Blog Archives

Don’t data puke, says Avinash Kaushik

September 16, 2014
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Here are five amazing recommendations by Avinash Kaushik from a post about how to make Web analytics dashboards better by simplifying. Dashboards are not reports. Don't data puke. Include insights. Include recommendations for actions. Include business impact. NEVER leave data interpretation to the executives (let them opine on your recommendations for actions with benefit of their wisdom and awareness of business strategy). When it comes to key performance indicators, segments…

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Relevance, to you or me: a response to Cairo

September 15, 2014
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Relevance, to you or me: a response to Cairo

Alberto Cairo discussed a graphic by the New York Times on the slowing growth of Medicare spending (link). The chart on the top is published, depicting the quite dramatic flattening of the growth in average spending over the last years--average...

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My dataviz workshop starts in October

September 15, 2014
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Course announcement is on my sister blog. This course adopts the creative writing workshop structure to teach data visualization. Think of chart making as a craft. We emphasize the importance of sketches, revisions, feedback from readers, and a critical eye. It's limited enrollment.

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You don’t have all the data

September 9, 2014
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Binging on Gelman again while I was traveling. Here is a gem (link). If you ever dreamed of having "all the data", be sure to give this a read and give it a few moments' thought. Skim through the main post quickly. The good stuff is in the comments.

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Try a new way of learning dataviz; course announcement

September 9, 2014
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COURSE ANNOUNCEMENT THE ART OF DATA VISUALIZATION Fall 2014 (Oct 6 - Nov 24, Mondays 6:30-9:30) New York University Instructor: Kaiser Fung Location: New York City Learn how to make knock-out data visualization in an innovative, immersive and fun setting,...

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Trifacta, an attempt to simplify the analyst’s life

September 8, 2014
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A LinkedIn contact and 538 reader pointed me to this demo video by Joe Hellerstein, from a Bay Area startup called Trifacta. They have a neat product that tries to automate data cleaning/processing tasks for analysts. I love that people are working on this problem. It's an area that I'm interested in getting involved in. Also, they have a sleek user interface, well thought out, and innovative. There is a…

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Playing with orientation and style

September 8, 2014
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Playing with orientation and style

I saw this nifty chart in the Wall Street Journal last week. The Post Office is competing with Fedex and UPS on pricing. The nice feature about this small dataset is that the story is very clear. In almost every...

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Light entertainment: pie charts to the rescue

September 4, 2014
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Light entertainment: pie charts to the rescue

My colleague sent me these. Link to the full post. I think I saw this one before:

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Exquisite chart by-of-for academics

September 3, 2014
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Exquisite chart by-of-for academics

This chart published in Harvard Magazine has won my heart. It is well executed in many ways. The chart illustrates a study of time spent by assistant and associate professors. It focuses specifically on time spent working versus time spent...

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Background on my new 538 article on restaurant health grades

September 3, 2014
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Background on my new 538 article on restaurant health grades

Some behind-the-scenes comments on my recent article on New York's restaurant inspection grades; it appeared on FiveThirtyEight this Tuesday. *** The Nature of Ratings This article is about the ratings of things. I devoted a considerable amount of pages to this topic in Numbersense (link) - Chapter 1 is all about the US News ranking of schools. A few key points are: All rating schemes are completely subjective. There is…

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