#30DayChartChallenge Retrospective

On the 1st of April, I was twitting about Twitter and noticed some data visualizations in my feed with the hashtag #30DayChartChallenge. Instantly intrigued, I decided to participate without thinking about the bazillion things I already had going on in April. I was excited to expand my portfolio and to explore some datasets I had been collecting for later analysis and visualization.


In retrospect, I wish I had developed a strategy for creating 30 new charts in 30 days that involved a set amount of time I could spend on each viz (say, an hour or 90 minutes) and limitations on data finding, exploration, cleaning, and analysis. I did set two goals other than actually completing all 30 charts (which I did NOT do), though, and managed to accomplish both.

  1. Use a tool other than Tableau for at least one of the charts.
    • I used R/ggplot2/ggridges for one viz, Excel for one viz, and Flourish–a tool that was new to me–for another one.
  2. Make at least one chart type I had never made before.
    • I created several chart types I had never attempted. I felt free to explore and experiment, so I made a waterfall chart, a Voronoi treemap, a Ridgeline plot, and a sunburst chart!

On May 1, I tallied up my chart output and I had 18. Of course I made a chart about my charting.

Check out the interactive viz on Tableau Public.


I didn’t complete all 30 charts, partly because I obsessed over datasets for hours instead of just choosing a nice clean one and getting vizzy. I was thrilled that I remembered enough R to create the ridgeline plot below of the lifespan of various dog breeds by United Kennel Club (UKC) breed group. I used ggplot2, my favorite dataviz package for R, and ggridges, which was new to me.

Data visualization of dog lifespans by UKC breed groups

For Day 12: Distributions – Strips, I made a waterfall chart in Tableau for the first time (with some help from this fantastic tutorial from Ryan Sleeper).

Check out the interactive version on Tableau Public.

For the Tampa’s Palm Trees viz (Day 16: Relationships – Trees) below, I used a new tool (Flourish) to create a new chart type for me, a sunburst chart. Flourish proved very easy to use and has a built-in template for this chart type. (In Tableau, it would have involved a bunch of calculations. At some point I’ll tackle that challenge!) It was also very easy to embed the interactive version of the chart in WordPress.


While the topic of four of my vizzes was dogs (duh), I created three vizzes about COVID-19. (All are viewable on Tableau Public, here, too.)

For Day 7: Distributions – Physical, I looked at Florida’s administration of the COVID-19 vaccine.

For Day 23: Timeseries – Tiles, I explored the variants of the virus circulating in the U.S.

For Day 27: Uncertainties – Educational, I ended up creating this tile map showing the COVID-related school opening orders in effect in some U.S. states. I found a dataset from the State of Maryland with COVID outbreaks in schools, but after spending way too much time cleaning it, I abandoned that idea.

All told, I had a lot of fun and learned some new techniques and tools. I look forward to doing it again next year!

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