Recent work: English Federation of Disability Sport

As we start to have clients working with us at Disability Sports Data, one of our recent clients is the English Federation of Disability Sport. Since the EFDS have a research department, they were very keen to have us work on some visualisations using data that was already gathered in a Lifestyle Survey Report that was carried out.

One of the things I considered when I looked at the visualisations that the EFDS had generated were the fact that whilst it was laid out and easy to read, I found that there needed to be some work done to make those visualisations clearer and nicer to look at.

What I did was look at the report and see what data was available from the survey report that would make for the five visualisations I would supply to the EFDS. Once I had got the data, it was now down to wrangling the data from that report into individually laid out Excel spreadsheets.

Sketching the visualisations

Once I had wrangled all the data into individual spreadsheets, it was now down to sketching the data visualisation on paper. One of the reasons why I sketch the visualisation before using Tableau is because I want to get some idea of what each of the five visualisations looks like on paper so that if the design fails in Tableau, I can redraw the viz without having to completely rely on Tableau.

Some of the sketches you can see above have very different charts and its for a particular reason, I did not want to stick with five visualisations with the same chart. By having five visualisations with different ways of visualising the data I had gathered, it would allow me to make simpler, more engaging charts without relying on the trusty old bar chart.

Sketches done, now Tableau can work its magic

Once I had done each of the five sketches for my Tableau visualisations, I could finally start working on them in Tableau. Creating these vizzes was relatively straightforward in terms of the fact that I had already drawn the viz beforehand, which made the Tableau process easier to manage.

The five vizzes in Tableau did not take me very long to do as I knew what was the main story of each viz was. Once each viz was done, I had to make sure everything was formatted correctly, as well as taking colours into consideration as I wanted to make the vizzes as disability-friendly as possible.

The finished product

After two weeks of working on these five visualisations for the English Federation for Disability Sport, the finished project looks like this. It took two weeks to generate these visualisations, but I’m really pleased with the outcome.

The main focus with these visualisations was simplicity and making the visualisation easy to understand for my client so that it can be used straight away in the work that they do to make people with disabilities live more active lifestyles through sport.

If your disability sport charity, sports team or governing body needs a supply of data visualisations or dashboards, please email or the Editor Umar Hassan at and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

About Umar Hassan

21-year-old journalist, born and bred in Birmingham, who spends most of his weekends following motorsport.

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