Inspiration is All Around Me…

Hey everyone,

I don’t blog very often (still hoping to get into the habit of it) but here is a quick one about how inspiration is all around us.

Below are a couple of examples of charts that have caught my attention over the last few months:

1. From Doughnut to Bar

Most recently I received my HMRC’s Annual Tax Summary Breakdown through the post. The doughnut caught my eye for three reasons:

  • There was a chart (yayyy!)
  • It was a doughnut (hm…)
  • The doughnut’s segments were in the wrong order (noooooo!)Doughnut.jpg

I didn’t think of doing much with the data at the time but a few days later, Cole Knaflic announced the #SWDchallenge for March: a simple bar chart (read more about it here). As I was going through my schedule for the upcoming week trying to find a slot where I could squeeze in a few-hour’s work on the challenge, I kept thinking: what data am I going to use? Even if I find time, I wouldn’t have the time to do a full exploration and come up with a story.

This is when I decided to have a go at giving the doughnut a makeover. Since it was a very simple data set, I decided to make it a bit more exciting through the use of colour, fonts and shapes (OK, maybe I used too much colour). See the result below:

Doughnut Remake.jpg

Link to viz: here

I was happy bu then I thought, there is no big story, but surely there must be something that the data can show me. Besides, the one thing I did like with the doughnut chart was the ability to see roughly how many and which areas received approximately 25%, 50%, 75%. So I decided to calculate the running total and the percent of total for each public service. This is what I’ve found out:

Tax&NIC (Highlight).png

2. Calendars, Days and Patterns

Another example of inspiration taken from the data all around us was from my council’s leaflet on bin collections. In November 2017 I received the leaflet for 2018. See the old and new ones compared below (the old one is on the left, the new one – on the right):


I really liked the new change, mainly because I could never remember which colour indicate what combination of recycling (yes, we have green for plastic, paper and tins, brown for garden waste and red for glass). So you can see how the new style appealed to me. A month or so later I came up with this dashboard showing my Tableau, Data Visualisation and Alteryx learning throughout last year.

Calendar Remake.jpg

Link to viz: here

3. The Surprise Radar Chart

The last example is from a conference trip to Oxford that took place last summer. Whilst waiting for the train I bought myself a bar of dark chocolate. I was really excited to have some but when I saw the radar chart inside indicating the strength of flavours in it, my excitement increased even further.


Unfortunately, I don’t have a dashboard in Tableau to show you here (first, I need to learn how to make radar charts) but I hope I will create one soon.

Thanks for reading and let me know where you get your inspiration from.



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