The question is it easy to replicate the default settings of one charting software in another charting software bothered me for some time. Are the default settings more universal or less universal? Do different vendors have different attitudes towards what should be the default setting?
I chose to work with a line chart because different software interprets differently how to arrange multiple series in a bar chart – some tools stack them, some not. By adjusting this arrangement I would lose the defaultness, while without any corrections the charts would be less comparable. I made all charts squared, so they fit better in the grid.
Insights about the defaults:
All have horizontal gridlines, ggplot2 and Tableau have even vertical ones.
Only Google Data Studio and Tableau have highlighted the zero line, although Tableau highlight is barely noticeable.
Blue and red or orange are within the first three choices in every palette.
ggplot2 looks exceptional with its grey panel.
The default settings of Tableau make the least sense because they are configured for more charts with more legends. One chart with one legend looks a bit weird.
Grey squares at the top right of Google Data Studio charts are how the control buttons are rendered as an image.
Insights about the comparisons:
Of course, ggplot2 manages to replicate even the most complex cases. The biggest challenge was using Google font from Google Data Studio because the library”showtext” which seemingly allows achieving this does not work well with ggplot2.
Settings of ggplot2 itself were the most difficult to replicate.
Tableau was the only software that could not replicate the exact colours of lines, because a colour must be chosen from a predefined palette there.
It was quite annoying that Power BI and Google Data Studio could only export to PDF, however they are not meant to make pretty pictures after all.
Somehow square charts from Excel lost the squareness after saved as images.
Google Data Studio insisted on a black line indicating zero and refused to show vertical gridlines. Maybe I just don’t know this tool well enough or maybe these are the limits.
Adjusting the limits of the x-axis was always a challenge, the y-axis is often allowed for way more freedom.
Adjusting legends was always the most difficult part. Legend is what distinguishes one tool from another.
I believe this exercise is of little use, but it was fun to do it!
There are 9 countries in the Arabian peninsula, some of them are considered rich while others suffer from poverty and never ending wars. If the Arabian peninsula were one country it would be the 11th largest economy in the world.
What: GDP in constant 2010 USD When: 2019 Where: All the countries in the world. “Others” were calculated by subtracting the shown countries from the total world GDP estimated by Worldbank. Countries of the Arabian peninsula are Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Iraq, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman, Bahrain, Jordan, Yemen. Source: Worldbank database
ASEAN is an economic union of Southeast Asian countries. From 1999 to 2019 it experienced considerable growth becoming the 5th largest economy in the world if we count the EU as one unit as well. Indonesia is the biggest country in the union, but all of them contribute to growth, most growing their GDP by more than 5% a year during 1999-2019 with the only exception being Brunei.
For comparison: the annual average growth in the EU was 1,6% a year and in China, it was 9,0% during the same period. The current composition of the EU was used for the calculations.
What: GDP in constant 2010 USD When: 1999-2019 Where: All the countries in the world. “Others” were calculated by subtracting the shown countries from the total world GDP estimated by Worldbank. Source: Worldbank database
Africa is made up of more than 50 countries, most of them are poor compared to the rest of the world. If Africa were one country it would be the 8th largest economy in the world.
This chart is made without any numbers intentionally, they’d distract from the message. The ranking of the countries in the donut chart is “Algeria first”.
What: GDP in constant 2010 USD When: 2019 Where: All the countries in the world. “Others” were calculated by subtracting the shown countries from the total world GDP estimated by Worldbank. Source: Worldbank database
I have divided the countries of the world into regions and checked which of them have the highest expected percentage of a healthy life. It’s Oceania followed by East Asia. It would be great to live in Fiji, Tonga or Samoa!
But behold how diverse are the African countries and how homogenous are those from Europe!
What: Healthy life expectancy (HALE) divided by total life expectancy at birth – I’d call it the expected percentage of life to be healthy. Those strange charts show distribution – the wider it is the more values are there. HALE is a form of health expectancy that applies disability weights to health states to compute the equivalent number of years of good health that a newborn can expect. When: 2015 Where: 183 countries and territories. Source: FAO
What: indicated on the charts. Healthy life expectancy (HALE) is used for calculations. HALE is a form of health expectancy that applies disability weights to health states to compute the equivalent number of years of good health that a newborn can expect. When: all charts are 2017, except the last one which is 2015 because this is the latest data for HALE. Where: 189 countries and territories of the world. Source: FAO.