Dashboard Week - Letting my creativity 'Flourish'

by Joe Carr

Today, Sophie decided that we look at UK baby name prevalence stats from the UNS website. However, we had to visualise it in a free, web-based software called Flourish.

See below:


Interestingly, Flourish seems to focus on very different things to Tableau.

There is a real emphasis on animations and complex, abstract charts.

Example of a Flourish Network chart template

What is great about Flourish is not only the crazy charts you can build, but also that they all come with example datasets in the right format to visualise. This means it is easy to tell how your own data have to be structured to create your desired chart.

The Data pane of a Flourish visualisation

A drawback to Flourish from my initial impressions is that the data need to be specifically structured for each chart. So before each chart type I tried, I had to do a bit of prep in Alteryx to get the data in the right format.

There are 2 main things you can make in Flourish – Visualisations and Stories. Similar to Dashboards and Stories in Tableau, respectively.

I chose to make a story made up of a few different vizzes. In the end, my story had a few different chart types (one animated, 2 still) and some picture slides separating them.

The story is presented more similar to a PowerPoint than a Tableau story. You can set the slides to autoplay (see below) and specify the time you spend on each slide.

You can also upload audio (maybe another time).

A big benefit of Flourish is that it works very well on different devices, presumably because you can only put one element per screen and they’ve put a lot of effort making their templates look good on mobile etc.

You can also preview the story in different layouts to check they display right…

See below the embedded version of a chart from my story.

Here’s the story I put together – it doesn’t seem to embed like the one chart does.


Have a try yourself and see what you can make!