This data visualization shows how gold and oil prices have changed over the years. The first chart which is an Area graph shows gold price trend and the second chart which is again an Area graph shows the trend for oil price. There are indicators (annotations) on these graphs to show the major events happened around the world and how the prices of these commodities reacted to those events.

The line graph at the bottom of the viz shows the gold to oil ratio and how it has changed all these years. According to the data, on an average one ounce of gold bought 16.37 barrels of oil. If the ratio is greater than this value, then it means the oil was cheaper than gold. If the ratio is lesser than the average, then it means gold was cheaper than the oil compared to overall average.

Gold vs Oil

Gold and oil are considered to be some of the safest investments (are they still?). Over the years they have proved to be stable investment options, though there were spikes in the recent years. The gold prices went high during the recession in 2008 as people felt gold is a safer investment option during that period. Later it continued to grow as the demand increased. The oil prices shoot up in mid-2008 due to high demand and low production but fell drastically soon due to global financial crises. Although the prices recovered in the next few years, it started falling down since the year 2014 due to increase in production and recent technological advancements.

What did I learn?

While I was looking at other visualizations created by the Tableau community people, I came across this awesome technique of creating a beautiful dual-axis chart. It is a line graph and an area graph merged together. Both the graphs have complementing colors and the area graph is somewhat transparent. It looks like the edges of the Area graph is highlighted. Looks very cool. To learn how to create this chart, read point 3 in this link.

The information is always more than what is present in the dataset. The data contained the price values of gold and oil over the years and the visualization clearly showed spikes here and there. I decided to explore the reason behind this. I borrowed some information from websites like Wikipedia and used annotations in my viz to show them. Annotations are a great way to tell more about a mark or a point or an area in your visualization.

The data source for this visualization is and this was the dataset for Makeover Monday week 15. The events are taken from Wikipedia.

Disclaimer: The numbers just represent the historical data of gold and oil prices, and the associated events are based on opinions. This visualization doesn’t encourage buying any particular stocks and is not meant to be a reference for any kind of investment strategy.

Thanks for reading!

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Last modified: November 15, 2017

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