Makeover Monday – Week 3, 2017:The 294 Accounts Donald Trump retweeted during the election

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Donald Trumps inauguration will be on 20 January 2017. Most people have an opinion on him becoming president of the United States. Myself included. But for this week’s Makeover Monday I shall put them aside as best as I can and focus on the data.

We’re looking at his social media game, more specifically at the 294 accounts he retweeted during the Election. The data for our makeover was posted on Github.

The original visualisation was posted in an article on Buzzfeed and looks like this:


What I like about it:

  • At first glance it is simple, with marks being aligned in rows and columns in descending order according to number of retweets
  • Each circle has a label with the Twitter handle and number of retweets

What I don’t like:

  • It is simply a static image, so I cannot get any more information out of it, e.g. what tweets did he retweet? When did the retweets happen? Were they simple retweets or did Trump add his own comments to them? Who do the accounts belong to, is there more information about them? What topics caused the most retweets?
  • Choosing circles as marks makes it difficult to compare the sizes of the individual accounts listed. A square or rectangle could work better or even a bar chart, because different lengths are much easier to compare than circular surface areas.
  • The article doesn’t actually provide any caption with the chart, so there is no explanation of what we’re looking at and the reader is left to guess.

What I did as a Makeover:

  • As our data is more current than that of the original article, I couldn’t get the numbers to align, which is something I usually start with to ensure I am looking at the same data as the original author. But never mind, there was plenty of interesting stuff in the dataset to analyse
  • So I looked at tweets, retweets and the content of the tweets published to Trump’s Twitter account.
  • I wanted to look at a specific time period, i.e. all tweets since 16 June 2015 when he announced his candidacy. So I filtered all my worksheets to the period from that date.
  • I also found it interesting to compare the sources where the tweets came from. A number of articles have written about the fact that his tweets seem to come from an Android device while other, more mellow tweets are written from an iPhone. This let me further narrow down the focus of my dashboard
  • what I ended up with is a short overview of some of his tweets with some high-level stats and a line chart that shows a decrease in Trump-authored tweets and an increase in tweets from his handler.
  • For colours I picked the dark red from Trump’s website to indicate tweets written by him and a lighter shade for his handler.
  • I also wanted to use the font from his website and create an image of the heading which I used in my dashboard. The font is Montserrat.
  • I also included – for the first time ever – a mobile design, which was quick and easy to create and is something I have been wanting to do for a long time. Better late than never 😉

(Click on the image for the interactive version)


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