Qlikview Economist ‘Parlimentary Split’ Chart Replication
I’ve been a subscriber to The Economist since my teenage years (That wasn’t in the 60’s or anything; I’m only 30) and one aspect that I’ve always been taken with is their usage of charts and here is a common example that they use for showing the make-up of national parliments:
Of course I doubt that much parlimentary analysis is carried out in Qlikview but this chart could just as easily be showing product splits for sales; in fact I think it could be easily utilized as a Pareto indicator to show the 80/20 barrier. I’m fully aware that this isn’t ‘Stephen Few Compliant’ but for me this style of chart opens up a whole can of dashboard worms in that whilst it doesn’t strictly adhere to all his principals it is actually all the better because Mr Few forgets one key thing with a dashboard; ENGAGEMENT. Simply put; if it looks bland and boring even with the best data to ink ratio no-ones going to sit up and take notice of the actual information as much as they otherwise might. This is a topic for another (much longer) post that I’ll create shortly.
So what’s driving the above replication; the table at the bottom is a simple straight table formatted to match the background, as for the ‘Split Chart’ its a Gauge (Mr Few is rolling his eyes already) with the axis set to run from 0 to the count of MPs and then the Lower Bound Segments set to the relevant counts of the parties MPs.
I’ll post an example file to GoogleDocs as soon as I get to a PC that can access it.
The rest is simply formatting to replicate the appearance and colour scheme; I’m not a fan of The Economists use of often confusing colour schemes but I’m replicating so I’ve run with it. This information could also be displayed in a Stacked Bar Chart but again; I’m going for replication with this post.
This is an example of somewhere I’m starting to look to push Qlikview into; the Interactive Info-Graphic space and I’ll be posting more examples of Qlikview Charts that push and emphasize key data in engaging ways in the future. But I think more than that it also demonstrates that with a little knowledge and patience almost any chart style can be copied; you just have to care and devote time to it.
I’ve used some tools to help me create this that may be of use;
1. The Economist ‘Daily Chart’ RSS Feed: http://www.economist.com/blogs/graphicdetail/index.xml (I have it integrated into my Google Reader account which in turn I view via Flipboard for iPhone; result: great charts 24/7.
2. To quickly and easily match the rgb colours of the original chart I used the awesome (and free) Color Pic 4.1: http://www.iconico.com/colorpic/ – just like the ‘dropper’ in Photoshop but can pick from any window.
As a final note; The Economist is part of the family; they use Qlikview.
Hope you find it useful,