Category: Workout Wednesday

Makeover Monday – White House Salaries

This week’s Makeover Monday challenge compares Trump’s 2017 staff salaries to Obama’s staff salaries in 2016.

Here’s the original:
WH Salaries - Copy

After looking at the ridiculously detailed data (seriously – it has names!) the salaries are awfully low. Analysts in the White House are making 42k, which is below market, even in the Midwest. On the whole, Trump’s staff has fewer members and higher salaries, which is not surprising – Obama’s staff was mustered four years before Trump’s. The big difference is in the distribution. Obama’s salaries have a nice stair step progression while Trump’s are flatter.

Here’s my makeover:

WH makeover - Copy.PNG
Head to Tableau Public for the interactive version

This week’s makeover is a simple jitter plot, with administration on color. It’s actually the first view I created for this data, but I think it’s quite telling. Trump’s points form several vertical lines, with one especially strong line at 115k. Obama’s points look more random, though there seem to be a few vertical lines between 40k and 50k.

I’m not sure why Trump’s salaries are clustering at certain values (perhaps pay grades?) but it certainly points to a difference in strategies for setting salaries.


Workout Wednesday – Benford’s Law

Workout Wednesday is another weekly challenge by the same people who manage Makeover Monday. Instead of re-imagining a viz, this challenge is to re-create a viz. It’s a great way to discover new techniques and develop better instincts for what is possible in Tableau.

Here’s my *slightly tweaked* version of the original viz.

Benford - Copy

I managed to re-create all the tricky parts! What I changed:

  • I left the font as Arial (I was working off of 9.3)
  • I tweaked the colors – the red and blue on the original felt too loud to me.
  • I re-arranged the text, and revised it to something easier to understand and more accurate.

This is the process I followed re-creating the viz:

  • Filter year
  • First Digit calc using CO2
  • Create bar chart (First Digit, Records)
  • %of total table calc
  • Exclude Nulls
  • Remove lines (including column axis ticks)
  • Setup Parameter, Parameter Calc
  • Put Parameter Calc into First Digit Calc
  • Multiply infant mortality rate, birth rate by 100 in Parameter calc
  • Adjust axies
  • Use reference line to add labels
  • Header
  • Tried using Gantt bars – Couldn’t create two color split at centerpoint
  • Expected Value, Top Point, Bottom Point calcs
  • *Trickiest Trick* Put those calcs on detail! 
  • Create two cell level reference bands

It took me about 4 hours working off and on to finish this week’s challenge, and only went down one wrong path. All in all, I think it went pretty well!