B2VB challenge, making my Best Bar Chart

Posted by E. Mendoza. on Saturday, December 4, 2021

For so long I wanted to have an excuse for use Tableau, I’m a Power BI user (just for work), so this Back 2 Viz Basics challenge (#B2VB on Twitter) created by Eric Balash is that perfect excuse.

But I didn’t plan just to create one single bar chart for this week challenge, I have planned to make the same bar chart in 3 different ways, using: R + Adobe Illustrator, Highcharts and Tableau.

The #B2VB challenge used the Statista Thanksgiving & Holiday Survey 2016 data, where 1,199 individuals were surveyed in U.S. and for each food item, asked if it would be on their Thanksgiving dinner table or not.

R + Adobe Illustrator

These are my everyday tools, I start making the chart in R as much seemed as my initial sketches. When the chart is done, I save it as PDF and inmediatly imported on Adobe Illustrator. I usually change things like color palette, axis, fonts for titles and annotations, and sometimes I add images or granular effect for backgrounds.

What Americans wants on their Dinner Tables this Year? - B2VB challenge


In this case I used the R’s package Highcharter (created for dynamic graphics and based on Highcharts Javascript library and its modules). My challenge here was to replicate my previous chart made with R + Adobe illustrator with this library.

I didn’t need to add more dynamic elements to this simple bar chart and the same time I achieved to post it on web without losing image quality.


With a similar interactivity to the highcharts graphics but with this drag and drop interface, the bar chart was easy to make. I added the same background that I made for my R + Adobe Illustrator bar chart (I like granulate backgrounds 😃).

Thank you very much for reading this summary of the #B2VB challenge and, as always, you can write to me on Instagram or Twitter.

E. Mendoza

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