Visualizing European healthcare using Tableau

Ruthger Righart

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Healthcare may differ substantially between European countries. Given the wealth of information available on the web, I was curious to investigate if there is a relation between healthcare expenditure in a country on the one hand, and the quality of healthcare on the other hand.

In this context quality of healthcare is defined as consumer friendliness. Further details follow below.

Rather than presenting a solid statistical claim that there is a relationship or not, in the current blog I’d like to focus on data visualization, with the primary goal of gaining insight. Tableau seems a great tool for doing that.


Visualization software

Tableau Public 10.2 was used. Tableau has a licensed and a public version. The public version is free but one can only save data on the public server. Tableau is Graphic User Interface (GUI). Amongst others, a very nice feature of Tableau is the possibility of creating dashboards, assembling different plots, graphics and visualizations in one figure.

Data sources

The data that I used for the present purpose:

If for countries only data for one source were available, the data were left out.

There was a mismatch between England and Scotland being used as indicator in one source and Great Britain in the other source. For these reasons, these countries were removed from the analyses.


The main analyses concern the relation between expenditure and quality of healthcare.

Expenditure estimates the total budget in Euros that was spent per capita in each country.

Quality of healthcare is in this context a measure of consumer friendliness. It is a score that is based on (1) patient rights and information, (2) accessibility (waiting time for treatment), (3) outcomes, (4) range and reach of services, (5) prevention, and (6) pharmaceuticals.


The Tableau dashboard shows the following key results:

On a mobile device only the scatterplot is displayed for reasons of screen size.

Short description of Tableau GUI

Underneath follows a description of the steps to reproduce the visualizations. The data can be retrieved from the given references, and should contain a column for country, score, and expenditure.

Geographic mapping

Horizontal barplot



Closing words

The relation between healthcare expenditure and quality (i.e., consumer friendliness) seems quite convincing. Tableau has a multitude of effective plots, graphs and other visualizations, that can be used to assemble a Dashboard. It can produce influential visualizations in a relatively short timespan.


  1. Healthcare quality, consumer friendliness:
  2. Healthcare expenditure:
  3. Population:


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