Published on March 7, 2018, this week’s Tableau Public Revizited is Explain Data before Explain Data! ‘Beautiful Billboard Bar Chart’ by Tableau Ambassador Sean Miller is an example of superb analysis and storytelling. Sean found a huge outlier in the data and dug in to find out what the cause was behind it. Let’s take a look at Sean’s work.
What makes this great data viz?
- Clear titles and annotations – In exploring Sean’s work, it’s clear to me he has read and taken away many learnings from Cole Nussbaumer Knaflic’s Storytelling with Data. His clear, descriptive title at the top of the page tells the reader exactly what question will be answered in the visualization below. Sean’s titles/text are consistent throughout the entire viz, helping the reader to easily understand what the visualization is telling them. He does an outstanding job in this area.
- Simple chart types – Another thing I like about the viz is the use of bar charts, a chart that is easy to understand and quick for readers to consume. In the first chart, the reader’s eyes are instantly drawn to the very tall blue bar at position 20. This is the focal point of the visualization and Sean pulls our attention directly to it. In the second chart, we can also see very quickly the spike in songs that spent exactly 20 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100, beginning in 1991.
- Use of Color – While the simple chart types themselves aid the reader in quickly understanding the story Sean is telling, his fantastic use of color helps drive it home. He begins with coloring the words “exactly 20 weeks” in the title with blue text, tying them beautifully to the data below that represents songs spending exactly 20 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100.
I wanted to share this visualization because it is an exceptional job of data storytelling. By combining the techniques covered above, Sean has taken a big outlier in the data and told the story behind it in a way that takes the reader only about 20-30 seconds to consume. Great job, Sean!