### Viz For Social Good - Part 2, The Build

This blog is going to centre around a recent visualization of mine and why and how I created it.

The visualisation this blog will cover |

Before starting this blog post I reached out to ask the community if there would be much interest in writing this blog. The response was a resounding ‘yes’ but it was also clear that not only should I provide a detailed guide on ‘how’ I built this visualization, but more importantly ‘why’ I came to my design choices.

To make this more accessible I have decided to split the blog into three separate blog posts and avoid creating one mammoth length of text that every gives up reading halfway through!

### This blog is Part 2 - The Build

This is the second in a blog three-parter which will go into more detail of the calculations used and what they do, whilst also explaining other areas of the build such as colour use and interactivity.

Let’s begin the build

**The assumption here is that you have read the 1st part of this three-part blog series. If you haven't then you can find the 1st blog, here. **

### The build

Starting off with the VFSG dataset with the 'reach' data added with the two columns at the end.

Note: for this viz, I used MSExcel for my data prep, Adobe Illustrator for the design elements and Tableau for the visualisation.

We start with our data densification using our data model (as discussed in Part 1) as this will allow us to create the various stages of the main radial.

This is what we are going to need for our densification, [T] value.

Full detail of the Data Model |

**Note: I did not know all of this when I started. When I started I was adding additional [T] values as I wanted to plot new stages to the radial and I tweaked a lot of values as I was building and even reordering the values - so that the flow of the lines were continuous and the colour scale I finally settled on worked as I wanted.**

Snippet of the Data Model build in MSExcel.

What the different [T] values create, in the final viz.

So to recap, this data densification produced by joining these two tables in this way is doing this:

What you will notice here is there are a number of different sub-calculations going on within this. Firstly there are straight distance values for the singular points (circles) we want to plot on some [T] values. Next there are the sankey curves that use our [t (logodds)] calculation. Lastly there are two calculations for the two 'reach' elements that use a parameter as part of the calculation.

**Circle plots ([T] = 0, 3, 4, 5, 8, 9 and 10)**

**Circular Sankey plots ([T] >=1 & <=2 and >=6 and <=7)**

**Reach elements ([T] = 11 and =12)**

However, I quickly found when plotting the Radial Bar, that the range in values in the Views, meant the bar chart was massively impacted by a handful of visualisations that either were made Tableau 'Viz of the Day' or had even more impressive numbers.

My radial bars when plotted looked like this:

I wasn't happy with that result.

Whilst it is not technically wrong and it shows the 'reach' that some visualisations had were far more than others, I didn't feel it went far enough in 'celebrating' EVERYONE's work. I wanted the final viz, that all the volunteers could look through and SEE their own work and efforts shown in the radial. So I quickly realised to get a better 'form' to the visualisation to provide what I was looking for I needed to make the Radial bars work in a LOG scale. Sadly though the Radial Bar chart is not an out-the-box chart type with an axis I can quickly alter through a tick box. So here I went again, back to Excel to adjust the Views and Followers normalised values to work on a Log Scale using the LOG function in Excel to adjust the values. This gave me a better range of bars, that allowed for the majority of the visualisations to be seen and interacted with.

The next calculation we needed to build the radial was Path.**Circle plots AND Reach elements ([T] = 0, 3, 4, 5, 8, 9 and 10) AND ([T] = 11 and =12)**

**Circular Sankey plots ([T] >=1 & <=2 and >=6 and <=7)**

## Comments

## Post a comment