This weeks Tableau Makeover Monday was a challenge to visualise a small amount of data; two data points – total size of US National Debt versus the rest of the world. The original visualisation can be seen on the visualcapitalist website and also include comparisons of the US$ 19.5 trillion debt to thinks like company sizes, oil exports, cash held, etc. The pie chart works well here and the comparisons give some idea of scale.
I’ve stuck to the challenge and just used the two data points. Presented as a tree map but formatted similarly to a credit card – perhaps a good way to make the concept more real?
[Edit: Was it a good idea to use credit card imagery in this visualisation? Maybe not! As touched on by Andy Cotgreave in his Makeover Monday blog post, national debt is different to house hold debt. A better analogy might be a business loan – borrowing money to build a business (aka grow the economy). If I were revisiting the visualisation I’d also try changing the title and caption to refer to “Sovereign Debt” (with explanatory note) as the term ”global” could be misconstrued as all debt not just national or sovereign debt.]