May 19, 2015
May 18, 2015
Quick makeover this week (we have a Segway tour of Boston at #Inspire15 in 30 minutes). I saw this graphic on the LA Times about the amount of water it takes to produce a single ounce of food.
It’s cute and it’s interactive, but it’s not very good for making comparisons or ranking. Bubble plots are notoriously difficult this way. For example, tell me quickly which food uses the 3rd most water? Tough to tell, right? I also don’t understand why they grouped fruits and vegetables together.
I manually recreated the data in Excel, which you can download here. Hopefully I recorded everything correctly; if not, please let me know. I then quickly built a chart in Tableau. I’ve addressed the issues that bubbles present, ranking and comparison, by using a bar chart instead.
Going back to the previous question, using my viz, which food uses the 3rd most water? Simple right? How about the 10th most vegetable? That’s simple too; all you need to do is click the color on the right.
May 13, 2015
The first example is very basic; I did this intentionally so that the steps would be super easy to follow. The second example is only moderately more complex; it looks at Tableau's SEC financial filings from 2011-2014.
May 11, 2015
They go on to do an analysis, but never really address the story the data is telling in this table. Clearly what this table is screaming out for is to show the difference between the two populations. I’ve been on a bit of a slope graph kick lately, so that’s what I’m using again this week. Why? Because I find slope graphs to be an excellent way to show variances between two data points. Click on the image below for the interactive version.
The slope graph clearly makes the differences stand out. One can easily see that there are fewer Protestants and Catholics in prison, and at the same time see that there are way more Muslims in prison. I then like to supplement the slope graph with a bar chart that shows only the differences.
There’s no clear evidence available as to why this is, but representing the data this way leads to more questions and more discussion. Any time you design a viz and it continues the conversation, you’ve probably done something right.
May 4, 2015
My biggest problem with this viz is that I have to turn my head sideways to read it. In addition:
- The length of the bars isn’t accurate. How can +4.5 be longer than -5.0?
- The bars are in reverse order - the biggest overachievers (Dallas) should be first.
- I have to do the math in my head to get to their predicted wins.
My first thought was to see what this viz looked like it I rotated it counter clockwise.
That definitely makes it more readable, but the story still doesn’t stand out. What the data is screaming for is to show the change and emphasize the winners and losers. To this end, along with accounting for the observations above, I created this interactive version in Tableau. Click on the image below to activate the interaction.
May 2, 2015
April 27, 2015
The global talent pool has never been larger, will grow to 2030, read http://t.co/aA9AyLEXta (pdf) #education #stats pic.twitter.com/aiIiTDbZt9These pie charts are part of a larger study conducted by OECD, which you can read here. Some thoughts about these pie charts:
— OECD (@OECD) April 24, 2015
- The author is trying to show the change from 2013 to 2030. Using two pie charts makes this more difficult than necessary. At least, though, they kept the countries in the same order.
- The pies do not add up to 100%, I assume due to rounding. The 2013 pie adds up to 101% and the 2030 pie adds up to 102%.
- The focus is on the top 20 countries, so the “Other” category isn’t needed.
- The labels on the pies include both the country name and the value. A table would be better than this. Adding all of these labels makes the chart way too busy.
- There are two key metrics in the data: share of degrees and the number of degrees. The pie chart doesn’t provide enough context for understanding where the number of degrees will be coming from.
Given all of the above, I decided to create a slope graph.
- I included a parameter which allows you to select the metric.
- This option, along with using a slope graph, really helps show how dramatic the change is for China and India.
- Switch back and forth between the parameter options and you’ll see quite a different story.
April 23, 2015
Jeffrey Shaffer and I are two weeks into a year-long weekly hand-drawn data viz project we’re calling Dear Data Two. The project is entirely modeled after the Dear Data project Giorgia Lupi and Stefanie Posavec are doing. Jeffrey and I thought this would be a great way for us to remove ourselves from software and work on being more “artistic”.
The week 2 theme was “Transport”. Jeffrey tracked his step pattern around his office.
While I tracked the places I went all week and how I got to each place. What was different for me this week is that I started with Tableau and then went to hand drawn. Going forward, you can keep up with the project at www.dear-data-two.com, where you can read more about our thoughts and how we created each postcard.
April 22, 2015
- You put a bunch of PDFs into a folder (as many as you’d like)
- Run the Alteryx module
- Alteryx spits out a Tableau extract and workbook that count how many times each word appears in the PDFs
Keep an eye on The Information Lab Blog for more details. Chris is going to write a post soon on how he built this. It’s genius!
For my testing, I decide to run the module against the PDFs of the course materials that Stephen Few gives you at his Visual Business Intelligence Workshop. These PDFs average 25MB (i.e., that’s a lot of words). Chris provided a simple word cloud output as part of the package he wrote. I took that and added a bar chart and a parameter. Anyone that uses Alteryx is going to love what Chris created, pun intended.