The Chart Gallery 12/6: An Interview with Sarah Bartlett

Posted by Maddie Hall on 12/6/19 1:30 PM

In collection, insights, Newsletter, The Chart Gallery, interview

Welcome to a special edition of The Chart Gallery! Every Friday we're highlighting members of the data viz community, their favorite projects and sources for inspiration. Today we're excited to introduce Tableau royalty...

Sarah Bartlett!



Q & A

What do you want us to know about you?

Hi! I'm a BI and Analytics consultant based in London. I have a background in economics and fell in love with data visualisation when I was introduced to Tableau around five years ago. I am a Tableau Ambassador, a co-leader of the London Tableau User Group and founder of the #IronQuest data visualisation project.

What makes you passionate about data viz?

I've always enjoyed working with data and building charts. However, prior to discovering Tableau I would never have dreamed about building data visualisations for fun. However, after completing a short Tableau training course at work I was impressed with what you could do in the tool so I decided to use it more in my spare time in an effort to improve my skills. I began building my data viz portfolio by participating in data viz projects such as #MakeoverMonday and building my portfolio of vizzes on Tableau Public. I think it's a really powerful skill to be able to take a daunting dataset and turn it into something insightful and beautiful that can be enjoyed by a wide audience and perhaps even used for social impact.

Sarah's Creations

European Cities on A Budget

I created this viz for the 2018 European Tableau Iron Viz feeder round. The theme for this round was ‘European Cities’ and in my hunt for a relevant dataset I found an interesting website which showed the cheapest 59 cities in Europe for backpackers. I had no knowledge of web scraping at the time so thankfully I was able to call upon my friend Lorna Eden to help pull the data from the website using Alteryx for me. I used Tableau to build the main viz, Mapbox for the custom maps and PowerPoint and Canva for the custom fonts and images. This viz was very fiddly to build since it has lots of floating elements and it took me many late nights over the course of about a week to put together. This viz means a lot to me as it got me into the European Iron Viz finals that year which was a fantastic experience.


Breaking Bag Habits



I built this viz for the 2019 European Tableau Iron Viz feeder round. The theme for this round was ‘Sustainability and Climate Change’. Once the theme was announced I knew I wanted to focus on plastic; specifically plastic bottles or bags. I struggled to find enough data on plastic bottles so I decided to concentrate on bags instead. In England, a 5p mandatory single-use plastic bag charge was introduced in 2015 so most people are familiar with the efforts led by the Government to reduce plastic bag use. Much of my time was spent researching for this piece and through my research I was able to acquire multiple interesting data sets which I incorporated into my final viz. 


Say What??


This viz was my entry into the ‘Music’ Iron Viz feeder in 2019. When the topic was announced I immediately knew that I wanted to focus on hip hop, one of my favourite music genres. During the research phase I ended up down many rabbit holes reading about the origins of hip hop in New York, the N.W.A. story or reading into rap lyrics! I was fortunate to find a dataset which counted the number of swear words in songs on popular hip hop albums and while controversial, I thought this would make for an interesting viz. However, the dataset was a few years old so I had to manually collect the data for the most recent years by reading song lyrics. I could have automated this step but doing it manually helped me to understand the words and their context better. In order to incorporate the Spotify button on the viz I used Python to pull data from the Spotify API. I had never used Python before so this was a great learning exercise for me. The build of this viz was actually completed in one (long) sitting as I raced to gather all of my findings into a viz before the deadline! 


Sarah's Favorite Visualizations on the Web

The Global Journey of Refugees by Hesham Eissa

I love the clean design and use of white space in this viz. Hesham built this viz for the most recent Tableau Iron Viz feeder this year and ended up coming first in the feeder round and went on to be crowned joint winner of the overall competition (alongside Joshua Smith). As a judge for that particular feeder, Hesham’s viz stood out from all of the other entries. It’s well-designed, draws upon some interesting insights and tells a powerful story about refugees coming to America. It’s worth noting that Hesham had only been using Tableau for around six months when he built this too!


The Firebird Suite: infernal dance by Dinushki De Livera
‘The Firebird’ is a Russian Folktale about a mythical bird and ‘The Infernal Dance’ is part of the Firebird Suite composed by Igor Stravinsky, originally for a ballet. In this viz, Dinushki intended to give music a new dimension and perspective by making it pleasing to the eye as much as it is to the ear. Through the animation of the viz, readers are able to watch the musical notes being played while listening to the music and seeing the instruments behind the sounds, helping to bring the story and composition to life. This viz is truly one of a kind and interestingly uses sound and animation; something which we rarely see in data viz. If you haven’t see it already, I strongly encourage you to watch the animated version!


Superstore Sales Insights by Jacob Olsufka
I’m a big fan of Jacob Olsufka’s work, in particular this viz. While this is a business dashboard, it is so well designed and includes many clever Tableau tricks. I particularly like the KPI display which does a great job of incorporating lots of information into a relatively small space. The design elements of this viz have inspired many dashboards I have built at work and it’s one I constantly refer back to.


Check out Sarah's Grafiti Collection!


That's all for today's edition of The Chart Gallery.

These charts and more are all available at Grafiti - the search engine for charts, graphs & data!

Email us at with any questions, feedback and especially more charts.
Have a great week!
- The Grafiti Team