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January 26, 2021

Three Methods for Creating Bar Charts that Fill to 100%

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Bar charts that show % of total or percentages below 100% can be made to look a bit nicer by including a color that shows the remainder of the bar chart going up to 100%. 

In this video, I show you three methods for creating bar charts that go up to 100% by including another field in the view.

Download the data I used here to follow along.

January 25, 2021

#MakeoverMonday Week 4 - Coal Production in India

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  1. Watch Me Viz - (also below)
  2. Tableau Workbook -

I'd been looking for a data set about India for quite a while now in an effort to keep the Makeover Monday Community in India engaged. This week, I found one about coal production at various mines across the country. It was an interesting topic to learn about, including why the research was done and the purpose. Read the manuscript for background info here.

The original visualization was a simple bar chart of coal production by District.

What could be improved?

  • There's no title.
  • The District names are way too small. My old eyes can't read it.
  • I don't understand the sorting. I would pick one of the metrics to sort by.
  • The comparisons need to be more clear, if that is the intent.

Watch Me Viz

To see what I built, check out the video below. I iterated through all of the dimensions with a series of bar charts to understand the data. Thank you very much to those that watched to help me understand what some of the values meant!! I ended up with a simple dashboard that allows you to explore the data by producer and mine within each State. See the viz below the video or here.

Final Dashboard (click to interact)

January 19, 2021

How to Apply Formatting Across Worksheets

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Formatting can be an arduous task, sometimes taking more time than creating the visualization. In this tip, I show you how to apply the formatting you have so carefully created in one worksheet to another worksheet with only a couple of clicks.

January 18, 2021

#MakeoverMonday Week 3 - The World is Getting Warmer

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This week's viz to makeover reminded me of a very similar (almost exactly the same) data set that we used for Makeover Monday in 2016. Here's the original viz:

Honestly, it's absolutely fantastic. It's one of the best examples of scrollytelling I've every seen. Check out the original here

Since I had explored this data set before, I know pretty quickly what I wanted to do. During Watch Me Viz, I went ahead through many iterations of working with time series data; they're all available in the workbook. Watch the video here (or below).

Here's my final viz. Each dot represents a month and the line represents at 10-year moving average. Each mark is compared to the 1951-1980 median. Click on the image to view the viz on Tableau Public.

January 13, 2021

How to Create a Candlestick Chart

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 What is a Candlestick Chart?

A candlestick chart is a style of financial chart used to describe price movements of a security, derivative, or currency. Each "candlestick" typically shows one day, thus a one-month chart may show the 20 trading days as 20 candlesticks. Candlestick charts can also be built using intervals shorter or longer than one day.

It is similar to a bar chart in that each candlestick represents all four important pieces of information for that day: open and close in the thick body; high and low in the “candle wick”. Being densely packed with information, it tends to represent trading patterns over short periods of time, often a few days or a few trading sessions.  

~ Source: Wikipedia

In this tutorial, I show you how to build a candlestick chart in Tableau. They are built as Gantt charts with a couple of simple calculations. Follow along by downloading the data set here

January 11, 2021

#MakeoverMonday Week 2 - Women Die More Quickly Than Men From HIV Infection

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I must admit that I REALLY struggled with this data set. I could have easily just compared males vs. females by country and year, but it seems we've been doing that over and over again. I looked to explore the data and thought a connected scatterplot would look nice, but it didn't.

Fortunately Michel Mahon proposed looking at the lag between the year of HIV infection rate and death. Morbid yet interesting analysis. It took me a while to get the calcs working; I'd recommend you build your view as a table to verify the calcs when you're not sure if they're correct. In the end, thanks to Michel's suggestion, I created a slope graph that compares the lag in years for both men and women.

As the documentation suggested, women die more quickly than men.

Below are both my visualization and the Watch Me Viz session on YouTube. Thanks for tuning in!

January 3, 2021

#MakeoverMonday Week 1: Quiet Streets & Clean Air - Americans Are Getting Outdoors

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Back in March 2020 when COVID lockdown started in the UK, the streets were amazingly empty, the air got fresher and I saw more and more people outside. You could hear birds chirping on streets you never would have before. And we could ride our bikes right down the middle of the road since there were no cars. The lack of cars was glorious! (COVID isn't of course).

For 2021, #MakeoverMonday gets started with a simple graphic that compares pedestrian and bicycle counter stats for 2019 and 2020 at 31 counters across America. The data is collected by the Rails to Trails Conservancy, and you can learn more about the data here



  • A line chart is a good choice for time series data.
  • The colors are easy to distinguish.
  • The grid lines help guide the eye across the view.


  • Include a more impactful or descriptive title. What is it about?
  • Why are thee weeks missing on the x-axis yet the lines go the full year (or appear to)?
  • The lines could be labeled directly so that you don't have to refer to the color legend to know which lines represents which year.