Education

41 posts
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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Saying no thanks to a box of donuts

As I reported last week, the Department of Education for Delaware is running a survey on dashboard design. The survey link is here. One of the charts being evaluated is a box of donuts, as shown below: I have written before about the problem with donut charts (see here). A box of donuts is worse than one donut. Here, each donut references a school year. The composition by race/ethnicity of...

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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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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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Where students learn the most

Emily Badger and Kevin Quealy, reporting for the Upshot, highlights research from Sean Reardon, a professor of poverty and inequality in education. Reardon’s research suggests that the relationships between income and standardized test scores should be reevaluated. This new data shows that many do overcome them. It also suggests that states that rate schools and select which ones to reward or shutter based on average test scores are using the...

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Announcing a new venture

This is a great time for people in the data business. If you go on Linkedin and look for data jobs, there are several thousand open positions, just in the New York area. Every department within any business is accumulating data, and they need people to help them get value out of the data. There are also lots of people I meet who would like to transition their careers to...

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Sorting out what’s meaningful and what’s not

A few weeks ago, the New York Times Upshot team published a set of charts exploring the relationship between school quality, home prices and commute times in different regions of the country. The following is the chart for the New York/New Jersey region. (The article and complete data visualization is here.) This chart is primarily a scatter plot of home prices against school quality, which is represented by average test...

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Looking for more affordable homes and better schools in the suburbs

Families often move out of the city to the suburbs for more affordable housing (or more space) and better schools for the kids. Quoctrung Bui and Conor Dougherty for The Upshot plot these two things, average price per square foot and school district performance, to compare against the respective city. In addition, there are two more encoded variables in each bubble. Size represents population, and color represents an average commute...

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Visualizing citation impact

Michael Bales and his associates at Cornell are working on a new visual tool for citations data. This is an area that is ripe for some innovation. There is a lot of data available but it seems difficult to gain insights from them. The prototypical question is how authoritative is a particular researcher or research group, judging from his or her or their publications. A proxy for "quality" is the...

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