By Jaxen Wood

Data Visualisation - Princess Diana Still As Popular As Ever


Data visualisation allows you to see trends and patterns in seconds, even in millions of rows of data.

The Red Fox Group’s Jaxen Wood has used Netflix’s hit series The Crown to show you how good visualisation can uncover instant insights.

In his latest blog, Jaxen puts together a Bar Chart Race to show that the biggest public interest story in the Royal Family over the past 12 months wasn’t Harry and Meghan’s royal split, Prince Andrew stepping back, Prince Charles contracting COVID or the Queen’s own historic COVID broadcast to the nation. It was Princess Diana’s appearance in The Crown.

23 years after her death, interest in Diana remains at a stunning high with her Wikipedia page viewed 4.5 million times during the end of November, the highest number of any member of the Royal Family in the past 2 years.


How Data Visualisation Instantly Uncovers Insights

At The Red Fox Group (TRFG) we spend a lot of time visualising other people’s data to help them solve problems or find new opportunities.

As part of that, there’s also an important decision of choosing the right way to display the data. Picking the right visalisation can allow you to see trends and patterns in a matter of seconds - even in many millions of rows of data!

Do we go with a bar chart or a column chart? A line chart or a scatter plot? A pie chart? A box and whisker plot?

Each one is going to have it strengths and weaknesses, and will be used in specific circumstances.

One method, which has seen increasing popularity across Twitter and Reddit lately is a Bar Chart Race visualisation.

Not only does it allow you to digest a great amount of information, across large timeframes, it looks pretty neat!

Bar chart visualisation is very useful when you want to see the change of items over time. For example, total phone sales by manufacturer over the last 10 years.

This type of visualisation allows you to track the impact of your products or campaigns, see what is or isn't working, or even understand public trends.


Example - The global impact of Netflix's The Crown. 

Most of us have either watched or heard about Netflix's The Crown. Its latest series received particular attention as it explored Princess Diana's early time in the Royal Family.

While audience numbers aren't readily available from Netflix, we analysed the Wikipedia pages of all the members of the British Royal Family over the past two years to see what sort of cut through the series was having.

Unsurprisingly Queen Elizabeth II has had the most viewed Royal Family Wikipedia page for the past two years, with roughly half a million people viewing her page each fortnight. Over the past two years there has only been 62 days when the Queen did not have the most viewers.

However during the recent release of The Crown it was Princess Diana who skyrocketed in popularity. In the last two weeks of November 2020 Diana's page was viewed over 4.5 million times, the highest number of any member of the Royal Family in the past two years. For context, a month earlier, only 200,000 people viewed Diana's page.

In fact, the release of Netflix's hit series saw a surge in interest for the entire Royal Family - over 25 million views of Royal Family pages were recorded in the second half of November 2020, a month earlier that number was just 2 million.

So, Netflix was responsible for a 1,000% increase in interest for the Royal Family, and a 2,000% increase in interest for Princess Diana!

To show just how much interest there continues to be in Princess Diana, her popularity during the release of The Crown was four times higher than interest in Meghan, Duchess of Sussex when she gave birth to son Archie.

Interestingly, Princess Anne also experiences an interest spike during the series. Her profile has had over 1 million views when the last two series of The Crown was released, where most other times of the year it often sits under 100,000 views per fortnight.

Check out the bar chart and work out for yourself why other members of the Royal Family have spiked in interest at times in the past two years!



As you can see, these visualisations definitely help condense millions of lines of spreadsheets into an easily understood chart.

While Bar Chart Race visualisations won’t be appropriate for every circumstance, they are yet another example that there’s a chart for everything, you just need to find the right one for the problem you’re trying to solve.


The Red Fox Group are experts at understanding, analysing and visualising data - get in touch if you want understand how data insights can help your organisation grow.