There are few things I’m super proud of this week, even though I’m heading into the new week at a 12% battery level. Back in May, I had the idea to visualize how many cigarettes they smoke in Wild at Heart because I felt it’s like almost every minute. I know I sound like a broken record: most of my vizzes are about David Lynch this year, but that’s the only thing I can hang on to. When I have this little time to side hustles, I have to grab the topics that interest me the most – however niche they are. Wild at Heart is David Lynch’s Dirty Dancing – I don’t know if I can get bored watching this film. It just fills my heart to the fullest.
But what I’m most proud of is that I managed to figure out the math behind the chart all by myself! If this viz was a book, I’d dedicate it to István Korompai, who always had my back before. However, this post is not gonna be a chart-building tutorial. YET! In this piece, I’ll concentrate on the design part and my next post will cover the technical details. If you want to figure it out yourself, I made the workbook downloadable on Tableau Public.
Below are a couple of pictures about the final viz – click for the high res version. Read along if you’re interested in how the design came together.
Why this viz simmered for 4 months?
When this idea popped into my mind, I knew how great this could be and wanted to do it justice. Unfortunately, I’m bad at math. I can do almost everything in Illustrator, but when it comes to drawing charts in Tableau, there are 3 ways for me to go:
- Reading tutorials
- Asking Pisti (mentioned above) for help
- When there are no tutorials, and my face is burning from shame to ask Pisti again: I forget it
Remember when I had this tweet months ago? It was for this idea.
Okay, you can tell me this is not what I ended up with, and you’re totally right. It’s because I realized a circular Gantt chart is a great starting point but not a goal. So this time I did something I’ve never done before… I sweated the calcs out. I proudly present this ONE chart I made solely in Tableau.
The inspiration for the shapes came from a random googling this morning. Here’s the original picture I came across and all the shapes I generated (and ended up not using) next to it.
After getting all this done and pasting them to my Tableau repository, the only thing left was to add the background. I went for an elegant font called Dancing Script from Google Fonts and a minimal design that lets the chart stand out.
If you’re interested in how to build a multi-level (but not hierarchical) circular chart, tune in for the next post. I have no clue if anyone came up with a name for it already, but I’ll make sure I name this something cool.