Makeover Monday Week 9 – World Economic Freedom

This week’s dataset is an interactive Viz from the Fraser Institute, it showed the worldwide economic freedom (and other metric) scores for every country of the world from 1970 – 2015.

What works well

  • I like the ranking table on the left, the arrows showing if they’ve gained a place is a nice touch.
  • Colours are easy simple, it’s easy differentiate the good from the bad
  • High level of interactivity, can compare countries and look at different metrics

What could be improved

I only have two gripes with this viz and they are:

  • A worldwide map doesn’t lend itself well to showcasing smaller countries (which is especially bad in this viz, as the top two countries are actually city-states)
  • The scroll bar makes it a bit hard to compare how the countries have changed over time

What did I do

For the past few Makeover Mondays, I’ve been picking relatively simple charts and trying to perfect them.  I feel this is often the best approach, but I wanted to force myself to learn some new things so this week I tried out something different this week.  Check it out here.

  • The first thing I did was hit the play button a few times and looked for any countries/regions that changed dramatically.  I noticed South America changed colour quite a bit, so I decided to make that the focus of my Viz.
  • Since I was focusing on a smaller area, I felt like a map would now might be appropriate to use (really, I just wanted an excuse to try out mapbox.com)
  • I kept the rank table, but split it into two, to show the differences between 1980 and 2015 (I picked these dates because some countries did not have data prior to 1980, I also excluded French Guyana and Suriname because they only had data from the mid 2000’s onwards)
  • I included a line graph at the bottom to show a the countries change over time, if I was keeping this simple, I would focus only on this graph.
  • I added a parameter to allow the user to change the metric they wanted to compare.  I’ve used parameters in the past, but it was only this week that I felt like I really understood how they function.
  • I normally try to use neutral colours, and use red to highlight anything I want point out.  This week I tried out some different colours.
  • I didn’t mention this in the text, but the map tooltips also display another line graph.  This was mainly because I found out that you could put sheets in tooltips and I wanted to try it out.

I think the way I’ve laid everything out could definitely be improved, but overall I’m happy with the way it turned out and can’t wait for next week to show off everything I’ve learned!