#datathatinterestsme, #Sportsvizsunday

Cheltenham – Champion Hurdle

Champion hurdle winners.png

Cheltenham | Champion Hurdle – 10 decades of Winners

Interactive viz


The hurdle was coming up and I thought I would take a quick look at the data behind the race to see if there were any trends that might help me with a cheeky bet, and to learn a little more about the race and past winners


  • Generally the horses are getting quicker
  • And a cheeky bet on anything trained by Willie Mullins wouldn’t be a bad bet!

sucessful combos


Viz Type

Time line viz with shapes on marks

A quick ‘how I constructed the viz’

There’s not much technical stuff happening here, but here’s a summary of the techniques:

  • Custom shape image (horse)
  • Min and max reference lines




The Broads National Park

The Broads.png

The Broads National Park

Tableau public viz


Data Sources:

ONS rivers: oprvrs_essh_gb

National Parks: National_Parks_England | Lakes water bodies: EA_WFDLakeWaterBodiesCycle2_SHP_Full


visitthebroads.co.uk | wikipedia | visitnorfolk

Image credits:

Original Marsh Harrier image (pre lots of manipulation): Norfolk wildlife trust | Marsh harrier at Hardley on 19/06/2018. Contributed by: Nick Appleton

Special thanks to: Ben Moss – for helping with the multi sourced .shp files Lorna Eden, Elena Hristozova & Dave Kirk for their viz critique


I love a good map…… but rarely use them in my day to day work or ‘pleasure vizzing’ as my topics are rarely spatial in content. However I fancied creating a viz bringing maps into play.

For this viz i took inspiration from a recent family day out at one of the nature reserves close to our home, we took great delight in getting sight of the phenomenal Marsh Harrier that makes The Norfolk Broads its home whilst exploring Hickling broad, its hides and paths. I began to research a little more about the Broads and the Marsh Harrier and decided to combine them into an infographic (none interactive) viz which would provide a little information about lovely little Norfolk’s pride and joy.

The style of the viz takes inspiration from the LNER railway posters of yesteryear which frequently state ‘Visit [Norfolk]…. its quicker by rail’ and for Norfolk you may find that this is still true given the road network is yet to embrace the ‘M’ road concept and ‘A’ is still a trial concept!

Viz type

Map and bar chart

A quick ‘how I constructed the viz’

Viz wise there’s not much technical happening here, however there was a bit of data prep involved and a few faffy bits involving PowerPoint.

Here’s a summary of the techniques:

  • I reached out to Alteryx Ace Ben Moss for a bit of help with joining .shp files in Alteryx – so thanks for that. Drop me a message if you wish for me to explain the process for that, I tend to keep these posts Tableau focused.
  • Viz wise the majority of this viz was an experiment with leveraging the power of PowerPoint in dataviz, there are quite a few posts out there to help with this and I’ll name a few below. The key technique to get your head around is setting transparency, the Marsh Harrier has the transparency set on all the seemingly white bits to enable it float over the content in Tableau. The circle holding the map has a boarder outside the circle set as white, yet the inner of the circle cut out so that the map can shine through. For that you need to use the merge and subtract functionality in format as below:

merge image

  • Floating sheets and text boxes- to get the cascading text you need to float the text box and carriage return your text rows around your visual content to get get effect shown.
  • The rest is just prettyfication and use of text box colour and font use.

Further reading on transparent elements and leveraging PowerPoint include Sarah’s post how to build circular maps.

Thanks for reading


#datathatinterestsme, #Makeovermonday

#MakeoverMonday |UK Beach Pollution

MOMwk14 - UK Beach pollution

UK beach pollution

Interactive viz

Source – Great British Beach Clean report – 2017


Makeovermonday wk 14 2019 focused on the data available from the GB Beach clean report and a viz used in a BBC report in December 2018 entitled Seven charts that explain the plastic pollution problem the plastic pollution issue is a serious one deserves a MOM twitter deluge so I made an effort to contribute a visualisation to Wk14.


“This September thousands of people headed to UK beaches to pick up litter and record their finds. Just short of 7,000 volunteer beach cleaners picked up 255, 209 individual pieces of litter from 339 beaches. That’s a staggering 718 bits of rubbish for every 100 metres cleaned! It’s a huge number and sadly a 10% rise in the amount of litter we picked up the previous year”. – GBBCR report

Viz Type


A quick ‘how I constructed the viz’

There’s not much technical stuff happening here, but here’s a summary of the techniques:

  • MY DOTBAN technique of prepping the xy coordinates in excel to plot the numerical dots to form the numbers ‘718’
  • floating text boxes.




101 key dates in English history

101 key dates.png

101 key dates in English history

Interactive viz

Source – Source: Simon Jenkins – A Short History of England


I get quite a bit of train time these days with my work, and therefore find myself wifi less and signal poor for quite a lot of my journeys. It pays to be prepared with reading material and viz ideas to entertain ones self whilst enjoying the beautiful UK countryside.

I picked up ‘A short history of England’ to do a spot of back reading, with the hope to ‘appear’ to know more than I would have otherwise when asked over the dinner table!

“Daaaaad, when was the magna carta signed?”

Off hand, no idea! But now i’m poised and ready……

If truth be told, I got distracted………there are whole sections at the back of this book with lists of key English historical dates and Prime ministers, all calling out for a bit of vizzing. I therefore forwent the detailed reading in favor of vizzing a timeline of what Simon Jenkins feels were key dates in the history of England 400 – 2016 AD.

