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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.