#SWDchallenge : let’s try something new!


January 2019 SWDchallenge is all about going beyond our comfort zones – to make a visualization using a new tool. I make most of my visualizations using R, Excel or Tableau. For this challenge I decided to try Datawrapper.

I am a huge fan of blog posts on Datawrapper. I have never used Datawrapper before, so I signed up for a free account. I remade this chart that I had originally created back in September 2018 in Excel.

Original chart created in Excelback-to-back-bar

Datawrapper chart

How did I go?

Datawrapper is a very simple tool and it took me less than 30 minutes to create this chart. The interface is intuitive and I could get this chart looking almost like the original. Here are the features I liked the most about Datawrapper.

Easy to learn:It is very simple to learn and use. It took me less than 30 minutes to sign up and create this chart.

Multiple options to import data:  One can copy and paste the data, upload xls or csv file, import a google spreadsheet or link to an external dataset.

Range of useful chart types: The tool gas a range of chart types to choose from: tables, bars, dot plots, arrow plots, lines, area charts, pies and donuts.

Clean interface: Nice interface to edit colors, title, data source. The tool also provides different chart sizes to suit various devices.

Colorblind checkThe colorblind check feature is inbuilt and is very useful to see how the chart looks like for different color blindness. I appreciated this feature the most.

But there were some frustrations:

  1. It took me a bit of time to figure out how to get the number formatting to show percentages.
  2. I couldn’t figure out how to get back-to-back bars, then accidentally clicked on the option “Mirror bars” and it worked.
  3. The one thing I couldn’t do was vary the color saturation for the bars as I had done in Excel or add color emphasis to the title.

I think Datawrapper is very intuitive and can help create insightful visualizations in just a few minutes. I can see myself using it in the future again!

1 Comment

  1. Pingback: new year, new tools! - Beyond Group

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