The question is it easy to replicate the default settings of one charting software in another charting software bothered me for some time. Are the default settings more universal or less universal? Do different vendors have different attitudes towards what should be the default setting?
I chose to work with a line chart because different software interprets differently how to arrange multiple series in a bar chart – some tools stack them, some not. By adjusting this arrangement I would lose the defaultness, while without any corrections the charts would be less comparable. I made all charts squared, so they fit better in the grid.
Insights about the defaults:
All have horizontal gridlines, ggplot2 and Tableau have even vertical ones.
Only Google Data Studio and Tableau have highlighted the zero line, although Tableau highlight is barely noticeable.
Blue and red or orange are within the first three choices in every palette.
ggplot2 looks exceptional with its grey panel.
The default settings of Tableau make the least sense because they are configured for more charts with more legends. One chart with one legend looks a bit weird.
Grey squares at the top right of Google Data Studio charts are how the control buttons are rendered as an image.
Insights about the comparisons:
Of course, ggplot2 manages to replicate even the most complex cases. The biggest challenge was using Google font from Google Data Studio because the library”showtext” which seemingly allows achieving this does not work well with ggplot2.
Settings of ggplot2 itself were the most difficult to replicate.
Tableau was the only software that could not replicate the exact colours of lines, because a colour must be chosen from a predefined palette there.
It was quite annoying that Power BI and Google Data Studio could only export to PDF, however they are not meant to make pretty pictures after all.
Somehow square charts from Excel lost the squareness after saved as images.
Google Data Studio insisted on a black line indicating zero and refused to show vertical gridlines. Maybe I just don’t know this tool well enough or maybe these are the limits.
Adjusting the limits of the x-axis was always a challenge, the y-axis is often allowed for way more freedom.
Adjusting legends was always the most difficult part. Legend is what distinguishes one tool from another.
I believe this exercise is of little use, but it was fun to do it!
If you’re working in the financial department of a company or just dealing with financial data, you may be familiar with the Previous-Budget-Actual bar chart. It’s frequently used, occupying critical presentation and dashboard space, but sadly it lacks data density, contributing only three observations.
Managers rarely have time to thoroughly explore financial presentations, that is why you need to make as much information available as quickly as possible — an easily readable data-dense visualization serves this purpose well. In my pursuit to make denser bar charts, I found five techniques that I will share here:
The answer to whether economic opportunities cause society to diverge into “the rich” and “the poor” or to converge into a “strong middle class” remains unanswered, because only a slight negative trend is visible. If there is any effect of economic freedom on the distribution of income in a society, measurable by the GINI coefficient, then it is weak, and easily countered by various other effects.
What: GINI coefficient – the larger it is, the more equally is the income distributed, everyone having the same amount at 100, the smaller it is the more income is concentrated in hands of the few, only one person having all the wealth at 0. And Economic Freedom Index. When: The date of GINI is different for each country, the modal year being 2015. Economic Freedom Index is of 2017. Where: 138 countries of the world Source: WB for GINI and The Heritage Foundation for Economic Freedom Index.
Pardon me for asking the obvious. But if less democratic countries manage to maintain high levels of HDI, maybe less economically free countries manage to reach high levels of GDP per capita? The answer is no, the relationship is clear and exponential – free economy is best. That might surprise, but even the United Arab Emirates are economically free, they rank the 9th in the world by economic freedom.
What: Average GDP per capita in USD in a given Economic Freedom Index range. The red area represents the standard deviation – with higher Index values, the GDP becomes more volatile. When: I’d say the whole graph is 2018 because Economic Freedom Index represents previous years. Where: 175 countries of the world. Source: The Heritage Foundation and WB
There are few real communist regimes left around the world, and even those are not really communist. So, maybe democracy and economic freedom do not correlate well? Apparently, they do. Democracy and economic freedom go together!
What: Democracy Index and Economic Freedom Index When: 2018 for Democracy and 2019 for Economic Freedom Index, which covers years 2017-2018. Where: 162 countries of the world Source: EIU for Democracy Index and The Heritage Foundation for Economic Freedom Index
Since the freedom of religion has decreased since 2008, let’s see how beliefs themselves relate to freedom. Again, people living in the least religious countries are the freest, and those living in Islamic countries are the least free. There is a tiny nuance, that Christianity and “No religion” is the most common pair of significant beliefs in a country, so, they’re quite related. However, the second most common pair is Christianity and Islam.
