Makeover Monday: Arms trading

Another #makeovermonday this time we look at arms trading across the globe.

Here’s the original, click the image to read the article.


The visualisation in itself is appealing and I like the call-out on the circles for each country. But the lack of interactivity makes it harder to explore the data further. Overall I like it, it has merit and it tells a story.

I was short on time and I forgot to take screen shots of my various iterations, but I tried to create a trellis charts similar to last week’s and that wasn’t telling a good story, I also thought of using directional lollipops – see here But nothing was quite working until I remember a post I read back in December on quadrant analysis.

Chris Luv from the Information Lab had done it and he also created a video with step by step instructions on how to put it all together. – See here

I used a number of Chris’s tips and this was my end result, click for interactive version

Arms Trading

I love how clean it came out and the interactivity takes it a step further from the original in my opinion.

Let me know what you think, and as always please check the other entries on twitter. More than 150 people already took part in this community initiative which is amazing. If you have never took part please do so. You don’t need to use Tableau, use whatever tool you feel most confortable using, excel is fine too.

Until next week, thank you for reading.



2 thoughts on “Makeover Monday: Arms trading

  • Do you need the size on the bubbles? I don’t understand what the represents. The quadrants tell the story really well so the size distracts a bit for me. Also, is this all years?

    • The size of the bubbles represent the value of import or export. You’re right they are probably redundant but I wonder if your eye would be drawn to the bottom if all bubbles were the same size? The years are 2011-2015 as per title.

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