Makeover Monday | Week 26 | 2019: Alcohol consumption by country

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Alcohol seems to be involved in every major celebration but equally in a typical Friday afternoon and for #MakeoverMonday in this week we’ll look at alcohol consumption.

Here is the original viz:

What works well:

  • A simple bar chart, sorted in descending order from highest to lowest, listing the top 25 countries.
  • Minimal use of color.
  • Straight-forward title.
  • Useful label of the y-axis

What could be improved:

  • A horizontal bar chart would make the country labels much easier to read.
  • The description of the metric being used would make for a good subtitle to make it clearer how the countries are being compared.
  • The spacing between the bars is too wide.
  • The y-axis is truncated. That’s a big no-no as it makes it look as if Belarus has about 3x the consumption of Poland, but the actual values are 17.5 versus 12.5

What I did:

  • Having all countries’ consumption measured in pure alcohol is great for comparison purposes but I don’t think pure alcohol is meaningful to the majority of the population.
  • I chose to convert the alcohol consumption metric from the original into standard units of alcohol per day to make the numbers more relatable.
  • Swapped the view into a horizontal bar chart for easier reading.
  • Added a short description in the subtitle.

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