A fun Data School Gym challenge for you today. Using this data source of human height since 1896, create this visualisation:


  1. Each country should show only 1896 and 1996 and they should be connected
  2. Label the midpoint with the country name
  3. Use an orange to blue diverging color palette based on the Avg Height
  4. Allow the user to filter by sex (no All option)
  5. Create a parameter to allow the user to pick a country; it should also include an (All) option
  6. Use the parameter to sort the visualisation; (1) If (All) is chosen then sort from largest to smallest based on the 1996 value. (2) If a specific country is chosen, that should be displayed at the top and the rest should be sorted from largest to smallest.

When the user picks Bermuda, for example, the visualisation should look like this:

Here’s the interactive version. Post a comment with a link to your solution. Good luck!


  1. Andy - thanks for doing these. They are appreciated and a great way to keep up my skills (since I manage a team I don't always get to play with the toys). Can you give me a hint? Am I looking at a modified lollipop chart - or am I headed in the wrong direction?

    1. Hi Matt. I'm happy to hear you're enjoying these. It's definitely not a lollipop chart. It's actually a line chart that connects only 1896 and 1996.

  2. This is my first attempt at a Data Gym Challenge! I've gotta give some credit to Simon Runc, who helped me out with one of my calculations. It's not perfect, but I'm happy with how close I got!

    1. Hi Vince. This looks correct. Can you make the workbook downloadable so that I can verify it? That is, if you want me to verify it.

    2. Hi Andy! I kept working on it, and made one other small change. Republished here:

    3. Well done Vince!! I hope you found it a good learning exercise.


    Good one. My first approach was foiled by the midpoint.

    1. Great work! Only thing I would recommend is that you remove Measure Names from the color on the midpoint and set the transparency to 0%.

  4. Hi Andy,

    Thanks for this little homework. It was not as easy as I first thought, especially adding country names in the middle (it gave me a strong headache!).
    I also added a parameter to let users decide whether to sort countries by height in 1996, 1896 or by height evolution.!/vizhome/DataSchoolGym-Howhumanshavegrown/Howhavehumansgrown