Dot plot

25 posts
Common charting issues related to connecting lines, labels, sequencing

The following chart about "ranges and trends for digital marketing salaries" has some problems that appear in a great number of charts. The head tilt required to read the job titles. The order of the job titles is baffling. It's neither alphabetical nor by salary. The visual form suggests that we could see trends in salaries reading left-right, but the only information about trends is the year on year salary...

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Hog wild about dot maps

Reader Chris P. sent me this chart. This was meant to be "light entertainment." See the Twitter discussion below. *** Let's think a bit about the dot map as a data graphic. Dot maps are one dimensional. The dot's location is used to indicate the latitude and longitude and therefore the x,y coordinates cannot encode any other data. If we have basically a black/white chart, as in this hog map,...

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Well-structured, interactive graphic about newsrooms

Today, I take a detailed look at one of the pieces that came out of an amazing collaboration between Alberto Cairo, and Google's News Lab. The work on diversity in U.S. newsrooms is published here. Alberto's introduction to this piece is here. The project addresses two questions: (a) gender diversity (representation of women) in U.S. newsrooms and (b) racial diversity (representation of white vs. non-white) in U.S. newsrooms. One of...

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Steel tariffs, and my new dataviz seminar

I am developing a new seminar aimed at business professionals who want to improve their ability to communicate using charts. I want any guidance to be tool-agnostic, so that attendees can implement them using Excel if that’s their main charting software. Over the 12+ years that I’ve been blogging, certain ideas keep popping up; and I have collected these motifs and organized them for the seminar. This post is about...

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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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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 look at how the New York Times readers look at the others

The above chart, when it was unveiled at the end of November last year, got some mileage on my Twitter feed so it got some attention. A reader, Eric N., didn't like it at all, and I think he has a point. Here are several debatable design decisions. The chart uses an inverted axis. A tax cut (negative growth) is shown on the right while a tax increase is shown...

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Using a bardot chart for survey data

Aleks J. wasn't amused by the graphs included in Verge's report about user attitudes toward the major Web brands such as Google, Facebook, and Twitter. Let's use this one as an example: Survey respondents are asked to rate how much they like or dislike the products and services from each of six companies, on a five-point scale. There is a sixth category for "No opinion/Don't use." In making this set...

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Fifty-nine intersections supporting forty dots of data

My friend Ray V. asked how this chart can be improved: Let's try to read this chart. The Economist is always the best at writing headlines, and this one is simple and to the point: the rich get richer. This is about inequality but not just inequality - the growth in inequality over time. Each country has four dots, divided into two pairs. From the legend, we learn that the...

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Excel is the graveyard of charts, no!

It's true that Excel is responsible for large numbers of horrible charts. I just came across a typical example recently: This figure comes from Edward Wolff's 2012 paper, "The Asset Price Meltdown and the Wealth of the Middle Class." It's got all the hallmarks of Excel defaults. It's not a pleasing object to look at. However, it's also true that Excel can be used to make nice charts. Here is...

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