MM CW5 – Time for my first radial bar chart

The target of this week’s makeover is the following viz:


First thought, wow there is a lot going on. Where should I bring my attention to?

Which brings me to my next rubric:

What I dislike about the viz:

  • There is too much clutter. There are 5 layers of information. Company logo, company name, fortune rank, net income and profit per second. Company logo and company name are redundant – they convey the same information. The fortune rank and the net income are very small and get lost in the overall viz.
  • There are too many colors. The different colors represent the respective industries as dimensions. They are not used to make a point which, would, for example, highlight the highest profit per second. Using multiple colors for a dimension can be fine, but in this case, it just adds additional complexity.
  • The viz title is formulated as a question but the viz does not guide you to the answer. The big bar chart for Apple get lost in all the information and the immediate answer to the posed question remains uncertain.
  • The viz title only refers to one part of the viz. The title only mentions profit/second all the other information, given in the viz given as additional input, but do no help to answer the questions posed in the title.

My Makeover:

ProfitPerSecond (2)

The key message I want to convey:

  • Apple makes an unbelievable $1.444 profit per second and is the most profitable company in the world. Both of these findings are reflected in the title and the viz by the red color and size of the outer ring.

The design choices I made:

  • I chose a radial bar chart. Mostly, because I just watched a youtube tutorial the other day on how to do it. 🙂 I know that it has a little bit of a bad rep since bar carts would work in most cases just as good or even better because they make the comparison between the different bars easier. Radial bar charts often have distorted proportions and the ration comparison of the different rings are hard. For example, the second ring (JP Morgan Chase) of my viz should be about half of the size of the first ring (Apple). But is this really the case? This is difficult to grasp for the human eye. Even though the radial bar chart holds these downfalls, it is optical more appealing and more likely to grab the attention of the reader.
  • Reduction of colors. Again, I decided to reduce the color palette of the viz and stuck to only grey and red. I could have chosen to color the rings by the industry dimension, just as in the original viz, but I felt that I could convey this additional context just as good in the text box in the middle of the radial chart. Also, additional colors would have drawn away the attention from the most striking finding, namely that Apple makes the most profit/second.

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