Makeover Monday – Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority Scorecard for 2016

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Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority on their website have published a scorecard that shows their performance on a number of metrics.

What I liked about this viz:

  • it’s not overly cluttered or busy. There’s a consistency in those donut/pie/gauge hybrid charts, which means the reader can comprehend them more easily once they have understood one of them
  • the breakdown into the three categories of Quality Service, Safety & Security and People & Assets is helpful
  • the colour legend is easy enough to understand and isn’t unnecessarily repeated for every section.
  • The large numbers inside of each circle are a nice addition and easy to read


What I didn’t like about this viz:

  • the charts are not easy to comprehend from a visual perception perspective. First there is the circular shape, then there is the fact that two circular bars (or stripes?) need to be compared: the target and the actual. Add to that the outline of each circle (what is that useful for?) and you have my brain working very hard to understand what is going on.
  • The overall result figures displayed inside of each circle would be more useful if it directly indicated whether the target was met or not.
  • The thumbs up/down icons look a bit silly. This information could be provided in a more professional way and could be combined with the key figures inside the circles, which could, for example, have appropriate font colours for target met vs target not met
  • The headings for each chart would benefit from being more descriptive, i.e. the definition of each metric could be included into the heading for simplicity and fast understanding


What I did:

  • There were a lot of metrics this week, so I decided to focus on 2016 data only
  • I liked the idea of showing data over time against the target
  • I added an icon for each topic to help the readers to understand quickly what they were looking at
  • I tried a new colour scheme. To be honest, I’m not that fond of the purple, but I needed to move on from the constant grey and pink or red or grey I’ve been using lately. Next week I’ll try a new one again 🙂
  • I wanted to keep the charts all the same but added a label to indicate where a metric was something other than a percentage result.
  • By adding the colour legend for the two scorecard sections into my heading I wanted to save space and introduce the distinction early on.
  • I used questions in my headings because I want to encourage the readers to think about what they’re looking at. Yes, this means the answer isn’t always immediately obvious, but it will hopefully mean the viewer starts to interact with the data…


click on the image to view on Tableau Public



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