Makeover Monday week 12, 2018: Pet Ownership in the UK

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Who doesn’t like cute animal pictures? A while ago I found the Pet Food Manufacturers Association’s Annual Report, which featured not only a bar chart to use for #MakeoverMonday but also a bunch of really adorable pictures of pets.

This week being my holiday, I picked a simple dataset because for very selfish reasons, I want to spend the day on my bicycle instead of in front of my screen. And in the last 5 days I only used my laptop to plan bike routes, look up restaurants and to do today’s Makeover Monday viz in about 30min. Definitely a ‘switch the brain off’ kinda holiday exactly to my liking (266km on the bike in the meantime also helped with the relaxation).

Anyway, enough about me, here’s this week’s viz to make over:

week 12 original.png


What works well:

  • A bar chart with easy to read labels that are descriptive
  • Icons that suit the subject and reinforce the category for each type of pet
  • Bars that are sorted in descending order by number of pets


What could be improved:

  • There are too many colors, i.e. more than necessary, because each type of pet has its own color. A higher-level grouping could be, for example, by birds, mammals, reptiles and fish, resulting in four colors
  • The title is pretty boring and could be more descriptive, especially when the viz is used as a standalone representation of the data without the context of the annual report


What I did:

  • I opted for a simple bar chart, which is what I had in mind right from the beginning
  • I removed all pets that were not mammals, because for me (!!) typical pets are those that live in the house and are soft and fluffy, except for horses: while they typically don’t live in houses, they are soft and fluffy and good for the soul, so they’re included too
  • A single chart with a title and subtitle, then back into holiday mode 😉


Pet Ownership.png

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