20 Years of Bitter Sweet Symphonies – The Verve

As my last few visualisations were music-related, I could not help myself do another viz on the subject and it’s on a band I know for their seminal song “Bitter Sweet Symphony”, it is The Verve.

It’s been 20 years since Urban Hymns came out on Monday 29th September 1997, I thought it would be a good idea to put together a visualisation. As the data I wrangled was not as comprehensive as my past datasets, this was going to present some challenges that I had to think about when putting together my dashboard.

I had also to consider what was the ideal angle I wanted to tell within my story because working with such a small dataset can present as many problems compared with working on a large dataset. Urban Hymns was the main story angle I wanted to display with my viz so I sketched out a draft viz on my refill pad and I got to work on it.


When I produced my first iteration in Tableau, I knew from piecing together the viz, I was not happy with it. It lacked something that would make the viz from good to excellent which was something I wanted to show in displaying data about The Verve.

Immediately, I asked for feedback from the Tableau community on Twitter and Neil Richards pointed out:

“‘Much as I say to viz with data you’re passionate about, especially as you’re learning and practising, I’d also say to detach yourself from the subject when you’re reviewing your final output – is it interesting/engaging and does it tell you a story? Does it achieve what you wanted it to achieve (the “point” of the viz?)”

Graeme Wiggins also gave me some feedback about my viz and highlighted about combining the timelines together:

“You’ve got 3 different timelines in your viz, have you considered combining and have a single central timeline, think it would help pull all the viz together.”

From reading this feedback, it gave me some direction on the iterative process whilst working with what I had to generate my final viz. It also gave me some vital lessons to learn for creating future vizzes. Having a thorough examination of the viz can be beneficial to understanding if you have achieved your goals of what you wanted to do with the data you have to visualise it into a viz or dashboard.

The final viz itself is better than the original, but it’s given me an ideal platform to improve from for future vizzes. You can view this on Tableau Public by clicking the image below.

Verve 2nd iteration

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