small multiples

21 posts
China’s Imbalanced Trade with the United States, in Four Charts

A trade war could be looming between the United States and China, fueled by President Trump’s fixation on the two nations’ unbalanced import-export relationship. The trade imbalance between the two countries — which might not hurt the United States that much — stems from the fact that China sells more to us than it buys, essentially. That’s largely driven by macroeconomic factors, not some malicious intent: China is a low-cost manufacturing powerhouse,...

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Several problems with stacked bar charts, as demonstrated by a Delta chart designer

In the Trifecta Checkup (link), I like to see the Question and the Visual work well together. Sometimes, you have a nice message but you just pick the wrong Visual. An example is the following stacked column chart, used in an investor presentation by Delta. From what I can tell, the five types of aircraft are divided into RJ (regional jet) and others (perhaps, larger jets). With each of those...

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The tech world in which everyone is below average

Laura pointed me to an infographic about tech worker salaries in major tech hubs (link). What's wrong with this map? The box "Global average" is doubly false. It is not global, and it is not the average! The only non-American cities included in this survey are Toronto, Paris and London. The only city with average salary above the "Global average" is San Francisco Bay Area. Since the Bay Area does...

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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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Visualizing Income Equality in Major World Economies

Years after a global crisis, the world’s largest economies are again growing, The New York Times reported over the weekend. Every major economy on earth is expanding at once, a synchronous wave of growth that is creating jobs, lifting fortunes and tempering fears of popular discontent. A tweet on the subject prompted a friend to respond with a question about whether income inequality has grown — and that in turn prompted...

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Excellent visualization of gun violence in American cities

I like the Guardian's feature (undated) on gun violence in American cities a lot. The following graphic illustrates the situation in Baltimore. The designer starts by placing where the gun homicides occured in 2015. Then, it leads readers through an exploration of the key factors that might be associated with the spatial distribution of those homicides. The blue color measures poverty levels. There is a moderate correlation between high numbers...

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The visual should be easier to read than your data

A reader sent this tip in some time ago and I lost track of who he/she is. This graphic looks deceptively complex. What's complex is not the underlying analysis. The design is complex and so the decoding is complex. The question of the graphic is a central concern of anyone who's retired: how long will one's savings last? There are two related metrics to describe the durability of the stash,...

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Three pies and a bar: serving visual goodness

If you are not sick of the Washington Post article about friends (not) letting friends join the other party, allow me to write yet another post on, gasp, that pie chart. And sorry to have kept reader Daniel L. waiting, as he pointed out, when submitting this chart to me, that he had tremendous difficulty understanding it:   This is not one pie but six pies on a platter. There...

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Let’s not mix these polarized voters as the medians run away from one another

Long-time follower Daniel L. sent in a gem, by the Washington Post. This is a multi-part story about the polarization of American voters, nicely laid out, with superior analyses and some interesting graphics. Click here to see the entire article. Today's post focuses on the first graphic. This one: The key messages are written out on the 2017 charts: namely, 95% of Republicans are more conservative than the median Democrat,...

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Let’s not mix these polarized voters as the medians run away from one another

Long-time follower Daniel L. sent in a gem, by the Washington Post. This is a multi-part story about the polarization of American voters, nicely laid out, with superior analyses and some interesting graphics. Click here to see the entire article. Today's post focuses on the first graphic. This one: The key messages are written out on the 2017 charts: namely, 95% of Republicans are more conservative than the median Democrat,...

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