Makeover Monday | Week 9 | 2019: The economic value of the UK bicycle industry

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For this week’s MakeoverMonday challenge, we look at data about bicycle imports to the UK from 2010 – 2016.

The original viz comes from a report by SQW and looks like this:

What works well:

  • Using a line chart for time series data
  • Showing quarterly data
  • Labels for each axis
  • Data source is included
  • Title is simple but sufficient

What could be improved:

  • There is a lot of non-data ink, e.g. the gridlines and all those unsightly vertical lines dividing up the quarters and years. This looks messy to me and could be simplified
  • The title of the chart, while being sufficient, isn’t particularly interesting. A comment about conclusions or insights would be a valuable addition
  • The chart should be taller, it looks squished

What I focused on:

  • This dataset is a great opportunity to visualize time in different ways.
  • To keep myself within a time limit, I opted for a cycle plot and a standard line chart, and also used a bar chart to visualize results over time
  • What stood out to me was the year 2016. While I couldn’t find definitive explanations online for why 2016 was such a ‘poor’ year for the bike industry in the UK, I still wanted to focus on that downturn

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