Today’s task was to visualise YouGov data about characteristics men and women of different nationalities found most attractive in a partner.

 

On top of that, we also had to use story points to tell a tale. It quickly became clear why: it would have been fairly easy to make an attractive viz of the data, but it was harder telling a coherent, nuanced narrative from this particular set of numbers.

 

Here are the three main things I learned about data visualisation today.

 

  1. If it’s a one-off task, don’t worry too much about doing something in the most efficient or most repeatable way. If there’s a shortcut to prepare the data, take it, even if it’s not best practice. It’s a different matter when you have to prepare a workflow that will run the same process again and again, but that wasn’t the case today.
  2. It takes longer than you think to tell a good story with data. We finished the data preparation quickly this morning, but it really did take all day to analyse the information and find something interesting to say.
  3. Don’t be afraid to drop an idea that isn’t working and start over. My best vizzes always come after scrapping the first draft or two: today’s effort could have done with starting from scratch halfway through.

 

Here’s my viz: I thought that there was an interesting tale to tell about the responses of Danish people to the survey, as their answers weren’t typical of the world as a whole. The full story is available on Tableau Public here.