Dashboard Week Day 2 | The Change in Forest Cover

by Priya Padham

Hi everyone! It’s time for Day 2 of Dashboard week. Let's go!

The Data

Today’s topic was analysing the change in forest cover using data from the World Wildlife Foundation (WWF). The dataset itself was very wide, with a ton of fields. I spent some time working out what I wanted to focus on and figuring out if I would need to prepare the data in any way.

The Process

There were some fields that had a separate column for each year, so I decided to pivot them in Alteryx.

I did this for “Burned Area”, “Forest Loss” and “Tree cover Loss”. Once that was done, I blended the new tables together with the original dataset in Tableau.

When I began to explore the data further, I noticed that the numbers in Brazil were much higher than any other location. This is when I decided to focus in on Brazil and compare it to other countries. I had some problems with understanding how to go about doing certain calculations in Tableau, as some fields were already in a percentage format. There were quite a few sheets that got deleted during this experimental phase! I eventually decided to keep the BANs simple, as well as expand on some of them in a later chart.

The Dashboard

Link to interactive viz

I decided to go for a longform dashboard for today’s viz, with the BANs at the top and comparing Brazil against other countries as you scroll down. I used the colour green to highlight Brazil within the dashboard, whilst keeping the rest of the colours neutral. The last chart includes a parameter to let the user change between viewing tree cover loss, burned area and forest loss.

In terms of things to improve, I really wanted to use a supplementary dataset about CO2 emissions, but I ran out of time. I also wanted to mention how deforestation affects wildlife and the animals that may have become extinct as a result of this in Brazil. I think I spent too much time trying to get calculations to work, so I will prioritise other things next time to ensure I can deliver the message that I intended.