bar chart

158 posts
Light entertainment: politics down under

Pictures speak louder than words

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Deficient deficit depiction

A twitter user alerted me to this chart put out by the Biden adminstration trumpeting a reduction in the budget deficit from 2020 to 2021: This column chart embodies a form that is popular in many presentations, including in scientific journals. It's deficient in so many ways it's a marvel how it continues to live. There are just two numbers: -3132 and -2772. Their difference is $360 billion, which is...

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The what of visualization, beyond the how

A long-time reader sent me the following chart from a Nature article, pointing out that it is rather worthless. The simple bar chart plots the number of downloads, organized by country, from the website called Sci-Hub, which I've just learned is where one can download scientific articles for free - working around the exorbitant paywalls of scientific journals. The bar chart is a good example of a Type D chart...

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Improving simple bar charts

Here's another bar chart I came across recently. The chart - apparently published by Kaggle - appeared to present challenges data scientists face in industry: This chart is pretty standard, and inoffensive. But we can still make it better. Version 1 I removed the decimals from the data labels. Version 2 Since every bar is labelled, is anyone looking at the axis labels? Version 3 You love axis labels. Then,...

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Easy breezy bar charts, perhaps

I came across the following bar chart (link), which presents the results of a survey of CMOs (Chief Marketing Officers) on their attitudes toward data analytics. Responses are tabulated to the question about the most significant hurdle(s) against the increasing use of data and analytics for marketing. Eleven answers were presented, in addition to the catchall "Other" response. I'm unable to divine the rule used by the designer to sequence...

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Visualizing composite ratings

A twitter reader submitted the following chart from Autoevolution (link): This is not a successful chart for the simple reason that readers want to look away from it. It's too busy. There is so much going on that one doesn't know where to look. The underlying dataset is quite common in the marketing world. Through surveys, people are asked to rate some product along a number of dimensions (here, seven)....

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Best chart I have seen this year

Marvelling at this chart:   *** The credit ultimately goes to a Reddit user (account deleted). I first saw it in this nice piece of data journalism by my friends at System 2 (link). They linked to Visual Capitalism (link). There are so many things on this one chart that makes me smile. The animation. The message of the story is aging population. Average age is moving up. This uptrend...

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Graphing highly structured data

The following sankey diagram appeared in my Linkedin feed the other day, and I agree with the poster that this is an excellent example. It's an unusual use of a flow chart to show the P&L (profit and loss) statement of a business. It makes sense since these are flows of money. The graph explains how Spotify makes money - or how little profit it claims to have earned on...

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Displaying convoluted indices

I reviewed another batch of projects from Ray Vella's class at NYU. The following piece by Carlos Lasso made an impression on me. There are no pyrotechnics but he made one decision that added a lot of clarity to the graphic. The underlying dataset gauges the income disparity of regions within nine countries. The richest and the poorest regions are selected for each country. Two time points are shown. Altogether, there...

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Asymmetry and orientation

An author in Significance claims that a single season of Premier League football without live spectators is enough to prove that the so-called home field advantage is really a live-spectator advantage. The following chart depicts the data going back many seasons: I find this bar chart challenging. It plots the ratio of home wins to away wins using an odds scale, which is not intuitive. The odds scale (probability of...

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