US Turkey Production - 1984 to 2017

Week 38 Viz

Posted by David Velleca on November 23, 2018

Data Viz Approach and Data Storytelling

This week's dataset was pretty simple, but there were loads of insights that could have been uncovered in the data. I immediately noticed that while there was a bit of variation in the number of turkeys produced each year, fluctuating both up and down year on year, the pounds produced increased in most years. I had initially thought about looking at the price per pound over time, but the change in turkey weight was much more interesting. With a simple calculated field, I was able to determine the average turkey production weight by year.

From the viz point of view, I thought about using a lollipop chart to with the height of the bar and size of the turkey indicating the average weight, but was not happy with the layout when showing all years. Instead, to make the most out of the real estate, I decided to use Ken Flerlage's curvy timeline. However, I wanted to modify the timeline to keep the years ordered left to right for each decade. To accomplish this, I shaped my data a bit differently than Ken suggests in his curvy timeline tutorial. Additionally, I created some calculated fields to drive both the size and color of the line, so that I could give each part of the timeline a ot of depth.

I polished it off with some viz in tooltips to show the number of turkeys and pounds produced for the selected year. Additionally, I threw in year and delta labels to help the user see the change in weight versus the prior year. Overall, this was a really fun viz to build, with some slightly disturbing data to support it.

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving. If you've got the day off, or need to take a break from shopping, I'd love to see what you can come up with! Download the data and see what you can do. Create your viz and post your work to Tableau Public and Twitter with the hashtag #ThrowbackDataThursday, tagging @TThrowbackThurs. We'd really love to see what you can come up with!

Data Source

This week's dataset comes from the USDA Economic Research Service. Please be sure to cite the source on your viz.