Dot plot

28 posts
Checking the scale on a chart

Dot maps, and by extension, bubble maps are popular options for spatial data; but the scale of these maps can be deceiving. Here is an example of a poorly-scaled dot map: The U.S. was primarily an agrarian economy in 1997, if you believe your eyes. Here is a poorly-scaled bubble map: New Yorkers have all become Citibikers, if you believe what you see. Last week, I saw a nice dot...

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The downside of discouraging pie charts

It's no secret most dataviz experts do not like pie charts. Our disdain for pie charts causes people to look for alternatives. Sometimes, the alternative is worse. Witness: This chart comes from the Spring 2018 issue of On Investing, the magazine for Charles Schwab customers. It's not a pie chart. I'm forced to say the pie chart is preferred. The original chart fails the self-sufficiency test. Here is the 2007...

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Is the chart answering your question? Excavating the excremental growth map

San Franciscans are fed up with excremental growth. Understandably. Here is how the Economist sees it - geographically speaking. *** In the Trifecta Checkup analysis, one of the questions to ask is "What does the visual say?" and with respect to the question being asked. The question is how much has the problem of human waste in SF grew from 2011 to 2017. What does the visual say? The number...

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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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