Viz Type

Curvy timeline with plenty of hover over interactivity.

The challenge and ‘how I constructed the viz’

How on earth do you show a time range spanning 400-2016?

With a curvy time line of course! for which which all credit goes to the method created by Ken FlerlageCurvy timeline

If you want to construct a time line like this, have a good read of this very informative post detailing the method as I think it looks really cool, and enables you to fit in all those years by snaking them up/down the page.

thanks for reading



#Makeovermonday | TRUMP Time

Trumps Exec time_MOM wk7 2019.png

How does President Trump’s official schedule break down?

Interactive viz

Source – axios


Makeovermonday dataset for wk7 2019 focused on leaked US presidents Donald Trumps official schedule – A White House source has leaked nearly every day of President Trump’s private schedule for the past three months.

Axios article summary

Why it matters: This unusually voluminous leak gives us unprecedented visibility into how this president spends his days. The schedules, which cover nearly every working day since the midterms, show that Trump has spent around 60% of his scheduled time over the past 3 months in unstructured “Executive Time.”

What the schedules show: Trump, an early riser, usually spends the first 5 hours of the day in Executive Time. Each day’s schedule places Trump in “Location: Oval Office” from 8 to 11 a.m.

  • But Trump, who often wakes before 6 a.m., is never in the Oval during those hours, according to six sources with direct knowledge.
  • Instead, he spends his mornings in the residence, watching TV, reading the papers, and responding to what he sees and reads by phoning aides, members of Congress, friends, administration officials and informal advisers.


Viz Type

the viz simply uses a stacked bar chart, and this is my original:


The more fun version heading this blog post, turns this stacked bar chart black and white and nestles it in with the image sourced from skydancingblog of Trump watching TV!





Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI) | #Makeovermonday – wk5 – 2019

MOM_Wk5_2019_The Digital Economy and Society Index

The Digital Economy and Society In

dex (DESI)

Interactive viz

Source – European Commission


This weeks data set focused on Europe’s Digital Economy and Society Index or ‘DESI’. A nice EU 28 (countries) av was included in the data and provided a useful reference for contextualising a particular countries score in each of the 5 categories of performance. Whilst it could be a great insight to visualise how categories and countries have done over time, this week I decided to focus on the most recent year (allowing for a user to look at other years if they wished to interactive with the visualisation), and opt to visualise the distribution of scores of all countries in the data set by each category, this then encourages the eye to look at relationships and outliers between each category (eg 1-Connectivity, 2- Human Capital, 3 Use of Internet etc).

Well I was a little surprised and chuffed that Andy picked this as one of his favorite submissions for Makeovermonday WK5 2019. Thanks

andys fav

Viz Type

Barcode chart (Gannt chart)

A quick ‘how I constructed the viz’

Whilst the viz is not particularly technical I have noted down a few key elements that helped in the construction of the dashboard

  • Use Gantt chart mark type to achieve the barcode chart itself


  • Use a group to create your TOP10_2018, done simply by creating a data table and making a custom group, this is used on the colour mark to get the greeny/blue lines





Re-brand it! #SWDChallenge


Re-brand it | VOGUE Style

(Viz not posted to tableau public as the fonts don’t render )

Source – Storytellingwithdata

This months challenge was a fun one! Re-brand Cole’s chart (note it’s FAKE data) with the look and feel of another brand.

The SWD challenge

Rebrand this graph in the style of your choice, you are welcome to use any tool). Feel free to take liberties as you’d like with the specifics of the data for the purposes of the exercise. In your commentary, in addition to the brand—which can be anything (your company, a sports team, a university, use whatever you’d like as inspiration for your design!)—please outline the steps you took to get familiar with it and how that played into your redesign. Share any specific resources used and learning from your process, too!

The original



Where to start with a re-brand? The choice was quite clearly enormous, so I set to with a quick google search for iconic brands and their successful logos, quickly scanning through I soon spotted and was drawn to the VOGUE logo.


VOGUE uses font didot and has the iconic elegant cosmopolitan feel. I think Mike nailed it in his comment below:

Next I took a moment to scan through past VOGUE magazine issues to get an idea of the style and positioning of text and labels, i decided to base my viz on this example below show casing a very classic VOGUE look, predominantly black and white with a splash of colour.

The re-Brand


A quick ‘how I constructed my viz’

The default VOGUE style always has an image of a ‘beautiful’ person on the cover but not really appropriate for this viz, so I focused on trying to stylize the text and positioning elements.

To get Tableau to present the line chart I needed to do a touch of prep.

  1. Spin the data around so we had a year column and years running downwards
  2. Create a column and denote actual or forecast per data row

Whilst there isn’t much technically going on with viz (just a line chart with actual and forecast). I wanted to throw down a few key elements that helped in the construction of the dashboard.

  1. Float all the textual elements (text and chart)
  2. Download the didot font to my machine and restart tableau to get it to appear in the tableau font list (add link)
  3. Used century gothic for the annotations and smaller text – didot was unreadable in the comment text so left it for the titles and big text only.

And that’s about it. As always it doesn’t need to be complicated to be effective (and look a bit classy).

Thanks again Cole for your great monthly challenge which never fails to provide me with a fairly open ended viz topic to get my teeth into.

Thanks for reading