Welcome to the first day of Dashboard Week at Data School Down Under! Today’s challenge revolves around analyzing LAPD crime statistics from 2020 to 2023. Our mission is to create a dashboard that tells a compelling story using this data while keeping our target audience in mind. Join us as we embark on a thrilling exploration into the world of crime in Los Angeles, uncovering insights and offering guidance for a safer experience in this vibrant city.

Step 1: Exploring the Data

Our journey begins by delving into the LAPD crime dataset using Tableau Prep. As we dive deeper, we discover numerous fields with codes lacking descriptions. We quickly turn to the internet for assistance, seeking clarity from https://www.opendatanetwork.com/dataset/data.lacity.org/2nrs-mtv8. Armed with a better understanding of each column, we prepare ourselves for the next step.

Step 2: Cleaning the Data

With our newfound knowledge, we meticulously clean the data using Tableau Prep. Assigning the correct data types, eliminating nulls, and replacing zeroes with nulls, we ensure the dataset’s accuracy and reliability. Joining Mocodes to acquire their descriptions further enriches our data.

Step 3: Utilizing the Joined Table in Tableau

With the data exploration and cleaning complete, we embrace the power of Tableau to visualize our findings.

Step 4: Identifying the Audience and Story

As storytellers, we ponder our data’s potential and identify the perfect question to guide our narrative: “What areas and times should I avoid in LA to stay out of trouble?” Our target audience is the general public, seeking safety insights without extensive analytical skills. For travelers planning to visit LA, we provide vital information on safer and riskier suburbs to ensure a secure and enjoyable stay.

Step 5: Building Charts to Unearth Insights

We craft various charts to analyze seasonal trends, crime occurrence by time and day, and even delve into the relationship between demographics and crime. After careful consideration, we select six charts that best tell our story and support our mission.

In this line chart you can see a a sudden drop in July. This might be due to the incomplete data on that month. As the month is not fully completed by the date of data collection. So, here we have excluded that from the data.

Step 6: Developing the Dashboard

With our selected charts, we create a visually engaging and user-friendly dashboard. Employing an appropriate layout with sufficient white space, we arrange the charts to maximize impact. Our aim is to empower users with data-driven knowledge for making informed decisions.


A Ray of Hope: We observe a moderate drop in crimes in 2023, possibly attributed to the expansion of the LAPD force. Plans to hire hundreds more officers seem to be making a positive impact. (source: https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2023-06-01/crime-is-down-in-la-as-city-plans-to-expand-lapd)

The Downtown Dilemma: Central Los Angeles (downtown) experiences a major surge in crime, warranting heightened caution in this area.

Safe Havens: Divisions with the lowest crime rates – Foothill, Hollenbeck, and Mission – boast fewer crimes, making them relatively safer. These divisions are collectively less populous and include some affluent suburbs.

Time and Crime: Crimes are expected to peak at night, but we uncover an interesting twist. Many property crimes, like theft, occur during midday, when people are busy and away from their homes or vehicles.

Days of Danger: Fridays see the highest number of crime cases, likely influenced by the weekend’s onset, leading to more socializing and late-night activities.

Decoding Demographics: Hispanic/Latin and Mexican descent victims top the list at 35%, followed by White (24%) and Black (16%) individuals. Travelers from these descents are advised to exercise caution.

Our data-driven journey through LA crime statistics has shed light on critical insights. Armed with this knowledge, visitors and residents alike can make informed decisions, ensuring their safety and enjoyment in the vibrant streets of Los Angeles. By embracing a data-centric approach, we pave the way for a safer and more secure experience in the City of Angels.

The Data School
Author: The Data School