Makeover Monday, 2017 #26

It’s the half way point for Makeover Monday in 2017: 26 charts selected by Andy and Eva, 26 makeovers submitted and 26 blog posts written. It’s been a tough challenge for me to produce a visualisation every week and tougher still to write about each one. However, both of those aspects have been enjoyable, and the practice and reflection has really helped me get more out of Tableau in my job. I’ve had a few submissions selected in the weekly round up and one was selected in a #VizForSocialGood project for use by Inter American Development Bank. The way the Makeover Monday project works this year with the weekly wrap up lessons and the community input has made a huge difference to me. If you’re reading this, chances are you’ve helped me so thanks!

The chart in week 26 explored German car production and exports.  Nice clear charts. Not much narrative and for me the hover over was a bit much – possibly this was due to the size and imagery used, but it just seemed to get in the way for me.



After exploring the data and seeing other submissions the dip from the global financial crisis and resulting recession was a clear story. What was also interesting was that the percentage of vehicles exported also dropped in step with the reduction in production. Does this mean that Germans weathered the storm a little better than those they export vehicles to? There is also an intriguing spike in export percentage for Trucks late 2012 / early 2013. With the exploration done it looked like I’d have two charts and some narrative. Great I thought – I can pop this in panels coloured to match the German flag. More on this design choice below, but here’s what it ended up like:


You can also check it out on Tableau Public - although there’s very little interaction, just a bit of hover over.

I quite liked the design choice to mimic a German Flag, but I don’t think it will suit or appeal to everyone. The background colours are obviously quite bright and may not work for those that need a low contrast visual. There has been some interesting discussion amongst the community this week about design and data; when does design detract from the ability to see the stories in the data? I suspect I’ve fallen into the trap of emphasising a design element over the data. If time allowed I’d have a go at toning those colours down, or reversing them so that the colours come out in foreground elements instead.