Data Viz Done Right

January 27, 2019

Makeover Monday: The Digital Economy and Society Index

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For this week's makeover, I chose this chart from the European Commission:


What works well?

  • The countries are sorted from best to worst.
  • The scale and gridlines help guide the eye across the view.
  • Using the country abbreviations so they are easier to read.

What could be improved?

  • The title could include a subtitle to explain the DESI.
  • Stacked bars are hard to compare across countries as they are influenced by the bars below them.
  • The colors are too bright; everything is competing for attention.
  • The legend does not need the numbers before each indicator.

What I did

  • Added a subtitle to explain the DESI
  • Split the indicators apart so they are easier to compare across countries
  • Include a parameter to allow the user to select a country and have it highlighted
  • Made the line representing the EU black so that it's in context for comparison
  • Simplified the colors
  • Added BANs to show the change vs. 2014 for the chosen country and for the EU (for context)
  • Shaded every other column to guide the eye down the viz

Yes, I know this is the same highlighting technique I used in week 3. I used it again because it works. 

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