Can You Improve this Graph?

One of the blogs I read regularly is Flowing Data, which discusses effective visualization techniques for making sense of data.  A recurring topic is a challenge to the readers: can you improve this graph? 

Japan Suicide Rates The most recent challenge at Flowing Data is a graph that attempts to demonstrate a correlation between suicide rates and unemployment levels in Japan. Nathan identifies some areas for improvement and links to the source data, which I've used to build a Tableau visualization. You can see my results in the attached image.

The first step I took was to transpose the row/column orientation of the Excel file, and then connect to it with Tableau. Both the "Unemployment Rate" and "Suicide Rate" have missing data points, which were fairly straightforward to resolve. In the former case, I converted "Unemployment Rate" to a numeric Measure instead of a textual Dimension, and then filtered the data to start at the year 1980. I created a simple line graph to show the unemployment rate against time, and used "Suicide Rate" to control the width of the line. To fill in the missing data points, I used a Table Calculation in Tableau to make a moving window for the suicide rate, averaging up to two data points within +/- 4 years.

I've attached a Tableau 4.0 Packaged Workbook for Beta users to explore. One week from today we release Tableau 4.0, and you will be able to download the free trial if you're interested in exploring Tableau Desktop!

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