Data Visualization

Data visualization blogs

The top dog among jealous dogs

July 25, 2014
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The top dog among jealous dogs

Is data visualization worth paying for? In some quarters, this may be a controversial question. If you are having doubts, just look at some examples of great visualization. This week, the NYT team brings us a wonderful example. The story...

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Putting Data Into Context

July 24, 2014
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Putting Data Into Context

Raw numbers are easy to report and analyze, but without the proper context, they can be misleading. Is the effect you’re seeing real, or a simple result of the underlying, obvious distribution? Too many analyses and news stories end up reporting things we already know. This is a particular issue with data that has a […]

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Revisiting the home run data

July 21, 2014
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Revisiting the home run data

Note to New York metro readers: I'm an invited speaker at NYU's "Art and Science of Brand Storytelling" summer course which starts tomorrow. I will be speaking on Thursday, 12-1 pm. You can still register here. *** The home run...

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Interactivity as overhead

July 17, 2014
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Interactivity as overhead

Making data graphics interactive should improve the user experience. In practice, interactivity too often becomes overhead, making it harder for users to understand the data on the graph. Reader Joe D. (via Twitter) admires the statistical sophistication behind this graphic...

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Return of the barrel

July 10, 2014
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Return of the barrel

Back in 2008, I wrote about this unfortunate chart by the Guardian (link): The barrel imagery interferes with communicating the data. The green portion looks about the same size as the red portion when the number is four times smaller....

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A small step for interactivity

July 9, 2014
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A small step for interactivity

Alberto links to a nice Propublica chart on average annual spend per dialysis patient on ambulances by state. (link to chart and article) It's a nice small-multiples setup with two tabs, one showing the states in order of descending spend...

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The missing Brazil effect, and BYOC charts

July 1, 2014
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The missing Brazil effect, and BYOC charts

Announcement: I'm giving a free public lecture on telling and finding stories via data visualization at NYU on 7/15/2014. More information and registration here. *** The Economist states the obvious, that the current World Cup is atypically high-scoring (or poorly...

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Light entertainment: famous people, sleep, publication bias

June 26, 2014
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Light entertainment: famous people, sleep, publication bias

Bernard L. tipped us about this "infographic": The chart is missing a title. The arcs present "sleep schedules" for the named people. The "data" comes from a book. I wonder about the accuracy of such data. Also note the inherent...

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Review: Kraak, Mapping Time

June 26, 2014
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Review: Kraak, Mapping Time

Can you write an entire book about a single chart? Even if that chart is supposedly the best one ever? Menno-Jan Kraak's new book, Mapping Time: Illustrated by Minard's Map of Napoleon's Russian Campaign of 1812, discusses the historical context of Minard's work, his, life, and walks through a number of design exercises to show the same or similar data in different ways.

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Respect the reader’s time

June 25, 2014
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Respect the reader’s time

A graphic illustrating how Americans spend their time is a perfect foil to make the important case that the reader's time is a scarce resource. I wrote about this at the ASA forum in 2011 (link). In the same WSJ...

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