Data Visualization


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Mindy McAdams\'s presentation to journalism students.

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  • Data Visualization

    1. 1. Data Visualization Mindy McAdams October 2008
    2. 2. What is “a great story”? <ul><li>Convinces us of something </li></ul><ul><li>Makes us question our assumptions </li></ul><ul><li>Compels us to action </li></ul><ul><li>Enlightens us, brings a new realization </li></ul><ul><li>Touches us, connects to our humanity </li></ul>
    3. 3. Great data visualization tells a great story.
    4. 6. Finding the story in data <ul><li>Data can be boring -- if you don’t know what you’re looking for </li></ul><ul><li>In raw form, numbers and words lack meaning </li></ul><ul><li>A dataset is a bucket full of numbers </li></ul><ul><li>“ There are stories in that bucket” </li></ul><ul><li>(--Nathan Yau, Flowing Data ) </li></ul>
    5. 7.
    6. 8. Data visualization tools create a picture that makes clear what the numbers mean .
    7. 9.
    8. 10. 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
    9. 11. Movie box office revenues, January 1986 to February 2008. Vertical shows weekly revenue amount. Horizontal shows how long the movie ran in theaters.
    10. 12. Data visualization includes: <ul><li>Design </li></ul><ul><li>Organization </li></ul><ul><li>Fact checking </li></ul><ul><li>Sleuthing </li></ul><ul><li>Research </li></ul>--Nathan Yau, Flowing Data
    11. 13. Data visualization is the graphical representation of information.
    12. 14. Common types of data viz: <ul><li>Maps </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Show patterns that occur in geographic space </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Bar charts </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Show simple numerical comparisons </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Line graphs </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Show continuous change over time </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Pie charts </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Show proportional differences </li></ul></ul>See: Visualization Options Available in Many Eyes
    13. 15. Map shows all public schools in Washington, D.C.
    14. 16. Map shows all schools where at least 60 percent of students passed the 2006 D.C. math exam.
    15. 17. Bar chart: U.S. service members killed in Iraq or Afghanistan, 2001-2006.
    16. 18. Line graph compares time progression of present crisis with average of all past crises and with five worst worst crises (July 18, 2008)
    17. 19. Pie chart: stats showing which RSS readers send traffic to the blog Teaching Online Journalism
    18. 20. Pie chart: “Cuteness factor” may make it harder to read at a glance. Is this chart showing number of parents? Or where parents look?
    19. 21. 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.
    20. 22. 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.
    21. 23. How to approach data viz: <ul><li>What kind of story are you trying to tell? Is it a report, or is it a novel? </li></ul><ul><li>Do you want to convince people that something is necessary? </li></ul><ul><li>Think character development: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Every data point has a story behind it, the same way that every character in a book has a past, present, and future. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>There are interactions and relationships between those data points. It’s up to you to find them. </li></ul></ul>--Nathan Yau, Flowing Data
    22. 24. 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