What: Average Human Freedom Index by belief. It was calculated only for those countries where followers of a particular belief make more than 10% of the population and it was weighted by that percentage. Judaism and “Other beliefs” were excluded because they had only 1 country complying with such criteria. When: 2016 for Freedom 2020 for religion (it’s an estimate) because the latest actual data were of 2010. Where: 147 countries of the world. Source: Pew Research Center and The Human Freedom Index 2018: A Global Measurement of Personal, Civil, and Economic Freedom
The Human Freedom Index consists of many subindexes covering various areas of people’s personal and economic life. After seeing that the average Human Freedom index of the world has decreased I decided to check what subindexes decreased the most and what increased. So, the winner is the “Sound Money” index which means, that money are safe from inflation and people can have foreign currency accounts. The loser is the “Religion” index, which mean that people have less freedom to establish and operate a religious organization.
What: Human Freedom Index – differences between subindex averages in 2016 and 2008. When: 2008 and 2016 Where: 162 countries Source: The Human Freedom Index 2018: A Global Measurement of Personal, Civil, and Economic Freedom
P.S. I must agree, those patterns on bars are terrible.
That’s rather disappointing. We talk a lot about same-sex marriage, which is allowed in more and more countries, but the overall situation is becoming worse.
Sadly the latest data is not very fresh, it’s 2016.
P.S. The word “freeer” is amazing, it has three consecutive letters “e”. Too bad it is not in the dictionary.
What: Human Freedom Index – the difference between regional averages in 2016 and 2008. When: 2008 and 2016 Where: 162 countries grouped into regions Source: The Human Freedom Index 2018: A Global Measurement of Personal, Civil, and Economic Freedom
After comparing the happiness score and Human Freedom Index it could be said that probably yes. The correlation is 63%, so we might say that people in freer countries consider themselves happier.
What: Happiness score from World Happiness Report and Human Freedom Index When: 2016 for Freedom and 2017 for Happiness. Where: 147 countries of the world Source: WHR and The Human Freedom Index 2018: A Global Measurement of Personal, Civil, and Economic Freedom
There is such Human Freedom Index, covering a wide range of areas including freedom of religion, freedom of movement, freedom to trade and many more. After plotting this index against the Democracy Index I saw a super clear relationship: democracy and freedom go together!
What: Human Freedom Index and Democracy Index When: 2016 Where: 157 countries of the world Source: EIU for Democracy Index and Ian Vásquez and Tanja Porčnik, The Human Freedom Index 2018: A Global Measurement of Personal, Civil, and Economic Freedom (Washington: Cato Institute, Fraser Institute, and the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom, 2018).
Let’s say Human Development Index indicates this “betterness” of life, and the Democracy Index indicates how democratic a country is. Then it is visible, that only democraciest democracies show a positive trend. Countries below score of 6 lose that clear correlation, because some countries managed to provide good living conditions for their citizens without being democratic. Most of them have oil.
What: Human Development Index (HDI) and Democracy Index When: 2017 Where: 165 countries of the world Source: UNDP for HDI and EIU for Democracy Index
Is it Buddhism? IS IT BUDDHISM? Noooo. Buddhism makes people just slightly happier than other non-western beliefs. As we’ve seen before the influence of Human Development on this score is too significant, so a mere way of thinking does not overcome people’s general attitudes towards their life as strongly as material provisions do.
What: Average happiness score from World Happiness Report by belief. It was calculated only for those countries where followers of a particular belief make more than 10% of the population and it was weighted by that percentage. Judaism and “other beliefs” were excluded because they had only 1 country complying with such criteria. It was Israel for Judaism and Taiwan for “other beliefs”. I guess that “belief” was Taoism. When: 2019 for happiness, 2020 for religion (it’s an estimate) because the latest actual data were of 2010. Where: 155 countries of the world. Source: WHR and Pew Research Center
Religion has a strong influence on people’s attitudes towards their lives. Maybe being religious makes people happier? As seen from the graph it seems directly the opposite – the more religious the society the less happy they are!
The first three columns are transparent because there are less than 3 countries in their value range.
What: Percentage of the total population in a country affiliated with any religion, and happiness score from the World Happiness Report. Countries are grouped into bands of 10 percentage points by religiosity. When: 2019 for happiness, 2020 for religion (it’s an estimate) because the latest actual data were of 2010. Where: 155 countries of the world. Source: WHR and Pew Research Center
It seems like it’s the opposite. Maybe the less sun people have, the more they work to survive, the more developed they become and thus – more happy.
African countries have been made dim in this graph because they show less clear relationships – in the Sub-Saharan region, they all occupy the bottom part of the happiness chart, in the Middle East & North Africa, they occupy just a narrow band in the sunshine spectrum.
What: Happiness score from World Happiness Report and Yearly sunshine hours. Since it’s impossible to calculate sunshine hours for the whole country which might be as diverse as the USA with Florida and Alaska, a simple average of available cities was calculated. When: 2019 Where: Countries that have both statistics. Western & European countries include Europe, USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Source: WHR and W: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_cities_by_sunshine_duration