As we crossed the halfway point for Makeover Monday 2017, I think Eva and I must have thought we weren’t busy enough because this week has been crazy! We started Monday with a Makeover Monday Live event in Berlin, had the Exasol Xperience conference through Wednesday and had to wake up early Wednesday morning (after your’s truly had one too many at the conference party Tuesday night) to kickoff a Makeover Monday Live event in New Zealand. If they want to viz in a pub, I’ll gladly get up to help them get started.

This week required more data prep than normal. The source website had a way to run a report to get the data, but it came out in traditional Excel outline form. Thankfully, I know a bit about Alteryx and I was able to create a quick workflow to clean it all up.

This involves some basic data filtering, filling in all of the blank rows, removing the subtotals (via the unique tool), adding in some English translations and outputting Tableau extracts in German and English. Special thanks to Pooja for identifying the subtotals. I didn’t choose that option on the output from the website, yet they came through anyway. Thankfully this is super easy to clean up in Alteryx.




When data sets are complicated or your need to guide your audience around your viz, annotations can prove to be an effective technique.

In this example, Louise Shorten has used dividers to nicely separate the components of her dashboard and used annotations in each section to explain and to summarize.




Sarah Bartlett is really, really hitting her stride! I’ve been so impressed with her continual improvement and willingness to give and receive feedback. This week, she demonstrated how long-form storytelling should be done.

In this viz, Sarah takes the reader on a journey down the page as if you’re reading a story. Like any good writer, she starts with an introduction, then adds more and more detail to the story are you scroll down before concluding the viz with information about who stays the longest. This is such a beautiful design!




If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, this week showed how much we like learning and emulating each other. The flattery this week stemmed mostly around marginal histograms. First, I credited Sarah Bartlett and Rodrigo Calloni when I created my version, then Charlie Hutcheson wrote a great #TakeApartTuesday on how to build them.

Several more versions followed, including this beauty by Kathryn Ambrose which may be the best of the bunch.

I really love how we’re all learning from each other, improving each week, and building our repertoire.




Tableau’s secret sauce is its unmatched Community. And that’s reflected each week in the welcome messages that are sent to new participants. This week we seemed to have many more newbies than normal.

Dustin Smerdon created this simple viz that clearly shows the peaks of tourism

When you see a new person, welcome them. Say hi. Offer to help. Make them feel at home. Basically, treat them like you want to be treated. We were all new once…remember that!

So onto my favorites from week 27.

Author: Laura Schofield
Link: Tableau Public

What I like:

  • This was Laura’s first Makeover Monday!!
  • The lines really pop off the screen.
  • Nice use of text to aid the story.
  • While containing a lot of data, the viz still has room to breathe.
  • Sorting Germany to the top of the barbell chart then sorting the rest by the 2016 value.
  • Overall, a simple layout and a simple design used to tell an effective story.

Link: Tableau Public

What I like:

  • Including a forecasting and making it a distinct color
  • Using reference lines to indicate when the trade fair happens each year
  • Using a question in the title informs me what the viz is about before I even start looking at it
  • Nice summary text that helps answer the question the title poses
  • Good, minimal use of color

Author: Ann Jackson
Link: Tableau Public

What I like:

  • Stunning design!
  • Great use of color in the title that acts as the color legend as well
  • Using other countries for context
  • Including indicators for the lightest and busiest months
  • Great layout
  • Small multiple line charts are very engaging!
  • Using cumulative visitors for comparison
  • Terrific tooltips
  • Ann is so so good!

Link: Tableau Public

What I like:

  • Fantastic overall design
  • Good example of long-form storytelling
  • This could easily be printed in a newspaper or airline magazine.
  • Using color to highlight
  • Love the trellis chart of bar charts at the bottom
  • Great use of text to summarize and guide
  • Nice filter and highlight actions
  • Clear instructions
  • Combing BANs with icons
  • Simple, effective tooltips

Link: Tableau Public

What I like:

  • Great mix of analysis and design
  • Consistent use of color
  • Excellent narrative to guide the reader and explain the analysis
  • Every pixel has a purpose
  • Including trend lines on the line charts, but keeping them thin so they aren’t distracting
  • Good tooltips
  • Explaining why the bands are included on the dot plot