data viz 2021.7: Valentine's Day Perceptions

Author by Leah Shea

4 minutes
Tags: data visualization
data viz 2021.7: Valentine's Day Perceptions

#MakeoverMonday is a weekly data visualization exercise led by Eva Murray and Andy Kriebel. They post a data set and original viz - and we improve upon it! To participate or for more information, visit the Makeover Monday website


2021 week 7: Valentine's Day Perceptions

Below is the original visualization. It depicts the differences in perception of Valentine's Day between men and women (based on a small UK-based survey).

original viz

First, two questions: 

1) What works?

  • It's a straightforward data set that's easily understood with a bar chart.
  • This viz is fairly easy to read and is segmented between men and women across the "point" dimension.
  • The "point" dimension is sorted in descending order by total value (percentage).

2) What doesn't?

  • The "heart with two people kissing" image heavily distracts from the data and key message.
  • It's not a particularly interesting graphical representation, and the main point doesn't jump off the page.


Updated Visualization

updated viz

Click here for the full interactive viz on Tableau Public.


  • Unit charts: how to build and why they are valuable.
    • A unit chart is effective at communicating quantities of things by making symbols in the chart proportional to its quantity. In Tableau, you can build a unit chart several different ways by assigning an incremental index that allows you to apply shapes and/or color to represent segments. In this instance, being able to apply a "person" icon that represents increments of 5% allows us to better visualize the proportional differences in response. It's also a bit more visually interesting than a simple bar chart.
    • As with most things in Tableau, there are several ways to accomplish building a unit chart with this data set. I opted for data densification technique, as illustrated by the following two resources.
    • Helpful resources:

  • Don't forget about adding custom shapes to Tableau! Super easy and over time you can end up with a really diverse iconography.


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