We’re at week 40 and only days away from TC17 and our biggest Makeover Monday live event of the year. Before I board that plane on Saturday morning to make my way to Sin City, there is a recap to write and this week’s Makeover Monday was another great example of the learning process so many of our community members engage in every week.

I admit I wasn’t able to engage as much with the community this week as I hoped to, such is the nature of the last week prior to the conference (as a sponsor there’s a few more things to prepare 🙂 ).

I’m all the more excited to meet everyone next week in real life! Being able to shake hands and get hugs from people I feel I’ve known for a long time, but never actually spoken to will be great :-).


This week’s makeover focused on GDP growth for G7 countries, the UK in particular, and many people used the rather simple dataset to create makeovers.

Once again, we really enjoyed seeing participants iterate on the feedback they received, for example through discussions on Twitter or the comments we provided during Viz Review.

Check out these ‘before and after’ Makeover Monday submissions, which all saw some simplification:

Adolfo Hernandez – Before

Mahfooj Khan – Before

Mahfooj Khan – After

Daniel Caroli – Before

Daniel Caroli – After

It was also great to see many new names pop up in our Twitter feed as we welcomed new participants to Makeover Monday.

I hope some of you will also be at Makeover Monday live at TC17 next week. It’ll be great to meet you all ;-).


In terms of lessons, I will share one lesson and it’s a big one:




Always, always, always sense check your data. Even if you’re not an expert on a topic, most of the time you can get a good sense of whether the results you’re seeing are possible and reasonable.

This week, the XLS version of the data had each value multiplied by 100. You could call me sneaky and testing you, but I simply made the mistake of selecting percentage format and not realising that this multiplied everything by 100 (sorry!). I corrected it as soon as I found out, but some damage had been done and some people had published their viz stating that G7 GDP growth had been between 20-100% from quarter to quarter.

Ummmm, nope. Let’s make sure we sense check our results. No country doubles their GDP within a quarter.

This little mishap also showed us that a lot of people don’t actually read the accompanying article or look carefully at the original viz (which had the actual percentages on it). That’s somewhat disappointing, especially because the original article in this case was literally 3 paragraphs long.

Even if you just want a fresh dataset to practice visualisations with, please ensure you sense check your data. Once you publish your viz and promote it on Twitter, it is out there in the wild and being diligent with your analyst skills and principles will serve you well in the long-term.


Now, let’s move on to this week’s favourites…





Author: Sarah Bartlett
Link: Tableau Public

What I like about it:

  • simple, clean and well-formatted bump chart that ranks G7 countries by GDP growth
  • clearly shows how the UK dropped to the bottom of the table. The ranking makes this much clearer than actual % values
  • Great use of colour
  • Neat tooltips
  • Adding a reference line for the Brexit referendum gives context
  • Sarah always does very thorough analysis and it comes through in her descriptions. She answers the questions posed in her headings which makes this a well-rounded viz from start to finish

Author: Femke Goedhart
Link: Tableau Public

What I like about it:

  • Great interactive dashboard that encourages the audience to explore the data and insights through the inclusion of hover actions, highlighting and an information icon that gives context for G7 and GDP
  • Excellent use of colour to draw attention to the UK data
  • Using annotations to highlight specific points in the data
  • Having both, actual % figures and ranking of the countries helps give me additional context

Author: Robert Crocker
Link: Tableau Public

What I like about it:

  • it’s a simple slope chart that puts the UK GDP growth since the Brexit vote (even though he forgot that little word 🙂 ) against that of the other G7 nations
  • Great use of colour which focuses on the UK results
  • very clean viz – great minimalist approach
  • it’s mobile friendly, so I can easily look at it from my phone

Author: Mike Cisneros
Link: Tableau Public

What I like about it:

  • another stunning design by Mike, with all the attention to detail we are used to seeing from him
  • clearly Mike has done thorough analysis of the data and carefully considered his story
  • the layout of a vertical timeline is really cool and Mike uses design elements to break-up the pre- and post-Brexit vote data points
  • great interactivity to encourage exploration
  • adding the small line charts on the left gives extra context and supports the overall focus of the UK GDP growth in this dataset

Author: Alexander Waleczek
Link: Tableau Public

What I like about it:

  • very cool design! Clever to use the heartbeat analogy for this viz (even if it should be Brexit *vote*, as the Brexit hasn’t happened yet)
  • great use of colour and intensity over time
  • nice highlight actions
  • good use of BANs
  • Axel provides a description to answer the question he posed in his title

Author: Jeremy Kneebone
Link: Tableau Public

What I like about it:

  • incredible what can be done in an hour!
  • interesting focus and analysis to highlight Japan’s economic growth
  • the story flows nicely from top to bottom in chronological order
  • great annotations to call out key events and how they contributed to the overall result
  • excellent choice of colour
  • a clean and tidy viz