Makeover Monday, week 48 2017: The World as 100 people

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Can you believe it’s week 100 of Makeover Monday? How crazy is that? And how super cool at the same time!

So to celebrate this milestone, a few things are happening.

Firstly, I found a fun dataset with a very makeover-able viz about ‘the world as 100 people’

Secondly, at the completion of this week, i.e. next Monday ;-), Andy and I will be hosting a webinar with our friend Andy Cotgreave, Makeover Monday alumni and Tableau’s Technical Evangelist, to reflect on the past 100 weeks and to answer any questions you have (whether they relate to MM or not). Register here.

Thirdly, if you don’t want to wait that long, you can of course join us for Viz Review on Wednesday. This time at a more West Coast friendly time of 6pm GMT.

And fourthly, be sure to register for our webinar about dataviz and maps with our friends from Mapbox on Thursday. This is going to be very informative and just in time for datasets to come…


I haven’t personally done all 100 Makeover Monday challenges, but I have done each and every one this year. I’ll save my thoughts and reflections for the webinar.

For now, let’s look at this week’s Makeover Monday…

Here is the viz by Jack Hagely

The World as 100 People Infographic

What works well:

  • I find it visually very interesting, it draws my attention
  • I love the title in the middle and I understand what the topic is
  • The category labels are helpful to guide me around the viz
  • The colour coding through underlining of each subcategory is helpful
  • The numbers are included, so this works on print and doesn’t need interactivity
  • The data source is included


What could be improved:

  • A pie chart or donut chart should add to 100%. This one adds to 100% multiplied by various categories, which doesn’t make much sense. It’s not like I can add up ‘Internet’ and ‘College’ and ‘Nutrition’
  • The colours are not that great. Some categories include grey, others don’t. And there are too many colours. Do they have meaning? Some seem to, others don’t, e.g. no access to safe water is black, which indicates ‘bad’. Not having shelter is ‘red’, so that’s bad. Chinese language is red too, is that because it’s a good colour in China? Or random?
  • Does the grey relate to the category labels? No
  • The labels look a bit messy for ‘Language’ and ‘Religion’ because there are so many subcategories
  • The subcategories in each segment don’t seem to have a clear sort order. Sometimes the larger ‘chunk’ comes first, sometimes it doesn’t, no matter which direction you read the chart in
  • The categories are not ordered either, e.g. they could be sorted alphabetically from the top clockwise…?


What I did:

  • I was inspired by Charlie’s viz to focus only on specific categories after originally planning to show everything.
  • I decided to highlight the most fundamental needs: shelter, food and water.
  • Formatting took up the most time, the rest was pretty basic pie chart generation 🙂
  • Yes, you’ll hardly ever see pie charts from me, but when there are only two categories or parts to each pie, they can be very effective and I like the way they turned out
  • I also went #tooltipfree because I didn’t think they’re necessary. Everyone can see how big the remaining slice is



Some thoughts on this being week 100 for Makeover Monday…:

I can imagine that some people are surprised by the lack of complexity in my weekly Makeover Monday vizzes. Here’s much explanation:

I’d love to devote A LOT more time to deeper analysis and storytelling each week. As the co-host of Makeover Monday my main focus has shifted somewhat over the course of this year. Yes, MM gives me weekly practice with fresh topics and I enjoy flexing my creative muscles. In the beginning I felt the pressure to do something impressive every week, but I’ve chilled out a bit and for me it’s not even about the viz I make. It’s really about helping everyone else in whatever form is useful for them.

Am I some weirdly altruistic person? Maybe, maybe not. I simply enjoy seeing other people succeed and if I can help them along the way and speed up their process, then I’d love to do that.

I am at a point in my career where I’ve achieved quite a bit more than I thought I would even just a few years ago. I love what I do and I’m excited to go to work everyday. So the time has come to pay it forward. I don’t need to chase something, because I have set things in motion to ensure things will fall into place for me when the time is right.

I really like finding ways in which I can contribute to the community – be it through feedback on other people’s vizzes, hosting live events, webinars, attending User Groups, or simply dishing out some tough love via this blog and inspiring the odd reader along the way.

Creating a viz for Makeover Monday is part of the process, but for me it isn’t the main goal. That’s why my vizzes are basic and simple and hopefully effective more so than not. By not spending hours on them like I used to in the past, I have freed up time I can devote to the fun ideas on my whiteboard and to growing this project further.

Something I wanted to say :-).

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