#MakeoverMonday Week 2019-47 Diary

#MM2019-47 (2)

#Data19 has come and gone, but there are still seven weeks left of 2019, so it’s time to finish strong. This week’s #MakeoverMonday data set, ‘Smartphone Ownership Among Youth Is on the Rise,’ comes to us from Common Sense. Below is a look at the viz we made over this week.

mm2019-47

What works with the original viz

  • Labeling the years directly to the left of each line chart (although not needed as we will discuss later).
  • The line charts do make it easy to compare 2015 vs. 2019, for each age group. However…

What could be improved

  • Even though the viz has a label for age on the x-axis, it’s difficult for my brain to not want to think the line charts indicate change over time. Therefore, I would shy away from using a line chart in this situation, as it can cause confusion.
    • My go to for this type of analysis would typically be a dumbbell chart, like the image below as I feel it’s one of the best ways to show change between two periods. However, I felt the need to try something new, so I saved the dumbbells for another day.

mm2019-47.1

  • It’s unnecessary to label every mark on the view, as it distracts the reader from focusing on the visualization.
  • There’s also no need for dots and grid lines at every age increment. A better approach would be to swap the x-axis (age) grid lines and for y-axis (ownership) ones instead.
  • Changing the title to a shade of gray and color coding the years in the title (2015 blue and 2019 yellow) would remove the need for the year labels in the view.

My approach

  • I wanted the focus to be on the change from 2015 to 2019, so I called that out directly in the title.
  • As I mentioned earlier, it’s really easy in a situation like this to just go with a dumbbell chart. However, I wanted to try a variation of Jeffrey Shaffer’s progress bars.
  • Since the values for 2019 are greater, I set 2019 as thin lines in the background of the thick, 2015 gray bars. I then labeled the 2019 bars as the difference in percentage points from 2015 to 2019.
    • For instance, in 2019 53% of 11 year old children owned a Smartphone vs. just 32% in 2015. That’s a difference of 21 percentage points.

Click here for the interactive version.

#MM2019-47 (2)

Thank you for reading and have a wonderful day!

Jeff

 

2 thoughts on “#MakeoverMonday Week 2019-47 Diary”

  1. I hope you’re finding writing out what works and what doesn’t as useful as I do. It really helps me get into the right mindset for what I want to do before I even look at the data.

    Like

    1. Hey Andy, yes you’re exactly right that it helps to think through what works and what doesn’t, first, before jumping right into Tableau. I’m going to focus on doing more of these blogs in 2020, in hopes of achieving two goals; improving my own skills, while helping others who are earlier on in their journeys, improve theirs as well.

      Like

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