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Too much of a good thing

Several of us discussed this data visualization over twitter last week. The dataviz by Aero Data Lab is called “A Bird’s Eye View of Pharmaceutical Research and Development”. There is a separate discussion on STAT News. Here is the top section of the chart: We faced a number of hurdles in understanding this chart as there is so much going on. The size of the shapes is perhaps the first...

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It’s hot even in Alaska

A twitter user pointed to the following chart, which shows that Alaska has experienced extreme heat this summer, with the July statewide average temperature shattering the previous record; This column chart is clear in its primary message: the red column shows that the average temperature this year is quite a bit higher than the next highest temperature, recorded in July 2004. The error bar is useful for statistically-literate people -...

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Putting the house in order, two Brexit polls

Reader Steve M. noticed an oversight in the Guardian in the following bar chart (link): The reporter was discussing an important story that speaks to the need for careful polling design. He was comparing two polls, one by Ipsos Mori, and one by YouGov, that estimates the vote support for each party in the future U.K. general election. The bottom line is that the YouGov poll predicts about double the...

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The Periodic Table, a challenge in information organization

Reader Chris P. points me to this article about the design of the Periodic Table. I then learned that 2019 is the “International Year of the Periodic Table,” according to the United Nations. Here is the canonical design of the Periodic Table that science students are familiar with. (Source: Wikipedia.) The Periodic Table is an exercise of information organization and display. It's about adding structure to over 100 elements, so...

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Pay levels in the U.S.

The Wall Street Journal published a graphic showing the median pay levels at "most" public companies in the U.S. here. People who attended my dataviz seminar might recognize the similarity with the graphic showing internet download speeds by different broadband technologies. It's a clean, clear way of showing multiple comparisons on the same chart. You can see the distribution of pay levels of companies within each industry grouping, and the...

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Pay levels in the U.S.

The Wall Street Journal published a graphic showing the median pay levels at "most" public companies in the U.S. here. People who attended my dataviz seminar might recognize the similarity with the graphic showing internet download speeds by different broadband technologies. It's a clean, clear way of showing multiple comparisons on the same chart. You can see the distribution of pay levels of companies within each industry grouping, and the...

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Seeking simplicity in complex data: Bloomberg’s dataviz on UK gender pay gap

Bloomberg featured a thought-provoking dataviz that illustrates the pay gap by gender in the U.K. The dataset underlying this effort is complex, and the designers did a good job simplifying the data for ease of comprehension. U.K. companies are required to submit data on salaries and bonuses by gender, and by pay quartiles. The dataset is incomplete, since some companies are slow to report, and the analyst decided not to...

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Watching a valiant effort to rescue the pie chart

Today we return to the basics. In a twitter exchange with Dean E., I found the following pie chart in an Atlantic article about who's buying San Francisco real estate: The pie chart is great at one thing, showing how workers in the software industry accounted for half of the real estate purchases. (Dean and I both want to see more details of the analysis as we have many questions...

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Not following direction or order, the dieticians complain

At first glance, this graphic's message seems clear: what proportion of Americans are exceeding or lagging guidelines for consumption of different food groups. Blue for exceeding; orange for lagging. The stacked bars are lined up at the central divider - the point of meeting recommended volumes - to make it easy to compare relative proportions. The original chart is here, on the Health.gov website. The little icons illustrating the food...

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Pretty circular things

National Geographic features this graphic illustrating migration into the U.S. from the 1850s to the present.   What to Like It's definitely eye-catching, and some readers will be enticed to spend time figuring out how to read this chart. The inset reveals that the chart is made up of little colored strips that mix together. This produces a pleasing effect of gradual color gradation. The white rings that separate decades...

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