We’re already four months into 2021 (where did the time go??) and this will be the fourth #IronQuest project of the year! Given that we only ran six projects for the whole of 2020, I’m excited to see how many we’re getting through this time around. Thank you to all of our committed participants. You inspire us every month with your incredible vizzes!

I’m particularly excited this month as we have another community project collaboration for you! For April, I’m excited to announce that we’ll be teaming up with the #DiversityinData project to visualise ‘Diversity in Entertainment’!

What is #DiversityinData?

#DiversityinData is a project that was launched in January 2021 by Eve Thomas and Autumn Battani.

It’s run as a monthly initiative centered around diversity, equity & awareness. Through the project, Eve and Autumn encourage participants to find stories in data and share them with the broader community, helping to increase visibility, knowledge, and literacy around diversity topics. These topics can be difficult to talk about so we hope that data visualisation can help to bring them to light and increase awareness.

Diversity in Entertainment

(Pictured Above) “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”was released in December 2020 and was co-produced by Denzel Washington. Actors Chadwick Boseman and Viola Davis garnered widespread critical acclaim for their appearances in the movie, with many critics describing Boseman’s final performance as the best of his career (Boseman sadly passed away before the movie was released). Both Boseman and Davis received Academy Award nominations for Best Actor and Best Actress, respectively.

Diversity within the entertainment industry has been a debate for many years. Diversity adds creativity, offers a new perspective, and can even improve empathy among audiences. Yet despite the benefits that it brings, it’s a well-known fact that movies and TV shows lack diversity. It’s also widely accepted that representation (and recognition) in the entertainment industry needs to be addressed.

Movies and TV shows are designed to entertain and bring stories to the screen that viewers can relate to. However, it can be hard to relate to a character when there are none that the viewer looks like or has a similar background to. A 2017 study of the top 100 films from 2007 to 2016 (excluding 2011) looked at how gender, race, ethnicity and other qualities were portrayed on screen. The study found that while 13 percent of the characters in the 900-movie sample appeared to be black (proportionate to American census numbers), only seven of the top 100 films in 2016 were helmed by a black character. In fact, twenty-five of the top 100 films in 2016 did not feature a single black character speaking on-screen and only thirty-four of the top 100 films depicted a female lead or co-lead.

The problems aren’t limited to the screen either. Recent studies have found that the publishing and music industries are struggling to meaningfully foster an environment where people of colour, women, and people who identify as non-binary or members of the LGBTQ community feel equal. For instance, a 2019 study found that 97 percent of music producers are male, while the majority of LGBT visibility in the mainstream music industry centres on cisgender white men.

The lack of diversity in entertainment is particularly striking during awards season. The hashtag #OscarsSoWhite became popular in 2015 after nominations for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences failed to include any people of colour in the top four acting categories. Meanwhile at the Grammy’s, Chance the Rapper is the only Black performer to win a Best New Artist award since 2012 and other top awards are rarely presented to black recording artists.

To help you find data and articles on the topic of diversity in entertainment, we’ve collected a few resources to get you started. This is by no means an extensive list but should give you some food for thought.

Below are some inspirational vizzes that focus on these topics too. Click on any of the viz images to view on Tableau Public.

Oscars Still So White by Luke Stanke & Spencer Baucke

Beychella by Zainab Ayodimeji

Top 200 LGBTQ Movies by Max Tham

Diversity in Film by Autumn Battani

Must Read Books by Black Authors by Adedamola Ladipo

Female Directors in the Film Industry by Max Tham

How to Enter

The process is simple:

  • Source your data and build a viz that somehow touches upon the chosen theme for the month.
  • Upload your viz to Tableau Public or somewhere where it can be openly viewed online.
  • Fill in the submissions forms (embedded at the bottom of this post) so we can keep track of who is participating. This step is essential if you want feedback or would like to be credited in the wrap-up blog post. 
  • If you opted in for feedback in step 3, the guest judges and I will provide some constructive feedback on your viz after the submission period closes.

Top Tips

  • You can use any data set which fits the theme (assuming you have permission to share it publicly).
  • Always remember to credit your data source/s on your viz.
  • Refrain from using any images or logos on your viz unless you have permission to do so.
  • Remember the Iron Viz judging criteria and try to focus on all three; Design, Storytelling and Analysis.
  • Think outside the box!

Meet the Co-Hosts

Since this month is a collaboration, I’ll be teaming up with the #DiversityinData leaders this month; Eve Thomas and Autumn Battani!

Eve Thomas


Tableau Public

Eve Thomas is a data visualization consultant with a background in teaching and HR. She is passionate about education and promoting equal opportunities. She loves creating visualizations that make data both fun and accessible to users of all ages. She is a Tableau Public Featured Author, 3 x VOTD winner and is an active community member.

Autumn Battani


Tableau Public

As a visualization specialist and masterful storyteller, Autumn has championed data analytics in the entertainment and media industries over the past four years. Coming from The Walt Disney Company, she brings a powerful background in research analytics, psychology, and Tableau Public. Autumn has a true knack for crafting remarkable dashboards and visualizations and was recently named a Tableau Featured Author in 2020.

Autumn prides herself on developing solutions that are truly user-friendly, interactive, and accessible to all levels of data literacy. In her role as a consultant at Tessellation, Autumn specializes in workflow efficiency, dashboard development, and Tableau Server deployment.

When is the submission deadline?

The deadline for submissions is midnight PST on Sunday, 9th May. Please use the submissions form below to submit your entry.

Feedback will be provided (to those who request it) via a conversation recorded and posted to YouTube between Eve, Autumn and I, shortly after the deadline date. On the submissions form you can specify if you require feedback focused on the Iron Viz scoring criteria (design, storytelling and analysis) or more general data viz feedback.

Please note, if we receive a large number of feedback requests (more than we can cover in two hours), we’ll initially prioritise those from Tableau beginners or those entering #IronQuest for the first time. Any remaining feedback will be shared with the authors directly via email.

Continue the conversation and connect with other participants by following the #IronQuest hashtag on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Thanks for reading and we look forward to seeing your entry!

Cover photo: HOMECOMING: A FILM BY BEYONCÉ (Courtesy of Parkwood Entertainment)

Submissions Form