Day 4 of Dashboard Week coincided with the World’s Population Day.
We were given https://www.gapminder.org/data/ website to use as a data source and build a viz on whatever ticked our interest. While exploring the countless datasets available I thought it would be interesting to create a viz on Portugal’s recent history. There’s a very interesting story to be told there, in terms of the country’s progress in the last 50 years. I built a more than a handful of charts showing Portugal catching up with its European neighbours in terms of economic development, industrialisation, education and health indexes, you name it, I had it.
However, as the day progressed I realised I had too much on my hands and I was getting further and further sucked into a black hole of line, bar charts and scatterplots, with no end in sight.
What ended up rescuing me was a very poorly designed website – no joke! I was looking for data to build an age pyramid to animate thinking that would be an excellent addition to my dashboard. I took on to Portugal’s Bureau of Statistics website, which is incredibly difficult to navigate (have a look here if you want to remember how the internet looked like in 1999). It took me a lot of effort to dig out the data I was looking for and when I finished cleaning it, I had to take a step back and check if my original idea could still be achieved.
It was then that I realised that there was a smaller take on that story that I was missing completely – telling a story on Portugal’s demographic winter. Since I was struggling to find a compelling storyline for my first idea, I decided to go with the second one, and so this dashboard was born.
CLEANING THE DATA
One of the rules for today’s challenge was that we couldn’t use Alteryx to clean data. So, I used Excel and Tableau Prep. Yes, I did use Excel. I found out while digging out the data for the population pyramid that it was easier to input the missing values there (since I had to cross data from different sources) and then get it into a nice shape to use in Tableau using Tableau Prep.
My Prep workflow isn’t fancy at all, as you can see:
I used some other .csv tables from gapminder and pordata.pt that I just pivoted directly in Tableau. That was a hidden functionality of Tableau that I didn’t know about until I saw it in a live demo and comes in very handy with this type of data.
BUILDING THE DASHBOARD
Now I had a very well defined idea and storyline for my dashboard.
My favourite non-business dashboards (even if there’s little going on in terms of fancy actions and filters) are the ones where a good story is being told through data using a pleasing design. The simpler, the better. So, that’s what I challenged myself to do with this viz.
Have a look on Tableau Public for the final version.
As to my initial idea, I’ll probably get back to it sometime in the future, with a little more time.
All feedback is appreciated.