Data Viz Done Right

July 29, 2019

#MakeoverMonday: STD Infection Rates in America 1996-2014

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For week 31, I asked the community to makeover one of my very first Tableau Public dashboards. Tableau Public went live with version 6.0 in November 2010.

Here's the viz:


Eva had the idea this week to created a discussion on Twitter about what people thought could be improved. For me, it's been a fascinating discussion and it shows how much people participating in Makeover Monday have learned about data visualization. Follow the thread here.

WHAT WORKS WELL?
  • Simple title that includes the time frame for context
  • Using the subtitle as instruction
  • Keep the filters grouped together on the right, out of the way

WHAT COULD BE IMPROVED?
  • Lose the red/green color palette.
  • A diverging color palette should only be used if there's a natural midpoint; there isn't one with this data
  • There's double encoding on every chart.
  • The State filter list it too big; granted though that there was no multi-select dropdown filter at the time.
  • The map and the states bar chart are the same.
  • The sparklines and the bar charts represent the same data.
  • The reference lines aren't needed. What does an average infection rate really mean?

WHAT I DID
I decided to go back to Tableau 6 to see if I could create something decent. You can see the whole recording below. I took a lot of the feedback from Eva's thread and incorporated it into my viz. A few decision I made:

  1. Simplified the metrics
  2. Used a map that weights all states equally (like a hex map but circles)
  3. Used only a single color
  4. Used highlighting more effectively
  5. Created simple filter actions
  6. Used simple chart choices

So here's my Makeover Monday, built with Tableau 6.0:



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