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# Telling the Data Comparison Story Using A Skyline Graph (Instead of Two Pies)

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Slides for a short format presentation at Interaction12 in Dublin, Feb 4 2012.

Just like every picture, every graph tells a story, or it should. Frequently the story we want to tell is a comparison to the past or to our plans, a “what happened” story. Do we have the best tools to tell this story visually, in graphs? In this presentation, we'll look at the common strategies like pies, bars, thermometers and heat maps, and how well they tell us “what happened.

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### Telling the Data Comparison Story Using A Skyline Graph (Instead of Two Pies)

1. 1. Interaction12, Dublin, Ireland. 4 Feb 2012Telling the Data ComparisonStory Using A Skyline Graph (Instead of Two Pies) Bill Caemmerer bcaemmerer@sapient.com bill@caemmerer.net
2. 2. Just like every picture, every graph tells a story, or itshould. Frequently the story we want to tell is acomparison to the past or to our plans, a “whathappened” story.Do we have the best tools to tell this story visually,in graphs? In this presentation, well look at thecommon strategies like pies, bars, thermometersand heat maps, and how well they tell us “whathappened.”
3. 3. Is this any way to manage your retirement?
4. 4. Then Now Tamborines Tamborines Guitars Guitars BodhransBodhrans Banjos Banjos Basses Basses Fiddles Fiddles
5. 5. Then Now Tamborines Tamborines Guitars Guitars BodhransBodhrans Banjos Banjos Basses Basses Fiddles Fiddles area= (angle/360)*π r 2
6. 6. Tough questions (for pie charts):• how much did any item change?• what+do you mean by “percent” 20% 5% = 21%.. ??
7. 7. Comparison stories: “whathappened?”
8. 8. We want to know:• Relative changes (“left shoe sales are up 15%”)• Biggest most important changes (“you spent \$500 on what?!”)
9. 9. What makes details easy to see?
10. 10. horizons
11. 11. silhouettes
12. 12. Variation from a horizon lineHeight and widthSize or area
13. 13. 160% 140% 120%Now 100% 80% 60% 40% 20% Then
14. 14. 160% area = x*y 140% 120%Now 100% 80% 60% 40% 20% Guitars Banjos Fiddles Basses Bodhrans Tamborines 25 14 17 10 20 14 Then
15. 15. 160% 140% 120%Now 100% 80% 60% 40% 20% Guitars Banjos Fiddles Basses Bodhrans Tamborines 25 14 17 10 20 14 Then
16. 16. 160% 140% 30 120%Now 100% 80% 60% 40% 20% Guitars Banjos Fiddles Basses Bodhrans Tamborines 25 14 17 10 20 14 Then
17. 17. 28 160% 140% 30 120% 11 20Now 100% 12 80% 9 60% 40% 20% Guitars Banjos Fiddles Basses Bodhrans Tamborines 25 14 17 10 20 14 Then
18. 18. Fo o d & D in in g Au to & Tr a ns po rt Bi lls & U til iti e s Spending By CategoryBu si ne ss Se rv ic es Fi n an ci al Ed uc at io n Sh op pi U ng nc at eg or iz edG ift H s om & e D on at io ns O th er
19. 19. 20% 40% 60% 80% 120% 140% 100% H om e: M or t ga ge & R en t \$525 Fo o d & D in in \$525 g: G Spending vs. Budget ro ce rie Ed s \$250 uc Spending v Budget at io n: \$225 Au St ud to enAu & tL Tr to a oa & ns n \$250 Tr po a rt: ns po G as \$250 Bi rt: A & lls ut Fu Bi & o el lls U In \$120 & \$169 til su U iti ra til es iti :E nc e \$102 es l \$44 : M ect ob ric ity \$100 En ile te Ph rt o ai n \$70 \$70 nm e en t \$50 \$31
20. 20. scales well horizontally
21. 21. Technology +4.3% Industrial GoodsConglomerates Utilities+2.3% Consumer Goods AAPL +7.4% +0.3% -11.0% MSFT -7.7% Services Basic Materials +11.2% GOOG +0.8% +0.0% Financial +8.6% YHOO -3.2% scales well horizontally
22. 22. Where to ﬁnd out more...
23. 23. Search online for:variable-width column chartsvariwide chartsbar-mekko chartscoming soon: skylinechart.net
24. 24. Thank you!bcaemmerer@sapient.com bill@caemmerer.net