Welcome to Part Two of our beer-themed data visualization.
In Part One we found an inspiring data visualization that we wanted to make “our own” and we documented the steps to make that happen. It was so much fun we wanted to try it again with a different data visualization inspiration.
You can find the full Part One blog post here.
But what’s the point of a data makeover in the first place?
Glad you asked. Data can be a little tricky and, let’s face it, overwhelming if not used well in a presentation. Think stuffy, warm, room after lunch with 15 data-filled slides you can’t read or make sense of. It can also sink all of that careful presentation planning you’ve engaged in. We don’t want that.
What we do want is compelling data that supports your goal and engages your audience. Robin’s post Beginner’s Guide to Displaying Data breaks this process down step-by-step. Check it out. You won’t be sorry.
I possess a deep desire to display data differently (effectively) in my presentations, but fall down in the imagination department when it comes to figuring out what to do with it. My default bar for data is embarrassingly low.
How I fixed it
I once attended a presentation about innovation where the speaker said that our greatest innovation comes from being exposed to the work of others. “Read,” she said. “If you want to be innovative you’ve got to read.”
I thought I would apply this concept to data. So I found a bunch of data visualizations I liked and decided to remake them into a series of blog posts, using different data – all the while breaking down the process and sharing it with you. That way we can both be exposed to some new ideas and be a little more innovative when displaying our data.
The Beer-Themed Data Visualization was my first attempt at making data over.
A brief recap of the process we used for Beer, Part One:
1. Find an inspiring data visualization
2. Find a “fun” data set to work with. We agreed that:
3. Break the data down
4. Chose a color palette
5. Put it all together.
Pretty simple, really.
Our inspiration for this post – Beer, Part Deux – comes again from Huffington Post’s great data team:
“Thousands of Black Students Attend Schools Honoring Racist Leaders,” by Rebecca Klein, September 8, 2015
What I love about this data visualization:
It allows the reader to easily compare proportions between data sets. In this case we are comparing demographics of people who attended public schools named for Confederates with people who attended public schools.
You could use it to:
Compare the experience of people in different demographics such as race, gender, age.
We used data from the Brewers Association in Beer, Part One. For Beer, Part Deux we’re going back to the BA (if it ain’t broke don’t fix it) who published an article called, “Today’s Craft Beer Lovers: Millennials, Women, and Hispanics.” that compares the experiences of different demographics of beer lovers and will be perfect for this data visualization. Thank you, Brewers Association!
The goal of this blog post is to take the data from the Brewers Association and transform it using the data visualization format used by the Huffington Post data team.
The first Brewers Association data set we’re going to look at in this post compares the drinking patterns of several generations:
Let’s get started.
First, open your PowerPoint program to a new document and draw a square. If you need help with this step refer to our blog post titled, “How to Rock Your Icon Drawings,” which tells you everything you need to know about drawing in PowerPoint and Keynote.
Once you’ve drawn your square, format the size so it’s .5 inches by .5 inches.
The default size of PowerPoint slides are 10 inches by 7.5 inches. If your square is much bigger than .5 inches you won’t be able to fit all of the required elements onto one page.
Now copy and paste until you have 10 squares lined up next to each other. Each square represents 10%, so the 10 squares together is 100%.
Side note: I like to duplicate my slides as I move through my drawing so I can go back and copy something (instead of recreate it) if I need to. You’ll see this on the left side of my PowerPoint work space. Duplicating slides while drawing is good practice to get into and will save you time in the end.
Next, draw some dividing lines between the squares and add some text boxes to indicate the incremental percentages.
Then pick one color for your squares. It doesn’t matter what it is, you’ll be changing it pretty soon anyway.
Now we are going to manipulate the squares so they represent the percentages shown in the data set.
According to the Brewers Association data, Millennials comprise 29% of the population over 21. We need to show this visually, so we’ll reduce the size of the square representing 20-30% just a bit so the first three blue squares together cover 29% of the collective area.
Then we’ll give the square representing 30-40% a different color, and then stretch it so that it touches the nearest blue square.
Back to the data set. Gen Xers comprise 25% of the total population over 21. Since Gen X starts at 29% (where Millennials ended) the Gen X area (green) should extend to 54% (29% + 25% = 54%).
We’ll follow this pattern for Baby Boomers and Matures. Baby Boomers (35% of the population, purple) start at 54% and end at 89%. Matures (10% of the population, turquoise) start at 89% and end at 99%. When you’ve finished, your set of former “squares” will look like this:
Now remove the black dividing lines and center the percentages above their corresponding colored rectangles. Remember to copy your work. 🙂
When you’re finished it will look like this:
Now it’s time to go back to your duplicate slides, find the 10-square template you made, and copy and paste it under the population bar we just finished (I told you you’d need this stuff again).
We’ll apply the same process to this new template to represent weekly beer drinkers (Millennials: 41%; Gen Xers: 27%; Baby Boomers: 27%; Matures: 5%).
Copy and paste your master template again because we’re gonna repeat the process with the final batch of data which represents weekly craft beer drinkers (Millennials: 57%; Gen Xers: 24%; Baby Boomers: 17%; Matures: 2%).
When you’ve finished with the weekly craft beer drinkers data, stack your bars vertically, equidistant from each other.
If you look closely the rectangular data boxes in our Huff Post model data visualization have a touch of white space between them. In order to create similar white space in our beer data visualization we need to first group the collection of similarly colored squares and rectangles – and then we need to combine the shapes. The screenshot below shows this process for the blue squares in middle data set representing Millennial weekly beer drinkers (41%).
Once you’ve combined the elements comprising the similarly-colored rectangles you can add a white outline to each rectangles, giving a bit of separation to your rectangles. Feel free to jump back to the How to Rock Your Icon Drawings blog post if you need assistance with combining or outlining.
Now we’ll add some text on the left for the legend.
Next we’ll add some lines and percentages to give us a frame of reference. Remember that 10-square template? Time to copy it again. Paste it under your data viz in progress.
Now extend the lines corresponding to 20, 40, 60, 80, and 100%.
Delete the parts of the bottom 10-square template you aren’t using, standardize the length of the lines that correspond to 20, 40, 60, 80, and 100%, and make those lines a lighter shade…maybe a light grey.
Enter the color palette. We like to use color-hex or Color Brewer to help us select palettes, but instead of coming up with a new palette for this data viz I am going to stick with the beer inspired palette I found on the Colour Lover’s blog called, “Color Inspiration from Ales, Lagers, and Stouts: Beer!”
Now assign a color from your palette to each of the four categories: Millennials, Gen Xers, Baby Boomers, and Matures.
When you’ve done those things your data viz will look like this:
Now send your percentage lines (20, 40, 60, 80, 100) to the back using the “arrange” command – if you leave them where they are they will interfere with our labels.
Then add labels and a title.
Guess what? You’re finished.
Wanna try another one? It will be much easier, now that we have a template.
Let’s try this one:
Insert a new slide, go back to your 10-square template and copy it three times. Move through the steps we used in the generational data viz. Your percentages will look like this:
And your final data viz – which will seriously only take you a matter of minutes – will look like this:
Pretty cool, huh?
You now have a brand new template for comparing data sets visually, one that will resonate with your audience and support your presentation goals.
A huge thanks to the awesome work of the Huffington Post data team and the Brewers Association for making these posts possible.
Beer data is fun data.