Data Viz Done Right

August 19, 2018

Makeover Monday: Africa's Deadliest Armed Conflicts

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Week 34 is a collaboration with ACLED to help them visualize armed conflict in Africa. Here's the original visualization:


What works well?

  • The map is zoomed into the areas that are the focus of the data.
  • The color palette has enough variation to distinguish between the type of violence.
  • Putting every incident on the map helps show the volume of conflicts.

What could be improved?

  • Because the dots are overlapping and there's no transparency, you can't see what is behind each dot. Are there battles behind the violence against citizens? I have no idea from this chart.
  • Some of the dots look like they are sized differently. Why?
  • There's no title.
  • The data source isn't referenced.
  • While the color palette give a good range, I'm not sold on the color choices. These are all bad topics, but the blue could come across as not bad.
  • Have fatalities been accounted for?

What I did

  • I like the idea of a map for this data set, but I think a density map will work much better. As this is now only in beta, I can only post an image. I'll post the interactive version once Tableau 10.3 comes out.
  • I wanted to understand where the deadliest conflicts occur, so I create a metric for fatalities per incident.
  • The density is colored by this metric.
  • I separated out the types of violence to address the issue of overlapping.

With that, here's my Makeover Monday week 34 about Africa's deadliest armed conflicts.


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