Please help the Delaware Dept of Education

Shane C. asked me to fill out a survey hosted by the Delaware Department of Education. This is a survey about designing their dashboard. And I'm very happy to see that they are doing this. In the survey, you are asked to comment on different ways of presenting certain data, and they want to know which version is "easier to understand". It takes about 5-10 minutes to complete it. The...

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Looking above the waist, dataviz style

I came across this chart on NYU's twitter feed.  Growth has indeed been impressive; the dataviz less so. Here's the problem with not starting the vertical scale of a column chart at zero: In a column chart, the heights of the columns should be proportional to the data. Here they are misaligned because an equal amount has been chopped off below 30,000 from all columns. The light purple that I...

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Governor of Maine wants a raise

In a Trifecta checkup, this map scores low on the Q corner: what is its purpose? What have readers learned about the salaries of state governors after looking at the map? (Link to original) The most obvious "insights" include: There are more Republican governors than Democratic governors Most Democratic governors are from the coastal states There is exactly one Independent governor Small states on the Eastern seaboard is messing up...

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Missing comments

It turns out that Typepad's spam comment software is pretty aggressive, and several legitimate comments have been sitting in the spam folder for quite a while - interestingly, some of my own comments are also predicted to be "spam"! So you may find that your comment has finally appeared on the blog. Apologies for the delay!

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When design goes awry

One can't accuse the following chart of lacking design. Strong is the evidence of departing from convention but the design decisions appear wayward. (The original link on Money here)   The donut chart (right) has nine sections. Eight of the sections (excepting A) have clearly all been bent out of shape. It turns out that section A does not have the right size either. The middle gray circle is not...

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Light entertainment: the difference in power between nations is not statistically significant

As proved by the following chart:  

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A gem among the snowpack of Olympics data journalism

It's not often I come across a piece of data journalism that pleases me so much. Here it is, the "Happy 700" article by Washington Post is amazing.   When data journalism and dataviz are done right, the designers have made good decisions. Here are some of the key elements that make this article work: (1) Unique The topic is timely but timeliness heightens both the demand and supply of...

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When your main attraction is noise

Peter K. asked me about this 538 chart, which is a stacked column chart in which the percentages appear to not add up to 100%. Link to the article here. Here's my reply: They made the columns so tall that the "rounding errors" (noise) disclosed in the footnotes became the main attraction. *** The gap between the highest and lowest peaks looks large but mostly due to the aspect ratio....

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Two nice examples of interactivity

Janie on Twitter pointed me to this South China Morning Post graphic showing off the mighty train line just launched between north China and London (!) Scrolling down the page simulates the train ride from origin to destination. Pictures of key regions are shown on the left column, as well as some statistics and other related information. The interactivity has a clear purpose: facilitating cross-reference between two chart forms. The...

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A chart Hans Rosling would have loved

I came across this chart from the OurWorldinData website, and this one would make the late Hans Rosling very happy. If you went to Professor Rosling's talk, he was bitter that the amazing gains in public health, worldwide (but particularly in less developed nations) during the last few decades have been little noticed. This chart makes it clear: note especially the dramatic plunge in extreme poverty, rise in vaccinations, drop...

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