Bumps chart

128 posts
Visualizing change over time: case study via Arstechnica

ArsTechnica published the following chart in its article titled "Grim new analyses spotlight just how hard the U.S. is failing in  pandemic" (link). There are some very good things about this chart, so let me start there. In a Trifecta Checkup, I'd give the Q corner high marks. The question is clear: how has the U.S. performed relative to other countries? In particular, the chart gives a nuanced answer to...

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Working with multiple dimensions, an example from Germany

An anonymous reader submitted this mirrored bar chart about violent acts by extremists in the 16 German states. At first glance, this looks like a standard design. On a second look, you might notice what the reader discovered- the chart used two different scales, one for each side. The left side (red) depicting left-wing extremism is artificially compressed relative to the right side (blue). Not sure if this reflects the...

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When the pie chart is more complex than the data

The trading house, Charles Schwab, included the following graphic in a recent article: This graphic is more complicated than the story that it illustrates. The author describes a simple scenario in which an investor divides his investments into stocks, bonds and cash. After a stock crash, the value of the portfolio declines. The graphic is a 3-D pie chart, in which the data are encoded twice, first in the areas...

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Graph literacy, in a sense

Ben Jones tweeted out this chart, which has an unusual feature: What's unusual is that time runs in both directions. Usually, the rule is that time runs left to right (except, of course, in right-to-left cultures). Here, the purple area chart follows that convention while the yellow area chart inverts it. On the one hand, this is quite cute. Lines meeting in the middle. Converging. I get it. On the...

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The Bumps come to the NBA, courtesy of 538

The team at 538 did a post-mortem of their in-season forecasts of NBA playoffs, using Bumps charts. These charts have a long history and can be traced back to Cambridge rowing. I featured them in these posts from a long time ago (link 1, link 2).  Here is the Bumps chart for the NBA West Conference showing all 15 teams, and their ranking by the 538 model throughout the season. ...

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Message-first visualization

Sneaky Pete via Twitter sent me the following chart, asking for guidance: This is a pretty standard dataset, frequently used in industry. It shows a breakdown of a company's profit by business unit, here classified by "state". The profit projection for the next year is measured on both absolute dollar terms and year-on-year growth. Since those two metrics have completely different scales, in both magnitude and unit, it is common...

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Crazy rich Asians inspire some rich graphics

On the occasion of the hit movie Crazy Rich Asians, the New York Times did a very nice report on Asian immigration in the U.S. The first two graphics will be of great interest to those who have attended my free dataviz seminar (coming to Lyon, France in October, by the way. Register here.), as it deals with a related issue. The first chart shows an income gap widening between...

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Crazy rich Asians inspire some rich graphics

Kaiser Fung (Junkcharts, Principal Analytics Prep) examines several charts made by New York Times on income distribution among Asian Americans, as the hit movie Crazy Rich Asians dominates the U.S. box office in September.

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Two good charts can use better titles

NPR has this chart, which I like: It's a small multiples of bumps charts. Nice, clear labels. No unnecessary things like axis labels. Intuitive organization by Major Factor, Minor Factor, and Not a Factor. Above all, the data convey a strong, surprising, message - despite many high-profile gun violence incidents this year, some Democratic voters are actually much less likely to see guns as a "major factor" in deciding their...

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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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