With the recent controversy surrounding the botched lethal injection of Clayton Lockett, I was intrigued to explore just what is going on in the United States with executions. I found a great short-term time horizon (1977-2014) from the Death Penalty Information Center.
So what did I discover with Tableau?
- Total Executions peaked in 1999 with 98 Executions
- Texas is off the charts compared to other states in regards to total executions, all of which has been lethal injection
- Washington State is one of two remaining states where it is legal to execute someone by hanging. The last time it was used was 1994
- The Midwest is pretty tame compared to other geographic regions of the US when it comes to executions
What do you find intriguing from this data set in regards to execution trends in the United States?
What did I learn about Tableau with this viz?
The new skill I learned while producing this visualization was how to use custom images to represent the execution type and to pair the images with a sum of records for each execution type sized and colored by sum(number of records) for each. You could create separate sheets for each of these elements, and then painstakingly line them up in the dashboard, or you can combine them together in one sheet via a dual axis.
I added MIN(Number of Records) to the Rows Shelf twice to provide the two necessary rows to stack my images with counts below. On my first MIN(Number of Records), I then brought Method out to “Shape” on the marks card, and chose to use my custom images (which you can learn how to load into Tableau here.) for the shape.
On the second MIN(Number of Records), I brought SUM(Number of Records) out to 3 different Marks options: Color, Size, and Text.
From here, I performed a dual axis, and manually set the axis range of values to properly stack the images and the counts in the Dashboard view. Yes. The Dashboard view. In my case, when you are looking at the sheet, the amount of space between the images and the total sum of records appears very large, but when you flip to see what it looks like in the Dashboard, they are stacked nicely near each other. It definitely takes a little work to get them set right, but the value with this approach is that it will always keep the two appropriately sized relative to one another.
Do you have another use case of this? Or a way you’ve found easier to use to create the same effect? Let me know!