Cause of Death data visualization

Charts & Graphs, Lab Reports, Visualization
Final Output in Tableau

When you click anywhere on the world map, It will operate all the death rates based on the cause.
A line graph will show the cause of death in any country based on the timeline between 1990 and 2017.
Another graph, which in the lower right side, displays the cause of death in 2017 by five groups of each age.


I coincidentally got a chance to see a graph of Cause of Deaths in Our World in Data, the information and graphs are really attract me for many reasons. We might all know somehow that a life expectancy has been rising globally. It is also true that improved healthcare and treatments have also increased the number of years, on average. But still, people’s death is caused by (at least, related to) their health condition, the injury was not a prominant cause of death. I found some interesting facts that a certain region has a certain major disease in a certain age group.


1.Data Collection(The data doesn’t need to Cleanup)

Tools: 1990-2017 World Cause of Data in GHDx

Our World in Data has a direct link to Global Health Data Exchange(GHDx) which has a lot of sorting options so that cleaning up the data wasn’t necessary at all. A tutorial book of GHDx is also easy to navigate on the sorting option. There are nine of the sorting options which are Base, Location, Year, Context, Age, Metric, Measure, Sex, and Leading Cause. When you click on a dropdown icon, for example, you can see Cause, Risk, Etiology, Impairment, SEV, HALE, Life Expectancy, Sequela Aggregate, Injury, Population, Fertility, Health-related SDGs, Life Tables. I only select the cause to find out Cause of Death, but if I want to find other factors relate to Death I can include other contexts as well.

GHDx, produced by University of Washington, is especially great resources for health and population.

2. Pre-Design Research

Tools: A Tutorial in YouTube, An Article in Blog

After finding my dataset, I researched how to make a geographical map with great use. I have a couple of questions that which country has higher death rates in what diseases, or which country has more death rates in a certain disease. To answer these questions I needed to make a map along the dataset. When searching the google image, I found a tutorial which makes a stylish map and a blog including an image that tells at least three factors in a page which looks like reader-friendly to me. From the tutorial, I learned how to make a pie chart on a map and how to edit texts and colors. A blog also had taught me how to put data within a page to make a dataset more powerful.

A tutorial for making different types of graph, a pie chart and map along one graph. -Video-
When you click any spot of states in U.S., it will generate all the details from last of graphs. -Blog-

3. Visualization Creation

Tools: Tableau Public

With dataset and a benchmarking resource, I created a map related to the total number of deaths by cause in World. I maintained the consistency of using three colors to point the major parts of diseases – Communicable, maternal, neonatal, and nutritional diseases; Non-communicable diseases; and Injuries. I also made a table with interesting objects refer to the age group and the leading causes.

People mostly died because of diseases related to Cancers, Cardiovascular diseases, and Digestive Diseases.


To answer the questions – which country has higher death rates in what diseases, or which country has more death rates in a certain disease – here’re the findings.

  1. The most prominent disease in the world is cancers, cardiovascular diseases, or chronic respiratory diseases and they still gradually climbed. The color of the area graph represents each category of diseases. The red color refers to a communicable and nutritional disease, and yellow and blue indicate Injury and Non-communicable disease.
Between 1990 to 2017, people’s death has been gradually higher than before.

2. There are four prominent regions which have higher death rates in the world – China > India > the United States > Russian Federation. It also contains the major leading cause of deaths, Non-communicable diseases is the most dominant cause of death in the world through a pie chart. Except for Africa region where the major deaths come from the Communicable, maternal, neonatal, and nutritional disease. Color represents the rates of death in each country that darker color means the country has a higher rate of death.

World Map by Death Rates, 2017

3. Every age group has its own major disease which mostly has been effected to elderly people. Some diseases are fatal to young age like under five years old, such as Injury or Tuberculosis. But most diseases come from over 70 years old people’s deaths, It seems that even we have been with a good education, welfare, and hospitals, we still died in some cause of diseases.

The final output putting in a dashboard

I combined three graphs together using the map as a filter function. -See more-


One thing I had confronted with difficulty is learning the Tableau Public. Since I needed to deal with different dimensions and sorting options in Tableau, I had recreated the dataset for many times to create good enough graphs.

You can see a graph down here that I had made. I made the world map first, and then combine with a pie chart which refers to the cause of deaths. I put many efforts into making these happen, but then, I realized the graphs wasn’t efficient at all – It was so narrowed and complicated.

The graph didn’t seem to corporate well to each other.
After I created a dashboard combining all together, It turned out worst disaster ever.

For further improvement, I’d like to join the dataset of world income. I will replace with the lower left graph to a graph of the income rate. It will show the reason why a country has a higher rate of death. Thanks for the class reflection time with my classmate Edra, I got much of inspiration on the dashboard about the cause of death. That time, I might get more precise insights from the reason of the cause of deaths.