data viz 2021.10: Women in the Olympics

Author by Leah Shea

3 minutes
Tags: data visualization
data viz 2021.10: Women in the Olympics

#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 10: Women in the Olympics

Below is the original visualization. It depicts the trend of women participating in the Olympics (both summer and winter combined).

original viz

First, two questions: 

1) What works?

  • It's easy to read, with a simple trend line showing the percent of women participating in the Olympics over time (trended over years).

2) What doesn't?

  • It doesn't show any dimensionality to the data, for instance if there is a difference between winter versus summer Olympics, or if there is a difference between percent of women participating versus percent of women's events. 
  • The header is chopped off or is missing.

Updated Visualization

updated viz

Click here for the full interactive viz on Tableau Public.


  • Multi-quadrant analysis: how to build and why they are valuable.
    • Multiple quadrants help communicate several related sets of measures across different dimensions without the need for a filter. In this case, we have the rate of participation by women across two sets of dimensions: participants v. events, and summer v. winter.
    • This particular view is a set of four visualizations combined into one dashboard. There are efficiencies in creating this type of view - by creating one chart, you can then duplicate X times, keeping font and views consistent while altering colors and filters.
    • IMPORTANT: for multi-quadrant analyses to work most effectively and avoid bias, it is highly recommended that each related axis is set with the min and max values the same. For instance, with participants, the summer X-axis goes up to 5K, so we set the winter X-axis to 5K as well. This helps give each chart a relativity to the others.
  • Background colors. The ability to set a background color within the dashboard in Tableau is one of my favorite features. To accomplish the above chart, we set the background in each viz to transparent, and added the background color when we put it together in the dashboard view. This also helps you avoid reformatting if you want to re-use the same viz in another dashboard without the background color (or image). 


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