Makeover Monday Week 5 – Ann’s Take on Christopher’s Viz

Before I dive into Christopher’s viz this week I wanted to stop and take an important pause.  It’s February and it is week 5 of #MakeoverMonday.  This means that we’ve been showing up consistently for 5 weeks.  Elated by this knowledge, I quickly went to Wikipedia to try and self-validate that the act of participation had cemented itself in our lives as a habit.  I was thrilled with what I saw – ‘average’ participants reach asymptotic levels of automaticity in 66 days.  Well – neither of us is average, so I’m going to go toward the minimum  in recorded range (18 days) and say that we’ve made it!

It’s been an interesting adventure so far, full of unexpected drama and challenges.  (The makings of any good hero tale).

Now to the data and viz!  Christopher commented and I quite agree, this week was simple . I think backlash has been significant throughout the community, and this data set could be perceived as an attempt to push through.  Unambiguous in methodology (seeing as we were only provided resultant aggregated numbers) and consistent time ranges (thanks Andy!).  This left us with a data table of 7 x 3, 21 data points (24 if we count field names).

Christopher took an approach that I had considered as well: dropping two pie charts that are clearly not designed for comparison and replacing them with a pyramid chart.  A pyramid chart shows two bar charts back to back and is a much better tool to compare overall data shape.  Essentially what Christopher is doing here is leveraging the power of the shape to guide the end user to visually compare the figure of the data on the left and right side.  And the figurative comparison here is of much help.  Two countries immediately jump out: Japan and Italy.  Both have significantly different proportions of employment growth share than overall employment.  Immediately begging “what’s going on with those two?”

Additionally – as is customary of Christopher, we’ve got the benefit of extracted text bites derived from the original accompanying article.  It provides a lexicon for the data shape we’re presented with.  I get additional value from these and it shapes what the important takeaway could be.

Although slightly ornamental in nature, I do appreciate the map integrated into the viz.  And I like even more that care has been given to add interaction to the viz.  This props up the map from ornamental to more functional and adds a good feedback/response mechanism to how I’m interacting.

A simple viz with added interactivity is a win win in my book.  And also demonstrating some of the best practice components which have been resonating throughout the community (providing data source, not stealing images, etc.) round out the purpose.  Was the goal achieved?  By Andy’s own tweet standards do we have a better f*ing chart?  The answer is yes.

Visit the full viz on Christopher’s Tableau Public here.