Bringing clarity out of an infographic, “Income Inequality in the US” from Mother Jones

A colleague shared this Mother Jones infographic, which attempts to explain the disparity in income between richer and poorer families in the US.   The data is indeed fascinating, but quite difficult to read in their flashy infographic.

There are two major issues that hinder understanding when viewing this infographic:

1) Using areas of circles to encode the incomes is very difficult for most people to interpret.   Additionally, with the difference in income being so large, it is nearly impossible to fit this on a normally sized web page.   The largest group, the yellow circle, is mostly cut off in their infographic.

2) The infographic is overloaded

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Create data-driven groups in Tableau with data blending (VLookup)

Similar to VLookup functionality in Excel, you can use a second data source to dynamically create a new group in a separate Tableau data source. Just follow along with this example to create one.

1. Open the Tableau included sample data source, Sample - Superstore Sales (Excel)

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2. Map Sales by State: CTRL-Click on State and then on Sales.   Click Show Me and select Symbol Maps.   A map will appear.

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3. Suppose you would like to label each state by region and/or filter by region.   If you already have a text file, Excel spreadsheet or database table with region data, you can use this for an Excel VLookup type of functionality.   The example

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