No Beer Cheer Here

[00:00:02] I happen to be a craft beer lover. Some people even call me a beer nerd. So when I came across this particular viz, I thought there was going to be a lot of good information in here, but I found it really difficult to look at and wasn't really sure how to navigate it easily.

[00:00:25] Let's take a look at some of the things we can do to clean this up and make it a lot simpler for people to understand the key points.

[00:00:34] First thing, the title is right in the middle of the page and we've got these two beer images. I'd bring those across the top.

[00:00:47] The next problem I have is it's very jarring. There are many little charts. These are not lined up, so your eye just goes all over the place and it's quite uncomfortable.

[00:01:11] Next, there's an idea called working inside out which means you start from the core of what you're trying to do and then work your way out towards the edges of the visual.

[00:01:33] Each of the data labels (like State) can be eliminated because the title of the visual already says what the data is. Get rid of these labels, which improves the data-to-ink ratio.

[00:01:55] Another simple thing to do is make sure that it's easy to see all the information. Expand these columns and it’s a lot easier to understand because you can see the entire field. Also, I was surprised that it says Top 10 breweries and in this chart there are only five.

[00:02:17] One of the things that is a big problem is the use of color. Here we're talking about style, then number of beers, then IBUs. Over here on the maps you've also got some yellows and browns. You cannot reuse the same color for different meanings. That goes against basic principles of data visualization.

[00:02:49] You've got to pick different colors or possibly just not use colors at all in some of these places. Instead of these gradients, just use bar charts and maybe for one of the key charts you use the gradient if you really want it to stand out.

[00:03:12] I'm not a fan of bubble charts. It's fairly useless because the only way to get information out of it is to put your mouse over one of the circles, which of course takes a long time and goes against what you're trying to do, which is make it simple to use. The bubbles are average ABV and IBU per style. Instead, I would do an x-y plot. That way you get a comparison, which is what they're likely trying to do and detect outliers.

[00:03:45] A couple other things to wrap this up. Instead of a tree map, use a bar chart. I have no idea what's going on in here and assume there are 50 little rectangles, one for each state. But it's really hard for me to get anything out of this.

[00:04:04] And last, I'd look to join these maps together and make it bigger. A tiny map is hard to navigate and doesn't look good. When you have a large map, it really gets your attention and can be quite striking visually.

[00:04:33] Make sure to download my free e-book "21 Titles That Turn Your Tableau Charts Into Data Stories" and register for my Analytic Stories interview series.

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