Makeover Monday – Potatoes

This week we’re working on a report of European potato production.


My biggest gripe with the original is that the colors are set by rank not by country. Poland is blue in figure one, orange in figure two, green in figure three, and red in figure four! It makes transitioning between charts more difficult than necessary. I was also frustrated with the alignment between the visuals and the sections they related to. Because of the sidebar format and number of charts and visuals included, the reader has to do a lot of scrolling to check the visuals while reading.

This week my goal was to make something prettier and easier to read, that would fit nicely in the sidebar and align with the article’s sections. I’m not really sure what the audience for this report is – maybe some poor sap is trying to research Iceland’s potato production – so I also tried to avoid removing data in my makeover.

In my makeover I assigned each country a color using the official national colors for inspiration. I’m not very experienced at building palettes, but practicing is fun! I used an area chart to show tonnes of potatoes because it combines change over time with part-to-whole. It’s not quite as effective as a stacked bar or line chart, but can show the information in a single chart, which would really help the visuals line up with the article.

For the Farms and Areas section of the report I was planning to use a scatterplot comparing number of farms with average farm size, but the MM dataset only included a few key measures so I created a tree plot instead. I think it does a better job of portraying area than a pie chart, and it kinda looks like farm fields too! When creating the makeovers I totally missed the first tab! So, I only have makeovers of the first two sections, but that’s enough for this exercise.

After creating my two visuals, I also built the first two tables in Tableau as dashboards. Then I used this guide to create actions that let the user go back and forth between the visuals and the tables.


Check out the interactive version here!


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