Data Visualization
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Data Visualization

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Mindy McAdams\'s presentation to journalism students.

Mindy McAdams\'s presentation to journalism students.

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Data Visualization Data Visualization Presentation Transcript

  • Data Visualization Mindy McAdams October 2008
  • What is “a great story”?
    • Convinces us of something
    • Makes us question our assumptions
    • Compels us to action
    • Enlightens us, brings a new realization
    • Touches us, connects to our humanity
  • Great data visualization tells a great story.
  •  
  •  
  • Finding the story in data
    • Data can be boring -- if you don’t know what you’re looking for
    • In raw form, numbers and words lack meaning
    • A dataset is a bucket full of numbers
    • “ There are stories in that bucket”
    • (--Nathan Yau, Flowing Data )
  • nytimes.com
  • Data visualization tools create a picture that makes clear what the numbers mean .
  • usatoday.com
  • Visualizations allow us to understand and process enormous amounts of information quickly because it is all represented in a single image or animation. 7 Things You Should Know About Data Visualization
  • nytimes.com Movie box office revenues, January 1986 to February 2008. Vertical shows weekly revenue amount. Horizontal shows how long the movie ran in theaters.
  • Data visualization includes:
    • Design
    • Organization
    • Fact checking
    • Sleuthing
    • Research
    --Nathan Yau, Flowing Data
  • Data visualization is the graphical representation of information.
  • Common types of data viz:
    • Maps
      • Show patterns that occur in geographic space
    • Bar charts
      • Show simple numerical comparisons
    • Line graphs
      • Show continuous change over time
    • Pie charts
      • Show proportional differences
    See: Visualization Options Available in Many Eyes
  • Map shows all public schools in Washington, D.C. washingtonpost.com
  • Map shows all schools where at least 60 percent of students passed the 2006 D.C. math exam. washingtonpost.com
  • washingtonpost.com Bar chart: U.S. service members killed in Iraq or Afghanistan, 2001-2006.
  • nytimes.com Line graph compares time progression of present crisis with average of all past crises and with five worst worst crises (July 18, 2008)
  • Pie chart: FeedBurner.com stats showing which RSS readers send traffic to the blog Teaching Online Journalism
  • usatoday.com Pie chart: “Cuteness factor” may make it harder to read at a glance. Is this chart showing number of parents? Or where parents look?
  • Word cloud shows 150 words used most by Joe Biden in his speech at the Democratic National Convention, 2008. Size of word indicates number of times uttered. graphicdesignr.net
  • Word cloud shows 150 words used most by Sarah Palin in her speech at the Republican National Convention, 2008. Size of word indicates number of times uttered. graphicdesignr.net
  • How to approach data viz:
    • What kind of story are you trying to tell? Is it a report, or is it a novel?
    • Do you want to convince people that something is necessary?
    • Think character development:
      • Every data point has a story behind it, the same way that every character in a book has a past, present, and future.
      • There are interactions and relationships between those data points. It’s up to you to find them.
    --Nathan Yau, Flowing Data
  • Data Visualization Mindy McAdams / October 2008 Resources used for this presentation include Great Data Visualization Tells a Great Story , by Nathan Yau, and 7 Things You Should Know About Data Visualization