Dabbling in Tableau – deprivation and destiny

My new hobby is to make data visualisations in tableau. Unfortunately, I don’t think it’s possible to embed the visualisation in a wordpress.com blog much to my chagrin. It’s interactive so the static screenshot above doesn’t do it justice. You’ll have to follow the link below to have a play.

Click me

I’ve deliberately chosen a visualisation I know is going to tell us something interesting. There is an inverse correlation between poverty and academic achievement such that as poverty increases academic achievement decreases (as you might expect). However, there is a well-documented phenomenon known as the London effect whereby disadvantaged students in London (but also other big cities such as Birmingham), are able to buck this trend. Deprivation need not be destiny which is excellent news for social mobility.

I’m not the first to note this trend, but I hope that my visualisation adds a bit to the picture. The data is at the local authority level and I have grouped local authorities into regions. If you click on the top right dot (Tower Hamlets) it will highlight all those local authorities in the inner London region. Tower Hamlets is the poorest area but performs well above the national average. The green dots that represent inner London cluster in the top right, indicating that they are relatively poor, but perform above trend for GCSE attainment. Now, I’m very aware that I just gave a lot of explanation to what is supposed to be a standalone visualisation. I’ll be making many more over the coming months.

For fun, here is the excel graph I made using the same data. I had to manually look up the x and y to colour the dots. Tableau is very powerful and far superior to excel for this type of thing.


Technical bit

After some user testing I realised that putting too much information on the axis was a bit distracting.

  • The deprivation measure I used was IDACI (Income deprivation affecting children index). Another popular one to use is the proportion of children on free school meals.
  • The attainment measure I used was GCSE 5 A*-C (including Maths and English) in 2014-15 for state funded schools.
  • The analysis was done at the local authority level.

Here is one take on the reasons behind the London effect.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s