This week my aim is to emphasize where the data isn’t. I made the y-axis scale show the full range from 0% to 100% female representation. Why? In an ideal world, states should have approximately 50% female representation.
When I first explored the data, Tableau automatically tops out the y-axis just above the highest percentage state. This is reasonable but it means you don’t immediately see how low the representation is in some states. In the image below, you can see bunch of states are high on the y-axis. You have to stop yourself and wonder about truncating the UPPER end of the y-axis when showing percentages. Colorado and Vermont are the closest to 50% so well done them. But it’s still NOT 50% female representation.
I decided to ignore the values relating to gender split in the population: all the states are close enough to 50% to make any differences mere noise.
As with many other makeovers, this week’s original chart doesn’t have too much wrong with it. I liked the following:
- They binned the states into just 4 groups
- The tooltips for each state add good information
- The title and font keep things simple and clear
- A map helps for quick lookup if the viewer is looking for a specific state
Things I would have changed:
- Was this data best shown as a map? If the story is about underrepresentation, then show that, rather than just geographic information. Bar charts, or distributions could show that story more powerfully.
- The colour scheme is, to me, a little muddy. High/low doesn’t pop out. The grey is especially unclear. Without looking at the key, would you be able to tell if grey was good, bad or middling? I wouldn’t know.